Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Netanyahu: Despite critisism - No Building Restriction in Capital

(CBN ). The government of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will not limit building in Jerusalem, despite harsh criticism from the Obama administration, the British government and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The most recent "crisis" arose over the government's approval of 900 new housing units in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, home to 40,000 Israelis.

"The American administration's position on Jewish construction in Jerusalem is a symptom of its policy in general and on the Arab-Israeli conflict in particular," former Israeli embassy liaison to Congress Yoram Ettinger told CBN News.

"It's symptomatic of a goal to clip Israel's wings morally, strategically and territorially," he said.

"My hope is that the present Israeli government will adopt the legacy of former prime ministers [David] Ben-Gurion, [Levi] Eshkol and [Golda] Meir, who responded to unjust American pressure by furthering construction in Jerusalem neighborhoods," he said.

The Netanyahu government issued a statement on the building in Gilo.

"The Gilo neighborhood is an integral part of Jerusalem, just like Ramot Eshkol, Rehavia, French Hill and Pisgat Ze'ev," the statement read.

"There is broad national consensus on the matter. The construction in Gilo has been going on for decades, and there is nothing new in the current planning and construction procedures," the Prime Minister's Office stated.