yaalon begin pic 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon warned Saturday that should the government
rule to demolish the West Bank outpost of Ulpana, Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu's ruling coalition would likely be toppled.
Ulpana neighborhood in the Beit El settlement was built from 2002 to
2008 on land purchased from Palestinians in 2000, but the paper work was
later judged to be unauthentic and the structures there – which house
some 30 apartments – are scheduled for demolition by the end of the
month. Netanyahu, however, is seeking to make
homes in Ulpana an authorized part of Beit El, thus saving them from
Speaking at a cultural event in Beersheba on
Saturday, Ya'alon said "we are a government that is strictly observant
to the rule of law. But we are faced with a problem like that of Ulpana,
which the Defense Ministry and the State Attorney's Office want to
destroy. If the demolition of Ulpana necessitates that the coalition
should be broken up, then let the coalition be broken up," Ya'alon
The strategic affairs minister attacked Defense Minister
Ehud Barak for his handling of settlements, saying he acted according to
his own political agenda, which is not in concert with the rest of the
Ya'alon made the comments a day after fellow Likud
Minister Yisrael Katz visited the neighborhood, saying that the
government should not demolish any Jewish homes in Ulpana.
came here to express clearly that the houses here should not be
destroyed," Katz said in Ulpana, which is nestled in the hills north of
Jerusalem. "The government must amend its position concerning the Ulpana
"There is no doubt that when the government gave
its answer to the Supreme Court it did not consider all the consequences
of that decision," Katz said, referring to the court case in which the
government had promised to evacuate the controversial homes in Ulpana.
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transportation minister - an active proponent of the settlement
movement who most recently spent time in Hebron as the government
planned to evacuate a Jewish home there - said he was working to
establish a ministerial committee that would oversee settlement affairs,
explaining that it would be "a formal body in which ministers can
express their positions."
"The Defense Ministry, of course, will
be part of this [committee] but it will not be determining policy by
itself," he said, reiterating criticism of Barak, who Katz charged was
turning the Defense Ministry into a political tool "at the expense" of
settlers.Herb Keinon contributed to this report.
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