Netanyahu to ministers: Lower media profile on future of West Bank outpost (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Ophir Bar-Zohar and Haaretz 04/23/12)
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked his cabinet on Sunday to
lower the media profile of a debate on the future of the West Bank
outpost of Ulpana, just as a chief minister pledged to find a
solution that would leave its residents in place.
The future of the contentious neighborhood of the West Bank
settlement of Beit El prompted several heated statements by chief
Netanyahu ministers over the weekend.
On Saturday, aides to Defense Minister Ehud Barak released a
statement accusing two cabinet members, Transportation Minister
Yisrael Katz and Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya´alon of adopting the
rhetoric of the extreme right in their objection to a possible move
to evacuate Ulpana.
Speaking during the weekly meeting of Likud ministers in Jerusalem on
Sunday, Netanyahu, ostensibly referring to the heated media debate,
instructed cabinet ministers to lower their media profile, saying
that a solution to the issue will be reached.
However, immediately following the meeting, chief minister and Vice
Prime Minister Silvan Shalom released a statement on his Facebook
page, saying that "the settlement flag is the central flag of the
Likud movement, and the evacuation of settlements is simply out of
"Solutions should be found like compensating land owners, if that is
required, or legislation. We will continue to act in a manner which
leaves the neighborhood in place and the settlers in their homes,"
the statement added.
Speaking earlier Sunday to Army Radio, Vice Prime Minister Moshe
Ya´alon criticized what he said was Barak´s politically motivated
move to evacuate Ulpana, saying that "those who hide behind the rule
of law harm the rule of law."
"I hope the prime minister will find an adequate solution that won´t
impair the rule of law and the authority of the Israeli government,"
On Friday, on a visit to Ulpana, Katz expressed support for the
settlers and criticized the defense minister. "If Barak acts against
the government´s stance, the prime minister will have an obligation
to fire him," said the transportation minister, adding, "He took the
Defense Ministry and turned it into a political tool at the expense
of the settlers. There are other means of gathering votes."
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the State
Prosecutor’s Office to examine whether a request can be lodged with
the High Court to further delay the evacuation order. (© Copyright
2012 Ha´aretz 04/23/12)
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