Israeli Education Minister Limor Livnat said on Tuesday that Israel should “grab the window of opportunity” afforded by disengagement, and build up west Bank settlement Blocs. 

“We are a sovereign nation, I say it clearly”, Livnat said, “We should demand the US not to pressure us on this issue”.

The statements of Livnat came after Israeli governmental and security sources denied reports published by the Israeli media concerning the approval for constructing 3.000 housing units in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

Livnat described evacuating the 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip as a “window of opportunity”, which will enable Israel to build in and around west Bank settlement blocs, especially the E1 project to connect Maali Adumim settlement to Jerusalem.

Also, Livnat said that the US president George W. Bush stated that Israel can expect keeping West Bank settlement blocs under any future peace deal.