Photo: Yair Sagi
Photo: Yair Sagi

Lieberman warns Regulation Law endangers settlements

Defense minister says recently ratified law to retroactively legalize government-backed West Bank outposts is not conducive to strengthening Jewish presence; '10,000 Palestinian homes will be legalized, while only 2,000 Jewish homes will be.'

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman lashed out Tuesday against the recently ratified Regulation Law which retroactively legalizes government-backed outposts in the West Bank, warning that it “causes tremendous damage to, and sabotages communities in Judea and Samaria.”



Lieberman’s comments were made in reference to the advancing of of the required process designed to retroactively legalize buildings constructed on private Palestinian land.


The bill passed its second and third Knesset reading last February, making way parties on the Right to head a campaign to grant official state recognition to outposts in the area around which legal ambiguity existed.


“As a result of the law 10,000 Palestinian homes in Area C will be legalized and only 2,000 homes belonging to Jewish communities,” Lieberman said during a press tour of the West Bank.


Avigdor Lieberman (Photo: Motti Kimchi) (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Avigdor Lieberman (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

Addressing the international community’s reaction to the law, particularly the US’s, Lieberman stressed that he had adopted a totally open and frank position and that while disagreements did exist, no confrontation had surfaced.


“I have a policy of a game with all cards shown to the Americans. I don’t hide anything. They don’t always agree but it doesn’t cause a diplomatic crisis,” he told his listeners.


He went on to launch into the Hilltop Youth, denouncing them as “idiots and disturbed. Some of them are absolute anarchists. They have caused severe damage. The most serious damage are the terror attacks that they committed. When they burn families or a Palestinian boy it damages the communities (in the area). It delegitimizes the entire settlement enterprise.”


He also expressed his support for the administrative detention decrees for some of the group’s members.


“Dealing with them starts in the education system, but I have no problem signing administrative detention orders for these gangs,” he said, adding that the number of people belonging to the organization was on “significantly” on the decline.


Lieberman also addressed the numerous construction battles currently underway in the West Bank, one of which concerns the outpost of Sde Boaz in Gush Etzion, from which the High Court ordered four houses be vacated.


“Anyone who builds in a partisan fashion cause us serious damage,” he charged. “In Sde Boaz there is a problem with four houses and the other 40 are absolutely fine. The four houses were built in a partisan fashion. We are not talking about destroying an entire community. Don’t preach to me about building in Judea and Samaria.”


Regarding the delays in the building of the new Amichai settlement that was supposed to be established for evacuees of the Amona outpost, Lieberman reiterated his opposition to his ministry’s invovlement in the first place.


“It’s no secret that we, as a ministry, objected to being part of the establishment of the community. The Defense Ministry doesn’t establish communities. The moment we found a place in the territory it was no longer in our hands. At the moment, discussions are being held with the Ministry of Housing and Interior.”


Asked about the legality of building in the West Bank, Lieberman emphasized that the Civil Administration was plagued by a manpower shortage, which was therefore not sufficiently equipped to deal with, or provide answers to, the legion of petitions and legal discussions.


Amona evacuation (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Amona evacuation (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


“There are today more than 400 appeals through the High Court of Justice, more than 120 of which are against Jews and another 300 against illegal Palestinian construction,” he said. “We are trying to look for another solution in order to cope with the matter more thoroughly.”


The central issue which is most disconcerting for the residents in the West Bank is the budgeting for security components in the communities, particularly in light of the deadly terror attacks which have taken place in the area in recent years and months.


But Lieberman was keen to point out statistics demonstrating his commitment to the security of the residents. According to him, the cost of improving the security apparatus stands at 3 billion shekels.


“It is at the top of our priorities at the moment,” he promised, before pointing out that since he took office as the defense minister, the number of terror attacks had notably declined, while the budget had risen.


“Since June 2016 until August 2017, 138 terror attacks took place, not including ones involving Molotov Cocktails and rocks, and the Defense Ministry gave the communities 99 million shekels. In the same period the previous year, there were 235 terror attacks and the Defense Ministry allocated 77 million shekels.”


פרסום ראשון: 08.29.17, 19:08
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