Lieberman: IDF eviction of Hebron settlers could threaten stability of Netanyahu coalition
Foreign Minister criticizes conduct of Defense Minister Ehud Barak; says Yisrael Beiteinu has made decisive efforts to keep coalition together.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman criticized Tuesday the conduct of Defense Minister Ehud Barak regarding the eviction order that was issued to settlers that invaded a Hebron home. Lieberman also hinted that he was concerned a decision to evacuate the house would threaten the stability of the Netanyahu coalition.
On Monday, the Israel Defense Forces issued an eviction order for the settlers, according to which they had until Tuesday at 3:00 PM to evacuate the house on their own will, after which "the authorities will act to restore the building to its previous state."
"One-sided actions by coalition members concern me," said the Yisrael Beiteinu chairman at a function ahead of the Passover holiday, adding that his party has made an effort to keep the coalition together. "We have gone through three years and Yisrael Beiteinu has made a decisive contribution toward that."
Lieberman added that "When I see the dissonance between Migron and Hebron, what is absurd? In Migron, despite that the settlement has existed for 13 years, why are all the residents being evacuated? There they have property rights."
"The Defense Minister would not have made a decision without any backing," continued Lieberman, "The decision about Hebron, on a backdrop of what happened in Migron, is more grating, and from a coalition perspective it is a grave mistake, and I always use diplomatic language."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss the eviction order for settlers who infiltrated the Hebron home.
The meeting was to be attended by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Minister without Portfolio Benny Begin representatives of the Ministry of Defense and the Civil Administration.
By late Tuesday night, no decision was reached with regards to the evacuation of Hebron.
Earlier Tuesday, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said that Jewish settlers should be allowed to stay, adding that similar actions, as long as they are done through the proper legal channels, should be encouraged.
Katz's comments came amid a debate within Israel's leadership as to the way in which the state should respond to Sunday's takeover.
Hebron’s mayor Khaled Osaily told Israel’s Army Radio that it can be easily proven that the house’s bill of sale was fake. “It’s all fake,” Osaily said, “The person who sold the house to the settlers is not the owner…I am sure of this.”
Osaily further commented on the controversy surrounding the settlement expansion in the city. “Another house will bring peace? This will bring closeness between people? On the contrary, this will only create problems.”