MKs, Peace Now activists in West Bank
Photo courtesy of Peace Now
MK Ben-Simon (L) with Barak (Archives)
Photo: Shaul Golan

MKs, leftists tour West Bank outposts

'If outposts are not removed by end of Knesset's summer recess, Labor will reconsider path in coalition," MK Ben-Simon says. Rightist lawmaker in response: He contracted 'Peace Now virus'

Knesset members belonging to the Labor and Meretz parties and activists belonging to the Peace Now movement toured a number of West Bank outposts Tuesday morning.


The tour, attended by MKs Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor), Daniel Ben-Simon (Labor) and Chaim Oron (Meretz), was conducted in protest against the possible legalization of the outposts.


Former lawmakers Zahava Gal-On (Meretz) and Betzalel "Tzali" Reshef (Labor) also took part in the tour.


"I have a promise from (Defense Minister Ehud) Barak to remove the outposts," said Ben-Simon. "If 23 outposts are not removed by the end of the Knesset's summer recess, we will reconsider our path in the coalition."


Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer said during the tour, "The cabinet's ministers are trying to trample the rule of law and force the Justice Ministry to submit false affidavits regarding the outposts to the High Court."


Meretz chairman Oron added that "the battle against the outposts is spearheading the battle against the settlement enterprise and the continued occupation of the territories."


Pines-Paz chose to address Minister Moshe Ya'alon's recent comments against Peace Now, which he referred to as a "virus."


"The attempt to delegitimize Peace Now and other leftist movements is unacceptable," said the Labor MK.


Gal-On criticized Barak, calling his statements regarding the dismantling of the outposts a "deception," while Reshef said "the dozens of outposts located all around are making a mockery of (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu's recent statements regarding a two-state solution."


In response rightist MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) said, "It's a shame that Ben-Simon has also contracted the Peace Now virus.


"The extreme Left's visit to the Givat Haroeh was a provocative act. None of those who participated in the tour mentioned the terror attack that took place here just two weeks ago, in which two teenagers were injured. These tours encourage the Arabs to continue attacking Jewish settlers," he said.


Sources at Barak's office told Ynet" "The defense minister's commitment to evacuating illegal outposts stands firm, as he has said many times in the past. The defense minister reiterates his stance that the outpost evacuation will be carried out within weeks or months.


"This is the Israeli government's commitment and a commitment to ourselves to withhold the law and the abiding norms in a democratic country."


The sources added: "There is no point in setting an exact date for the evacuation. Moves should be carried out without a defined time in order for them to yield the desired results."


פרסום ראשון: 08.25.09, 14:27
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