Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar slammed on Tuesday Defense Minister Ehud Barak over his "detrimental" policies in the West Bank. Speaking at a meeting of Likud ministers, Sa'ar proposed legislating a new law that would prevent the demolition of houses in the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El, which the court ordered the state to tear down by April.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he intends to have the government legalize the status of three settlements in Mount Hebron and Judea and Samaria: Sansana, Bruchin and Rechelim.
- Police evacuate Machpelah house PM: Legalize status of 3 settlements
- Settlers gear up for next eviction
Ministers Yuval Steinitz, Yisrael Katz, Silvan Shalom and Coalition Chairman MK Zeev Elkin also leveled criticism at Barak, the Finance Minister saying that "if this would have happened within the Green Line, they would not demolish a neighborhood in Ramat-Aviv."
'Doubt regarding Barak's decisions'
Minister Katz addressed Netanyahu and urged him to appoint a ministerial committee to deal with the settlements. "There is a need for an official body that can hold organized discussions, just like there was one in the past.
"After the eviction of Machpelah house (in Hebron), there is doubt regarding Barak's decisions, which might stem from political interests, intentionally meant to defy the government.
"The Civil Administration's announcement on the eviction of Ulpana neighborhood is a political and dangerous announcement that must be overturned," he added.
The prime minister said he examined the issue, which involves complex legal questions. Netanyahu added that demolishing houses in the neighborhood will constitute a harsh decree that the public won't be able to handle, and that the alternative solutions are being examined.
Meanwhile, Minister Benny Begin came out in defense of the legal system and Minister Barak, saying that during the past year many building permits were issued in the West Bank, and thousands of new residents moved into the area.
The settlement of Rechalim was established in 1991 as an ideological outpost, after two settlers were murdered in a terrorist attack nearby. Rechalim is situated between Tapuach Junction and the settlement of Eli, and is home to more than 50 families.
Sansana is situated on the Green Line between Mount Hevron and the Negev. Established as an outpost in 1996, the community now houses more than 50 families.
Bruchin was established in 1999 in West Samaria, near Road 5. The settlement houses some 100 families.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop