Netanyahu: I will fire any minister who votes to legalize Ulpana homes (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Barak Ravid 06/06/12)
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a sharp warning to
government ministers on Tuesday, threatening that anyone who votes
for a bill to legalize homes on the settlement of Ulpana Hill, which
was built on privately-owned Palestinian land, will be fired.
The Prime Minister´s Office has begun updating ministers on Tuesday
that Netanyahu decided that the government position is to oppose a
bill that would authorize settlement construction on privately-owned
Officials in Netanyahu´s office said that the significance of the
message was that ministers and deputy ministers could not vote for
"We cannot operate a country in this manner," Netanyahu said. "We
have major national challenges ahead of us – such as the advancement
of a new enlistment law, the approval of the annual budget, and
handling the African migrants. Only a united government could manage
Absorption Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) and Information Minister
Daniel Hershkovitz (Habayit Hayehudi) announced that they intend on
supporting the bill, even if they will be fired.
On Tuesday evening, Netanyahu will meet with Attorney General Yehuda
Weinstein regarding the evacuation of five homes in the Ulpana Hill
neighborhood in the West Bank settlement of Beit El. The main point
of discussion will be Weinstein´s opinion regarding the legality of
Netanyahu´s plan of relocating the Ulpana homes to an Israel Defense
Forces base in Beit El, and the construction of 300 new housing units
on the base.
According to senior Likud ministers and officials in Netanyahu´s
bureau, Weinstein is expected to give the go-ahead to Netanyahu´s
Weinstein´s likely support for the plan to relocate the settlers
reportedly stems from his disapproval of the bill to legalize the
Weinstein believes a major battle with the High Court of Justice
would erupt if such legislation were to go forward.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said at a conference in Eilat on
Monday that he wanted to know Weinstein´s decision before he decides
how his Yisrael Beiteinu faction will vote on the bill.
Lieberman said he hoped "another reasonable solution" would arise,
and if not, "the only thing left to do would be to approve a bill"
legalizing the status of the Ulpana neighborhood.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai, meanwhile, announced he would support
However, sources close to the prime minister said both Shas and
Yisrael Beiteinu had left themselves a way out so they could oppose
the bill if Netanyahu pressured them. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz
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