Following criticism by the prime minister and ministers, and following reports in Israel Hayom about Netanyahu's harsh attacks, the Israel Land Authority (ILA) circulated a letter this morning among the government ministers explaining the policy it is adopting in national priority areas. The letter was signed by Housing Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf. His aide personally distributed the letter among the ministers at the cabinet meeting.
Although Godelknopf took office six months ago, in a letter he takes responsibility for the policy of the ILA over the past two years and even presents the achievements of today under the previous government, as if they were during his time.
"Doing everything possible to increase the supply of land." Israel Land Authority, photo: Oren Ben Hakon
"The Israel Land Authority, headed by me, is doing everything in its power to increase the supply of land, and in the past two years has exceeded the targets set for it by tens of percent," writes the housing minister. The letter does not explicitly mention the issues of drying up Jewish settlement in the Galilee, but presents the steps taken by the Israel Authority in this area.
In the letter, Goodknopf implicitly attacks Netanyahu, and directly Finance Minister Smotrich. He writes that "it would be good because if there are baseless accusations by various partners in the government against the Israel Land Authority, the entire government, and especially the Minister of Finance, who constitutes a major barrier to execution, will be harnessed. There is no place, let alone logic, in the empty claims that have been heard recently that cast doubt on the conduct of the authority and its motives."
Netanyahu. Want to set the policy himself, photo: Jonathan Zindel/Flash 90
Goldknopf also blames the settlement elements in the Galilee for the fact that Jewish settlements are not growing. "Misgav has about 4,000 housing units planned, which have not yet been marketed despite repeated requests by the Israel Authority to accelerate marketing. Attempts by the Israel Land Authority to expand the settlements in recent years have met with fierce opposition from the communities and the Council for the Expansion of the Settlements."
"Exclusive authority of the ILA Council"
Goldknopf confirms in the letter that the ILA intends to decide independently on the policy it will adopt in the national priority areas, even before the completion of the work of the inter-ministerial team established by the government. He emphasizes in the letter that "decision-making regarding land discounts is under the exclusive authority of the Israel Land Council, which, as stated, is composed of representatives of the government and the Jewish National Fund."
Minister Goldknopf, Photo: Jonathan Shaul
According to him, if the government asks to make changes to the decisions, they will be brought before the ILA Council. The letter comes after Israel Today exposed the harsh attacks by Netanyahu and the ministers on the Israel Land Authority and accusations that as a result of its policy, Israel is losing its Jewish hold on the Galilee.
As early as next week, the ILA Council intends to independently determine the policy it will implement in the national priority areas in the area of housing, but Netanyahu defined the issue as a "national security issue" and demanded that the policy be determined himself. The government set up a team of ministers to discuss the issue, and it has only just begun its work.
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