Israel Political Brief April 4, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks on the Increase in Fuel / Gas Prices

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu’s Remarks on the Increase in Fuel Prices

Source: PMO, 4-4-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks at the Cabinet meeting today:

“The Government does not control fuel prices.  Even the major powers do not control fuel prices and therefore, this is a fluctuating global market.  The State of Israel has no real possibility of controlling the direction – upward or downward – of fuel prices.

However, we have witnessed a constant upward movement in the past year as a result of the sanctions on Iran and other factors.  We are trying to moderate the increases in order to make things easier for citizens.  We are capable of doing so partially and cannot do so fully, but we have decided to do so several times in recent months.  But, as usual, this is not a free lunch and, therefore, from a budgetary perspective, we need to cover the gap that results from lowering prices.  In consultation with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, the personnel at his ministry have formulated a proposal to increase efficiency at Government ministries without harming their work.

I know that there is much to be done in boosting efficiency without harming public service.  The current Government has made impressive achievements in its first three years.  The public at large is beginning to appreciate our achievements and everyone understands that they are partly due to the team work among each and every minister seated at this table.  We have worked together very impressively up until now and here as well, on the issue of greater efficiency in personnel, teamwork is necessary so that Israelis may enjoy lower fuel prices in order to travel around the country over the Passover holiday, on pleasant highways, to the parks and reserves.”

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Israel Political Brief April 4, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks on Strengthening Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu’s Remarks on Strengthening Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks this evening:

“The principle that has guided me is to strengthen Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.  Today, I instructed that the status of three communities – Bruchim, Sansana and Rechalim – be provided for.  I also asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to see to it that the Ulpana hill in Beit El not be evacuated.  This is the principle that has guided us.  We are strengthening Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and we are strengthening the Jewish community in Hebron, the City of the Patriarchs.  But there is one principle that we uphold.  We do everything according to the law and we will continue to do so.”

Israel Political Brief April 4, 2012: Jewish settlers evicted from Hebron home

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Jewish settlers evicted from Hebron home

Source: JTA, 4-4-12

Jewish settlers were evicted from a home near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron without incident.

Israeli security forces on Wednesday evacuated the Jewish families from the home they had entered a week ago. The evacuation reportedly took only a few moments.

The evacuation was carried out on the orders of Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

“I will continue to act in order to maintain the rule of law and democracy while guaranteeing the authority of the State over its citizens,” Barak said in a statement following the evacuation.

“Any request to acquire the relevant buying permit or any other transactions will be dealt with professionally and impartially, as is the practice. However, we cannot allow a situation where unlawful actions are taken to determine or dictate ad-hoc facts to the authorities.”

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top government ministers including Barak and Benny Begin had decided that the settlers would be removed from the home by April 26 if they could not prove that they had legally purchased and moved into the house. The Israeli officials’ meeting occurred hours after a mid-afternoon deadline for the settlers to leave the home passed with no consequences.

The eviction order issued Monday afternoon by the Israeli military’s Civil Administration said the settlers’ presence in the home violates public order. The residents of the home also did not request nor receive a required purchase permit from the Civil Administration.

That evening, Netanyahu asked Barak for a delay of the eviction until the settlers had an opportunity to prove in court their ownership of the house. Armed with documents that say they purchased the home from its Arab owner, the Jewish families entered the home in the middle of the night on March 28.

Hebron Mayor Khaled Osaily told Army Radio on Tuesday that the sale papers are forged and that the person who sold the house to the Jewish settlers is not the owner.

Israel Political Brief April 4, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Meets with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu Meets with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Source: PMO, 4-4-12

Photo by GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today in his Jerusalem office, met with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is visiting Israel with his family.

Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed Gov. Christie to Israel and said, “You know there are so many similarities between New Jersey and Israel.  We’re roughly the same size.  We’re roughly the same population.  I know your voters have better neighbors.  Other than that, there are several similarities and I look forward to discussing how we can increase the cooperation.”

Gov. Christie told Prime Minister Netanyahu, “This is my first visit abroad as Governor and there was never any question of where we would come first, so I’m glad we did.”

Israel Political Brief April 4, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak under fire over Machpelah house eviction

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Netanyahu, Barak under fire over Machpelah house eviction

‘This policy undermines the coalition’s stability,’ FM Lieberman says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are the focus of fierce criticism following the eviction of the Machpelah house in Hebron on Wednesday….READ MORE

Ministers slam PM, defense minister for misguided handling of Hebron house affair, suggest decision motivated by personal, political considerations. ‘This policy undermines the coalition’s stability,’ FM Lieberman says

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are the focus of fierce criticism following the eviction of the Machpelah house in Hebron on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said: “The handing of the issue from start to finish was bad. One cannot use the right of property claim to evict en entire community established 13 years ago and at the same time not honor the right of property when it comes to the purchase of a Hebron house by Jews.”

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He accused the Defense Ministry of trying to stir up a controversy and failing to provide security to Israelis living in Judea and Samaria. “This policy undermines the coalition’s stability. The only solution which will restore stability will be to transfer all authorities on Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria to a special ministerial committee that will aptly reflect the opinion of the majority of the public and government.”

Sources close to Netanyahu said in response: “The coalition is stable, the eviction was coordinated.” Netanyahu himself reportedly expressed his commitment to the continuation of the settlement in Judea and Samaria, specifically in Hebron.

פינוי בית המכפלה בחברון, בצהריים (צילום: גיל יוחנן)

Machpelah house eviction (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

Ministers from the Right reproached Defense Minister Barak, who authorized the eviction. Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Minister Daniel Hershkowitz compared the move to “poking fingers in the eyes of the people.

“This is not a battle between law-abiders and lawbreakers, but rather between those who cherish the settlement project and those who seek to destroy it,” Hershkowitz noted.

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