Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) attacked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s housing plan, which includes approval for the expansion of the predominantly Arab Beit Safafa neighborhood in southern Jerusalem, at the expense of the nearby Givat HaMatos area.
Speaking at the 2016 Yesha Conference on Monday, Bennett warned the expansion of Beit Safafa coupled with restrictions on Jewish construction in Givat HaMatos would leave southern neighborhoods strategically cut-off.
“Arab construction without Jewish construction will create Palestinian continuity from Bethlehem all the way to Malha, and it will divide Jerusalem,” Bennett said.
“Givat HaMatos is a strategically important place for the future of Jerusalem, on it hinges the future of a united Jerusalem. The world is hoping to create Palestinian [territorial] continuity from Bethlehem through Beit Jala, through Givat HaMatos, Beit Safafa and all the way up to Malha mall. We, on the other hand, want precisely the opposite: We want to create continuity from Talpiot to Gilo to preserve the unity of Jerusalem.”
The Education Minister called upon the Prime Minister to authorize plans for a large construction project in Givat HaMatos.
“Let Jews build in Jerusalem as well and prevent the division of the city. I believe the Prime Minister will approve this and won’t aid the Palestinian division of the city.”