In an official letter written to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman demanded the establishment of a new committee to examine what he referred to as illegal Palestinian construction in Area C.
Area C refers to all West Bank territories under full Israeli control.
Lieberman such a committee should also be set up to examine the "illegal construction by Bedouins in the Negev and Israeli-Arabs in the Galilee region".
Lieberman's demand came just a few hours after Vice Premier Haim Ramon, chairman of the ministerial committee responsible for illegal outposts, determined that only the prime minister, defense minister (Ehud Barak) and the chief of staff have the authority to order the evacuation of 26 illegal West Bank outposts that were set up during former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's term in 2001.
"According to certain reports, Palestinian construction in Area C is far greater in scope than the unauthorized outposts, and especially worrying is the illegal building along bypass roads in the West Bank, which endangers the Jewish residents' lives," Lieberman's letter read.
The strategic affairs minister said he believed the new committee should be headed by Talia Sasson, who wrote the Sasson Report on illegal outposts.
Lieberman's aides said in a statement that the minister regrets the fact that those who wish to evacuate the outposts "are preoccupying themselves with an issue that pertains to Jews only while ignoring the war on terror which is a core issue that has not been dealt with.
"The minister does not want to harm the authority of the prime minister and the defense minister … He just wants to prevent another schism in the nation as was the case during the disengagement," they said.