Likud split over settlement regulation bill (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Moran Azulay Published: 06.05.12, 13:39)
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Controversy over Beit El´s Ulpana neighborhood threatens ruling
party; as some MKs say they may breach party discipline during bill´s
reading, vote according to their conscience
The growing controversy surrounding the impending eviction of the
Ulpana neighborhood in the West Bank settlement of Beit El is
threatening to seriously rattle the Likud.
Party sources told Ynet Tuesday of an ideological spilt between those
supporting the High Court-ordered eviction of five houses in the
neighborhood, and those who oppose it.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposes the bill, which aims to
circumvent the court´s ruling. The PM wants the legislation quashed
and has therefore imposed party discipline on all Likud ministers,
ordering them to enter a nay vote.
Those supporting the bill include Knesset members Danny Danon, Tzipi
Hotovely, Gila Gamliel, Miri Regev, Yariv Levin and Coalition
Chairman Zeev Elkin.
Gamliel said that "this is a matter of conscience and I will treat it
as such"; while Elkin called voting down the bill "a grave mistake."
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin is also expected to support the bill.
He too said that in his opinion, Likud Knesset members should be
allowed to vote according to their conscience.
The bill, originally meant to regulate the status of the illegal West
Bank outpost of Migron, stipulates that unless a Palestinian land
owner petitions the court to appeal alleged illegal construction
within four years of its discovery, the buildings in questions will
be left as-is.
The bill, however, aims to protect areas housing neighborhoods
numbering 20 housing units or more, while Ulpana numbers five.
Senior Likud sources said the there is a clear majority in the party
in favor of the bill and that the party´s MKs feel as if their hands
Among those who support the bill but are likely to adhere to
Netanyahu´s order are Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, Minister of Public
Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein and Transportation
Minister Yisrael Katz.
Political sources said that the spilt within the Likud "has created
two parties. This bill has unearthed huge gaps in the Likud
concerning key issues." (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 06/05/12)
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