Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday said his party, Yisrael Beiteinu, would block any attempt by the Israeli government to institute a settlement construction freeze in the West Bank, citing a 2010 settlement freeze as evidence of the futility of such a move.
“After that 10-month freeze, which we agreed to, after the time was up and there were no results, I said I would oppose any attempt [to declare] a freeze, inside the settlement blocs and outside them,” Lieberman said, according to the Times of Israel. “We’re prepared to make gestures, but they can’t only be one-sided and Israeli. All of Yisrael Beiteinu will starkly oppose any attempt to reinstitute a [settlement] freeze,” Lieberman said in a press conference.
Lieberman’s party is currently part of a joint faction with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, but rumblings that the two could split reached a crescendo Sunday with a report by Israel’s Channel 10 that the parties were in fact splitting. However, on Monday Lieberman denied the report, saying that it is “not the agenda,” and that “There are those in Likud that are dissatisfied with the unification of the factions as well, but we have time to think things over during holiday break, and only after that will we consolidate out stance.”