Liberman: PM is fake Right, won’t raze Khan al-Ahmar

The former defense minister spoke as he stood on a hilltop outside the herding village of tents and shacks that is located just off Route 1, next to the Kfar Adumim settlement.

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January 1, 2019 14:40
2 minute read.
Liberman: PM is fake Right, won’t raze Khan al-Ahmar

Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman at a hilltop overlooking Khan al-Ahmar. . (photo credit: Courtesy)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a “fake Right” leader who has caved to Palestinian threats by handing millions in cash in Hamas in Gaza and failing to take down the illegal Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, Yisrael Beytenu Party head Avigdor Liberman said on Tuesday.

The former defense minister spoke as he stood on a hilltop outside the herding village of tents and shacks that is located just off Route 1, next to the Kfar Adumim settlement.
He chose the hilltop to make a political statement, Liberman said, because the village’s continued existence was a testament to Netanyahu’s inability to halt Palestinian Authority’s takeover of Area C of the West Bank.

It also illustrates Netanyahu’s failure to keep his promise to remove Khan al-Ahmar by the end of 2018, Liberman said, as he challenged the prime minister to demolish the encampment that is home to more than 40 families.

“It is now the first day of January 2019,” Liberman said adding that Khan al-Ahmar was still standing “and no one has plans to remove it.”

When he was defense minister, Liberman said, he had planned to forcibly remove the village on the nights of October 20 and 21.

But on the 19th of that month, he received a letter from Netanyahu with order to delay the evacuation. On October 21, the cabinet decided to delay the evacuation for a number of weeks and that most certainly by the end of the year it would be removed.

The only reason the Khan al-Ahmar residents want to remain at this site, which is dangerously close to the highway, is because the Palestinian Authority has warned that they will be treated as if they were traitors, Liberman said.

Tents were placed at the site in the 1970s, Liberman said, but it became a village only around 1988.

“No one dealt with it, until I entered the Defense Ministry,” he said.

He added that similarly, Netanyahu had prevented him from demolishing the illegal Palestinian village of Sussiya in the South Hebron Hills.

Separately, he said, the security cabinet is expected to expand the permissible fishing limits for Gaza fisherman. As a Christmas present, Netanyahu also plans to approve an additional $15 million in cash for Hamas, Liberman said. He noted that this was the third payment of $15 million to be handed to Hamas in the last three years.

Qatar has donated the funds for Hamas through a mechanism worked out between the United Nations and Israel that bypasses the Palestinian Authority.

“It is important to remember all this when speaking of who really represents the Right,” Liberman said. “Anyone who caves to terror is the fake Right. The true right is Yisrael Beytenu.”

Netanyahu’s political spokesperson said he had no response to Liberman’s statements, which were issued while the prime minister was in Brazil.

In October, International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda issued a statement in which she warned that the forced demolition of Khan al-Ahmar could be considered a war crime.


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