'Evacuation of Homesh settlement may be final nail in government's coffin'

A coalition official warns if Defense Minister Benny Gantz decides to okay the clear-out of dismantled settlement, right-wing government members will not have a choice but to topple it; decision set to be made by next week

Yuval Karni|
A coalition official warned Wednesday if the dismantled settlement of Homesh will be evacuated as ordered by the court, it will be the final nail in the coffin of the ramshackle government.
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  • The official told Ynet if Defense Minister Benny Gantz does not appeal the decision of the Supreme Court and goes ahead with the evacuation, the right-wing members of the coalition will have no choice but to resign from the government, effectively triggering its dissolution.
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    בני גנץ בנאומו במליאת הכנסת
    בני גנץ בנאומו במליאת הכנסת
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz
    (Photo: Knesset Channel)
    In the past 24 hours, senior coalition members, including Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and MK Nir Orbach from the Yamina party, have been in contact with Gantz ahead of his appeal to the court, which has to be submitted by next week.
    According to coalition officials, MK Orbach has said behind closed doors that evacuation of the settlement would be a "red line" for the right-wing elements in the government.
    "Those who are familiar with Orbach know such an event will surely lead to his withdrawal," a coalition official said. Orbach refused to immediately comment on the remarks.
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    הועדה המסדרת ניר אורבך
    הועדה המסדרת ניר אורבך
    MK Nir Orbach from the Yamina party
    (Photo: Knesset's spokesperson)
    Gantz has apparently not made a decision on which position to take during his appeal, and sources within his political party argued that some of the threats from the Right were intended to try and influence his final choice.
    In his appeal to the court, Gantz can potentially back the immediate evacuation of Homesh, in which case the coalition will likely fall apart. However, the defense minister also has the option of ordering the evacuation without setting a timeline, thus buying some time and avoiding a political crisis.
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    פינוי מאחז חומש
    פינוי מאחז חומש
    Dismantling of an illegal building in Homesh settlement
    (Photo: Yeshivat Homesh)
    A Blue & White member accused Tuesday the Yemina party of deliberately hinting at coalition's demise in the event the Homesh is evacuated, thus making Gantz responsible for the government's overthrow.
    Some coalition officials claimed Tuesday that the crisis over the settlement significant, but at the same time, senior members of the right-wing party are negotiating with Gantz to try and reach an agreement on the issue.
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