Finance Minister and head of Kulanu Moshe Kahlon called for increased building in Jerusalem and Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria in the wake of the recent spate of terror attacks.
Opening a Kulanu party meeting, Kahlon first spoke about the murders of Hallel-Yaffa Ariel, 13, in Kiryat Arba and Rabbi Michael Mark of Otniel.
"The murder of a girl in her sleep and the act of shooting at passing cars both have one purpose–to spread fear and terror and to cause people to leave their homes," said Kahlon, "We must make it clear to these murderers: The future of Judea and Samaria will not be determined by violence and murder, but only by negotiations."
"This is the time to make it sharply clear to the other side–terror will not uproot anyone. And we must not leave it at mere words. We have no choice but to build now, and to build a lot."
The Finance Minister recounted some of his activities aimed at facilitating a shift in policy vis-a-vis building new homes. "Over the weekend I contacted the Prime Minister and urged him to lift the construction freeze in Jerusalem. We need to tell the truth–Jerusalem is suffering from a 'silent freeze' in the past few years. This freeze, while not receiving much public attention, causes young couples to leave the city. It causes demographic changes that are quite undesirable, and it is part of the reason for the housing crisis."
"Jerusalem has fallen prey to the theory that construction freezes serve Israeli interests–this theory is mistaken," Kahlon claimed, "We freeze, they incite. We freeze and they murder. I support the Prime Minister's decision to build in Ma'ale Adumim [a Judea suburb of Jerusalem], and I hope the decision is carried out. I asked the Prime Minister to restore authority over planning and construction to the Jerusalem local and district authorities."
"The Finance Ministry and the Housing and Construction Ministry are working as hard as they can to solve the nationwide housing crisis. It hurts to see that in Jerusalem specifically the planning and construction committees have their hands tied and can't operate," Kahlon added, "we need to shift gears and begin building in Jerusalem for the sake of all its residents – the sooner the better."