West Bank Construction Resumes as Building Freeze Ends


west-bank-ariel-settlementsResidents of the large settlement of Ariel awoke today to the noises of construction, a sound they had not heard for 10 months. At around 8 a.m., bulldozers began leveling the ground on the southeastern side of the town in preparation for a new neighborhood consisting of 50 housing units.

The neighborhood will be home to dozens of families evacuated from the Gaza settlement of Netzarim in 2005, who currently reside in caravans on a nearby hillside.

“We are here by right and not on sufferance,” Itzik Vazana, a former resident of Netzarim who was severely injured in a terror attack in Gaza 14 years ago, told Ynet.

“The Green Line (1967 border) is virtual and political. As evidence, you can see that the other side is not even capable of saying the words: A Jewish nation state’,” he added. “These talks are just a show waiting to collapse.”

Vazana and his fellow evacuees have been living in dilapidated caravans since leaving their Gaza homes, but he says Ariel’s residents accepted them with open arms. Regarding the construction freeze that has been preventing them from building permanent residences, Vazana says it only incurred more pressure on Israel.

“I hope the prime minister continues to be true to his word and facilitates a return to normal life,” he added.