The evacuation of the Ulpana neighborhood in the West Bank settlement Beit El would lead to a coalition crisis and may result in the government's dissolution, Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya'alon said Saturday.
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"We said we wouldn't evacuate the neighborhood. Should this happen - the government will be dissolved," the minister told a cultural forum in Beersheba.
Addressing Ehud Barak's policy vis-à-vis the West Bank, Ya'alon said the defense minister "has a different agenda. Regretfully, he is responsible for the (Jewish) settlement in the West Bank.
"In my opinion, the settlers who occupied the Machpelah house (in Hebron) could have been convinced to evacuate the premises through dialogue. They were willing to evacuate. There was no need to send the special police force, but the defense minister insisted – and then we heard people saying that now the leftist camp knows who its leader is," the minister said.
Ya'alon continued to accuse Barak of being driven by political considerations, saying that a poll published after (the Machpelah evacuation) indicated that the defense minister's Independence Party would cross the electoral threshold.
Addressing the possible evacuation of Ulpana, the minister said, "We have declared that the neighborhood should not be evacuated. Those who reside there are completely normative, and suddenly people are complaining against them because a Palestinian claims to be the land's owner.
"We said we would not clear the neighborhood. If we do, the government will fall," Ya'alon warned.