Defense Minister Amir Peretz's decision to evacuate illegal outposts in the West Bank raised to ire of Israel Our Home leader and right-wing politician Avigdor Lieberman who labeled the move as "provocation."
Peretz ordered the Israel Defense Forces on Thursday to draw a plan for the immediate evacuation of illegal outposts set up by settlers across the West Bank.
Tension has been high between the two politicians, following talks between Lieberman and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert over the possibility of Israel Our Home joining the government and warnings by Peretz that Labor would leave the coalition should Lieberman join in.
"That's an irresponsible act of a man who sacrifices national interests for the sake of personal interests," Lieberman said of Peretz's decision. "If he were eager to implement the law, he would prevent illegal constructions in the Negev and the Galilee," said Lieberman in reference to illegal construction in Israeli Arab communities.
"Is there someone who doesn't understand that the issue of outposts is a provocation? It is not about enforcing the law. Peretz is a small man and his evaluations are petty. We will act according to straight and logical principles," Lieberman said.
Asked about his meeting with Olmert and reports that he would be given the defense portfolio should his party join the coalition, Lieberman said: "We didn't discuss portfolios … until we discuss the issue of changing the system of governance. I heard a lot of talk in the media. At the moment our evaluation are influence by two issues: stability of the political system and the Iranian issue … It's to live or cease to exist."