The decision rescinded a previous decision of the Rabin government when it reinstated social and economic parity between the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and other developing areas of Israel. The government held that this resolution was fully consistent with the Oslo agreements which did not restrict or prohibited establishment or expansion of Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The decision did not call for the establishment of new settlements or change Israels policy on private land requisition. Following is the background for the governments decision:
The Government of Israels decision on 13 December 1996 to restore National Priority A status to the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria put an end to four years of social and economic discrimination.
The Governments decision is intended to reinstate social and economic parity between the Jewish communities and other developing areas of the country. Thus, for example, educators traveling to teach children in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria will once again be subsidized by the government, as they were prior to 1992. These communities will now enjoy the same benefits as do those in the Jordan Valley, the Golan, the Gaza District and parts of the Negev and Galilee.
Consistent With Oslo
The Governments decision is fully consistent with the agreements signed by Israel and the Palestinians. Neither the Declaration of Principles of 13 September 1993 nor the Interim Agreement (Oslo II) of 28 September 1995 contains any provisions prohibiting or restricting the establishment or expansion of Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Indeed, when he presented the Oslo II accords before the Knesset on 5 October 1995, the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin stated, "I wish to remind you, we made a commitment, meaning we reached an agreement, we made a commitment to the Knesset not to uproot any settlement in the framework of the Interim Agreement, nor to freeze construction and natural growth."
While there is a clause in the accords which prohibits changing the status of the territories, it was intended to ensure only that neither side would take unilateral measures to alter the legal status of the areas (such as annexation or declaration of statehood).
No Change in Land Policy
The government decision does not call for the establishment of new settlements, nor does it affect Israels strict policy not to requisition private land for the establishment of settlements. Housing construction is allowed only on public land after an exhaustive investigation has confirmed that no private rights exist regarding the land in question.
Sending a Message to Terrorists
Jewish communities have flourished in Judea, Samaria and Gaza for thousands of years. The aim of terrorists is to instill fear among the residents of these communities and uproot them. The Government means to ensure that the terrorists will not achieve their goal.