Lieberman on tour of Arad
Photo: Roee Idan
Razing illegal Bedouin structures
Photo: Ilana Curiel
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman spoke out Tuesday against illegal construction in the Galilee and the Negev, apparently referring to homes built by Arabs in these areas.
"I hope that after we finish this chapter of the freeze we can harness a national effort against illegal construction in the Galilee and the Negev," he told the Knesset on a day honoring Zionism through the strengthening of the periphery.
Lieberman said there are currently 100,000 illegal structures in Israel. "This is not an improvisation," he said. "This is a well-aimed operation – in its geographical spread, its funding, and its legal defense system – to conquer national land."
Without saying the word 'Arab' but appearing to hint at this sector, Lieberman added that the illegal construction was a challenge to Zionism.
"This challenge goes well beyond illegal construction: This is a blatant attempt to construct an enclave which, based on precedents created in the international arena, will enable the division and dismantlement of the state of Israel," he said.
The Yisrael Beiteinu chairman said he was especially concerned with construction ranging from the Hebron Hills towards Jerusalem.
"They are building a mountain range of illegal structures with a solely political goal in mind," he said, and added a personal anecdote about being unable to travel through Highway 60 to Hebron even though he possesses an armored car.
"This is unacceptable, when a minister cannot travel within Israel and must choose a winding course," he said.
"Instead of traveling for an hour and a half, I had to make a detour that took two and a half hours. The fact that we have deteriorated to this is unhealthy. There is no way that in England or in France a minister cannot travel on all roads."