Netanyahu, Barak under fire over Machpelah house eviction (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Attila Somfalvi Published: 04.04.12, 17:19)
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Ministers slam PM, defense minister for misguided handling of Hebron
house affair, suggest decision motivated by personal, political
considerations. ´This policy undermines the coalition´s stability,´
FM Lieberman says
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are
the focus of fierce criticism following the eviction of the Machpelah
house in Hebron on Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said: "The handing of the issue
from start to finish was bad. One cannot use the right of property
claim to evict en entire community established 13 years ago and at
the same time not honor the right of property when it comes to the
purchase of a Hebron house by Jews."
He accused the Defense Ministry of trying to stir up a controversy
and failing to provide security to Israelis living in Judea and
Samaria. "This policy undermines the coalition´s stability. The only
solution which will restore stability will be to transfer all
authorities on Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria to a special
ministerial committee that will aptly reflect the opinion of the
majority of the public and government."
Sources close to Netanyahu said in response: "The coalition is
stable, the eviction was coordinated." Netanyahu himself reportedly
expressed his commitment to the continuation of the settlement in
Judea and Samaria, specifically in Hebron.
Ministers from the Right reproached Defense Minister Barak, who
authorized the eviction. Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Minister Daniel
Hershkowitz compared the move to "poking fingers in the eyes of the
"This is not a battle between law-abiders and lawbreakers, but rather
between those who cherish the settlement project and those who seek
to destroy it," Hershkowitz noted.
"The eviction was motivated by personal political considerations and
against the positions of most government ministers," he said, adding
that "the Israeli society as a whole will be forced to bear the cost."
Minister Limor Livnat called on Netanyahu to "establish a ministerial
committee that will oversee decisions on the Jewish settlement in
Judea and Samaria, as was customary in former governments.
"This will put an end to the improbable situation in which the
defense minister is the sole authority on such decisions," she said.
Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the house said they were promised by
Netanyahu´s staff that there will be no eviction. "We were told that
the prime minister will not let Ehud Barak run the government," one
of the settlers said.
"It turns out that the real boss in the government is Ehud Barak, and
Netanyahu is his submissive servant," said one of the
residents. "Netanyahu´s pledge to stop the eviction was nothing but a
broken promise," he lamented.
One of the women who had been inside the house recounted the
experience. "We were in the middle of Passover cleanings. When we
realized an eviction was happening we shut the doors, but the Yasam
officers broke in and quickly canvassed the rooms. We were presented
with a warrant ordering us to leave the house."
The woman said that there were 15-20 people in the house and that the
officers had pushed and hit some of the residents.
Seeking legal solution
Earlier on Wednesday, Barak and Netanyahu met to discuss the issue.
Barak stressed he was legally committed to an eviction and the prime
minister ordered him to secure the compound after the eviction and
facilitate a legal solution which will allow the settlers to remain
in the house.
The two also discussed the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El and well as
the future of other settlements. At the end of the meeting Netanyahu
and Barak agreed on the Hebron eviction.
During a special cabinet meeting held Wednesday morning, Netanyahu
said he had approached Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein about a
solution to the Ulpana neighborhood to prevent demolition.
He added that he intends to present the government with the necessary
permits for the status of other settlements such as Sansana, Rechelim
Weinstein said in response that it was agreed that the issue will be
reviewed by him before it is brought to the government. He added that
the Beit El issue awaits a High Court ruling. Itamar Fleishman
contributed to this report (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet
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