Avigdor Lieberman
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Lieberman: Machpelah house affair mishandled

Yisrael Beiteinu chair government approach to issue of settlers in Hebron house wrong; may have 'negative effect on Coalition'

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned Tuesday that the government's handling of the Machpelah house affair may have a negative effect on the Coalition.


Tuesday afternoon noted a standoff between security forces and the settlers who have taken up residents at the Hebron premises.


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Defense Minister Ehud Barak's order to evict the settlers has evoked criticism from the Right, and the matter has been clouded further by the settlers' disregard of a Civil Administration writ ordering them to evict the house by 3 pm.


"This matter was handled badly, especially in light of what is happening in Migron. As far as the Coalition is concerned this was a serious mistake – and I'm being diplomatic," Lieberman said.


Speaking at a Passover toast held by Yisrael Beiteinu, Lieberman said that his party "has gone to great lengths to preserve all of the coalitional frameworks intact. And it wasn't easy."


The foreign minister noted that "there is a dissonance between the government's dealings with illegal West Bank outpost of Migron and the Machpelah house.


"Migron a community with dozens of families and they are evicted over ownership. In Hebron – the (settlers) are being evicted despite their ownership.


"If the right is the same, the defense minister can't make groundless decisions, not in the cabinet and not in the government."


Turning his attention to security issues, Lieberman said that "Iran and Syria pose a threat to the international community. It's not just the nuclear program  and it's not just the massive support they lend terror – the message coming out of Tehran is unacceptable."


Lieberman also used the opportunity to take another jab at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: "Calling Abu Mazen 'a man of peace' is calling 'white' 'black' and vice versa.


"He has avoided responsibility his whole life. He'll never quit, he'll just keep whining and complaining and extorting money form Israel. It's time to reevaluate the matter and take up a new approach.


"Even if we agree to the 1967 borders the situation with Gaza would still be very similar – and we know how things look over there," he said.



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פרסום ראשון: 04.03.12, 21:00
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