Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud), and not his new Deputy Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home), will be responsible for approving new construction in Judea and Samaria, a Likud source alleged Sunday.
According to a Haaretz report on Monday, Ben-Dahan is scheduled to meet with Ya'alon in the coming days to discuss his duties, but the power to approve construction will not be one of them.
Lack of control over building from within the Defense Ministry would leave Jewish Home with very little to show on its core policy issue of Jewish construction.
Kulanu controls the Housing Ministry, and Jewish Home's coalition agreement with Likud does not include a clause on construction in Judea and Samaria or Jerusalem.
The one thing the agreement does promise – increased state funding for the World Zionist Organization's Settlement Division – was ruled impossible to implement by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein last week.
Although Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has given Jewish Home the deputy defense minister post along with control of the Civil Administration in Judea-Samaria, if new construction will still require Ya'alon's approval, the post loses almost all of its value.
The Left has already begun pushing on Ya'alon to retain full control of construction with MK Omer Bar-Lev (Zionist Union) urging him not to transfer any powers to Ben-Dahan, whose appointment he described as a “substantive, diplomatic and public relations catastrophe.”