Right wing denounces Netanyahu, Ya'alon for West Bank settler evictions

Ze'ev Elkin, who holds the title of Jerusalem affairs minister, released a statement on Tuesday "condemning the nighttime evacuation of Beit El settlers."

July 28, 2015 08:37
2 minute read.

Violent clashes between settlers, police in Beit El

Violent clashes between settlers, police in Beit El


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The pro-settler Right was unanimous in roundly condemning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Tuesday morning just hours after dozens of youths were forcibly evicted from an illegally built house in the West Bank settlement of Beit El.

Ze'ev Elkin, who holds the title of Jerusalem affairs minister, released a statement on Tuesday "condemning the nighttime evacuation of Beit El settlers."

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"I call on the defense minister to devote efforts not in removing settlers but in completing the authorization process of the buildings and advancing plans for the new neighborhood," Elkin said.

"As we mark a decade since the painful and disastrous expulsion of settlers from Gush Katif and northern Samaria, the time has come to build, not to destroy," he said.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett said he spoke with Netanyahu, demanding clarifications as to whether the authorities plan to raze the disputed buildings.

"Ten years since the Gaza disengagement, someone forgot that this time the nationalist camp has public and political strength," Bennett said. "The defense minister has been dragged into extreme precincts. Instead of bringing calm on the ground, he is inciting tensions."

"The time has come for a nationalist government to lead with the ideology for which it was elected instead of the path of the left," the education minister said.

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, who heads the hardline Tekuma Party, a faction within Bennett's Bayit Yehudi, hinted in an interview with Israel Radio that the Beit El episode could trigger his exit from the coalition, which would leave the Netanyahu government without a majority in parliament.

"Something quite terrible is happening here," Ariel told Israel Radio. "On the one hand, the defense minister violated a promise he made that there would be no building demolitions. On the other hand, the prime minister is in charge, and all of this is happening under his watch."

"I know that [Netanyahu] is well-versed in the details of what took place this morning and I hope that he will deal with it," Ariel said.

"To flagrantly use violence in such a manner is a horrible mistake and it is unforgivable," he said. "The party will confer today and decide what to do. This is not something with which we can reconcile."

When it was suggested to Ariel that the evacuation was not a serious enough reason to dismantle the coalition, the minister replied: "I would not agree with that assessment."

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