Government ministers and deputy ministers who vote for the Knesset bills
on Wednesday to retroactively legalize unauthorized Jewish construction
in the settlements, including the Ulpana outpost, will be fired, Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made clear Tuesday, after deciding that the
government will oppose the bill.
Netanyahu said during a meeting
in his office that the country has major challenges ahead -- such as
passing a budget, getting all segments of society to equally share the
country's burdens, and dealing with the problem of migrants.
The prime minister stated that only a united and disciplined government will be able to deal with those issues.
last week has seen an escalation in the political right's attempts to
pressure Likud ministers and MKs to vote for the bills, including hunger
strikes, marches, rallies and campaigns to drown politicians in text
messages on the issue.
Previously, Foreign Minister
Avigdor Liberman and Interior Minister Eli Yishai, as well as many Likud
MKs had come out publicly in favor of the bills.
Netanyahu treated the issue carefully, suggesting various compromises
and highlighting his overall supportive position towards building new
settlements in the West Bank.
But ultimately, with the vote,
coming Wednesday, it appears that Netanyahu decided that he must use
stronger political tools in his power to guarantee a majority vote
against the bills which he opposes.