Minister: Jerusalem Will Never Again Be Divided

Netanyahu at same Jerusalem Day ceremony: 'We are dedicated to the construction, development and prosperity of our capital.'

Jonathan Lis
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Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel.
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel. Credit: Eyal Toueg
Jonathan Lis

Housing Minister Uri Ariel said on the eve of Jerusalem Day that there won't be any more freezes on construction in Jerusalem or the West Bank. 

"We will not come to terms with the delays and restrictions [on construction] in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, and we will continue to build in all parts of our land," Ariel said at a Jerusalem Day ceremony at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva on Tuesday night.

"Jerusalem will never again be divided. Between the Jordan River and the sea, there will be only one state –the State of Israel," Ariel said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke first at the ceremony, said Jerusalem will remain forever united. "Jerusalem was reunified as a singular entity 47 years ago. That's how it has been and that's how it will remain forever," Netanyahu said. "We are dedicated to the construction, development and prosperity of our capital, Jerusalem. We will never divide our heart," the prime minister said.

Ariel also related to the revival of a proposal for a Basic Law that would define Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. "We are facing many challenges [regarding religion and state] and will do our best to ensure this is a Jewish state. We are committed to helping the world of Torah without any differences between national religious and ultra-Orthodox. This is why we were elected."

Ariel's comments come a few days after his party's chairman, Habayit Hayehudi head Naftali Bennett, called on the government to apply Israeli law in the territories occupied in 1967. Bennett said earlier this week that he supports unilateral action in the West Bank, something Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he is considering.

We are pushing for the unilateral imposition of Israeli law on Gush Etzion, Ariel, the Jordan Valley Ma'aleh Adumim, Ofra, Alfei Menashe, the Ben Gurion belt, Shomron, Judea and Jewish settlement," Bennett wrote on his Facebook page. "I will continue to push for that with all my strength until it happens. And it will happen."