Full Text Israel Political Brief January 8, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Remarks at Visit to Ariel University Center

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PM Netanyahu Visits Ariel University Center

Source: PMO, 1-8-13

יום שלישי כ”ו טבת תשע”ג

Photo by GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today visited the Ariel University Center of Samaria, and made the following remarks:

“I would like to make it clear to the world: The danger to the world is not a university in Ariel. The danger to the world is not that Israel is building neighborhoods in Jerusalem. The danger is Iran, which is building nuclear weapons. The danger is Syria’s arsenals of chemical weapons. I call on the world to take notice. History will judge harshly those who equate democratic Israel, which is establishing a university, and dictatorial regimes that slaughter their people and which hold atomic weapons of mass destruction. We remain faithful to our homeland. We will continue to defend our citizens, develop our country and build in our land. With G-d’s help, we will build and we will succeed.”

At the start of his visit, Prime Minister Netanyahu was shown the electro-static accelerator / free electron laser (EA-FEL), the only one of its kind in the country, and one of only six in the world. Afterwards, the Prime Minister met with senior academic staff, including Rector Prof. Michael Zinigrad as well as faculty deans, department heads, professors, lecturers and senior scientists.

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Israel Brief December 24, 2012: Ariel University Center gets final approvals for full recognition

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Ariel University Center gets final approvals for full recognition

Source: JTA, 12-24-12

Ariel University Center in the West Bank has been given final approval for recognition as a full university….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief December 10, 2012: European Union draft resolution slams Israeli settlements, carries no sanctions

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EU draft resolution slams Israeli settlements, carries no sanctions

Source: JTA, 12-10-12

A draft of a European Union resolution said the EU was “deeply dismayed” by Israeli plans for new construction in settlements but did not mention sanctions….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief August 13, 2012: West Bank outpost Bruchin is legalized

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West Bank outpost is legalized

Source: JTA, 8-13-12

The West Bank outpost of Bruchin received its charter, making it a legal settlement. Read more »

Israel Political Brief July 16, 2012: Israel to Subsidize 500 West Bank Housing Units

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Report: Israel to subsidize 500 West Bank housing units

Source: JTA, 7-16-12

The Israeli government reportedly agreed to subsidize the construction of 500 new living units in the West Bank, despite saying it would not provide incentives to the settlements….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief July 15, 2012: Text of US Jewish leaders’ letter to PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Levy settlement report

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Text of Jewish leaders’ letter to Netanyahu on Levy settlement report

40 U.S. Jewish leaders sign Israel Policy Forum letter urging prime minister to reject document produced by panel headed by former Supreme Court justice Edmond Levy.

U.S. Jews to Netanyahu: Report urging state to legalize settlements will aid those seeking to delegitimize Israel

July 13, 2012

The Honorable Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of the State of Israel

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

As strong advocates for Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish and democratic state, we are deeply concerned about the recent findings of the government commission led by Supreme Court Jurist (Ret.) Edmund Levy. We fear that if approved, this report will place the two-state solution, and the prestige of Israel as a democratic member of the international community, in peril.
As you boldly stated in your address to the United States Congress last May, “I recognize that in a genuine peace, we’ll be required to give up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland.” As you said clearly, doing so is not easy. While the Jewish people indeed share a biblical connection to the lands of Judea and Samaria, you told Congress, “there is another truth: The Palestinians share this small land with us. We seek a peace in which they’ll be neither Israel’s subjects nor its citizens. They should enjoy a national life of dignity as a free, viable and independent people living in their own state.”
Securing Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state requires diplomatic and political leadership, not legal maneuverings. We recognize and regret that the Palestinian Authority has abdicated leadership by not returning to the negotiating table. Nonetheless, our great fear is that the Levy Report will not strengthen Israel’s position in this conflict, but rather add fuel to those who seek to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist. At this moment, it is more critical than ever that Israel strengthen its claim in the international community that it is committed to a two-state vision, which is, in turn, central to Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state.
We are confident that with your deep understanding of the gravity of this situation, and your unprecedented political strength, you will ensure that adoption of this report does not take place.

Sincerely,

Karen R. Adler
Jack C. Bendheim
Michael Berenbaum
Howard M. Bernstein
Charles R. Bronfman
Steven M. Cohen
Rabbi Marion Lev Cohen
Lester Crown
Thomas A. Dine
Rabbi David Ellenson
Edith Everett
Susie Gelman
E. Robert Goodkind
Stanley P. Gold
Rabbi Daniel Gordis
David A. Halperin
Harold R. Handler
Alan S. Jaffe
Peter A. Joseph
Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky
Peter S. Kolevzon
Steven C. Koppel
Burton Lehman
Marvin Lender
Geoffrey H. Lewis
Deborah Lipstadt
Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon
Harriet Mouchly-Weiss
Burt Neuborne
Bernard Nussbaum
Richard Pearlstone
Marcia Riklis
Rabbi Jennie Rosenn
David Sable
Rabbi David Saperstein
Jeffrey R. Solomon
Joel D. Tauber
Melvyn I. Weiss
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie
Michael D. Young
Lawrence Zicklin

Affiliations provided below for identification purposes only

Karen R. Adler (New York, NY) – Chair, Executive Committee of the Jewish Communal Fund

Jack C. Bendheim (New York, NY) – President & Chairman, Phibro Animal Health Corp.; former Chairman, IPF

Michael Berenbaum (Los Angeles, CA) – Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust at the American Jewish University; former Project Director of the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC

Howard M. Bernstein (Los Angeles, CA) – Emeritus Member of Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; Honorary Board Member, Wilshire Boulevard Temple

Charles R. Bronfman (New York, NY; Montreal) – Chairman, Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies

Rabbi Marion Lev Cohen (New York, NY) – Board Member, Israel Policy Forum; Director of Adult Engagement, Central Synagogue

Steven M. Cohen (New York, NY) – Director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at New York University

Lester Crown (Chicago, IL) – Chairman of Henry Crown & Co.; Crown Family Philanthropies

Thomas A. Dine (Washington, DC) – Former Executive Director of AIPAC

Rabbi David Ellenson (New York, NY) – President, Hebrew Union College –Jewish Institute of Religion

Edith Everett (New York, NY) Co-founder and President, Everett Family Foundation

Susie Gelman (Washington, DC) – Immediate Past President, Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

Stanley P. Gold (Los Angeles, CA) – Chairman Emeritus, Jewish Federation of LA; President and CEO, Shamrock Holdings

E. Robert Goodkind (New York, NY) – Partner, Pryor Cashman LLP; former President, American Jewish Committee (’04-’07)

Rabbi Daniel Gordis (Jerusalem) – Senior Vice President and the Koret Distinguished Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem

David A. Halperin (New York, NY) – Executive Director, Israel Policy Forum

Harold R. Handler (New York, NY) – Former President, JCC in Manhattan; Former Chairman, Jewish Communal Fund; Board Member, Israel Policy Forum

Alan S. Jaffe (New York, NY) – President, Jewish Community Relations Council-NY; former President, UJA-Federation-NY; former Chairman, Proskauer

Peter A. Joseph (New York, NY) – Chairman, Israel Policy Forum

Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky (New York, NY) – Temple Ansche Chesed

Peter S. Kolevzon (New York, NY) – Founding Chair and Past President, JCC in Manhattan

Steven C. Koppel (New York, NY) – Partner, JonesDay; Member, International Board of Governors, The Peres Center for Peace

Burton Lehman (New York, NY) – Former Chair and Member of the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute Religion

Marvin Lender (Connecticut) – Former National Chairman, UJA

Geoffrey H. Lewis (Boston, MA) – Board Member, Israel Policy Forum

Deborah Lipstadt (Atlanta, GA) – Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University

Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon (New York, NY) – Congregation Bnai Jeshurun

Harriet Mouchly-Weiss (New York, NY) – Board Member, Israel Policy Forum

Burt Neuborne (New York, NY) – Professor of Law, NYU

Bernard Nussbaum (New York, NY) – Former White House Counsel (’94); Partner, Wachtell Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Richard Pearlstone (Aspen, CO) – Former Chairman, Jewish Agency

Marcia Riklis (New York, NY) – Board member, Israel Policy Forum; General Campaign Co-Chair, UJA Federation-NY

Rabbi Jennie Rosenn (New York, NY) – Program Director, Jewish Life and Values, Nathan Cummings Foundation

David Sable (New York, NY) – Former Executive Board Member, UJA Federation-NY

Rabbi David Saperstein (Washington, DC) – Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Jeffrey R. Solomon (New York, NY) – President, Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies

Joel D. Tauber (Southfield, MI) – Former Chairman, National UJA; former National Chairman of Tel Aviv University: American Council

Melvyn I. Weiss (New York, NY) – Board Member, Israel Policy Forum

Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie (New York, NY) – President Emeritus, Union for Reform Judaism

Michael D. Young (New York, NY) – Board Member, Israel Policy Forum

Lawrence Zicklin (New York, NY) – Former President, UJA Federation-NY

Israel Political Brief July 15, 2012: 40 US Jewish Leaders Send Letter to PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Bury Levy Report — Includes Charles Bronfman, Daniel Gordis, Deborah Lipstadt

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40 U.S. Jewish Leaders to Bibi: Bury Levy Report

Source: Israel National News, 7-15-12

Philanthropist Charles Bronfman, Shalem Center head Gordis among signatories who fear report will imperil Israel.
Delegates at AIPAC conference

Delegates at AIPAC conference
Hezki Ezra

More than 40 prominent American Jewish leaders and philanthropists sent a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Sunday in which they implored him not to approve the judicial report that says Jews may settle freely in Judea and Samaria….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief July 10, 2012: President Shimon Peres Calls Settlements a Threat to Israel

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Settlements a threat to Israel, Peres says

Source: JTA, 7-10-12

Israeli President Shimon Peres called West Bank settlements a threat to Israel.

The remarks, made Tuesday at the annual ceremony in memory of Zionism founder Theodor Herzl, appeared to address a report released Sunday that said “Israel does not meet the criteria of ‘military occupation’ as defined under international law” in the West Bank, and that therefore settlements and West Bank outposts are legal.

“It is doubtful that a Jewish state without a Jewish majority can remain Jewish,” Peres said, inferring that settlements would lead to the inextricable inclusion of the Palestinians living on the West Bank….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief July 9, 2012: The Levy Committee: West Bank Settlements & Outposts Legal Under International Law

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Israeli panel: West Bank settlements, outposts legal under int’l law

Source: JTA, 7-9-12

West Bank settlements are legal under international law, according to an Israeli committee set up to review the legal status of West Bank land.

The Levy Committee, which was formed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and headed by former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, said in its 89-page report released late Sunday that “Israel does not meet the criteria of ‘military occupation’ as defined under international law” in the West Bank, and that therefore settlements and West Bank outposts are legal.

The report recommends changing the legal regulations concerning Jewish settlement in the West Bank in the areas of zoning, demolitions and building….READ MORE

The Commision to Examine the Status of Building In Judea and Samaria – Conclusion and Recommendations — Full Text PDF

Israel Political Brief June 26, 2012: Evacuation of Ulpana neighborhood of the Beit El settlement begins

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Evacuation of Ulpana neighborhood begins

Source: JTA, 6-26-12

Residents and supporters of the Ulpana neighborhood in the West Bank held a morning prayer service as moving vans arrived to evacuate them from the disputed properties.

The first 15 families living in the outlying neighborhood of the Beit El settlement moved to trailer homes set up at a nearby army base on Tuesday. The other 15 families will move Thursday, according to Israel’s Ministry of Defense.

The five apartment buildings are to be moved to 4.5 acres of state land that was a Border Police base and will be annexed to the settlement. Three hundred other dwellings also will be built there.

Movers hired by the Defense Ministry began packing up the families Tuesday morning. Four families said they would passively resist the evacuation, and all the families are asking media outlets to report that they are being forced from their homes and refrain from saying that the evacuation is by agreement. An agreement to evacuate and move the buildings was struck between the government and Beit El Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed.

A statement from the Ministry of Defense said “The operation is being carried out in full coordination, and with the agreement of community leaders and the residents themselves.”…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief June 25, 2012: Israeli government requests extension on West Bank outpost Givat Assaf demolition

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Israeli government requests extension on outpost demolition

Source: JTA, 6-25-12

Israel’s government has asked the country’s Supreme Court to postpone the demolition of a West Bank outpost for several months.

The state requested the extension because it said it discovered new information that the Givat Assaf outpost near the Beit El settlement was not built on privately owned Palestinian land, as was alleged by Peace Now in the court case.

Givat Assaf is to be demolished by July 1. It is one of six illegal outposts that the court ordered to be dismantled.

Israel Political Brief June 10, 2012: Israel’s Rabbis Call for Harsh Protest over Givat HaUlpana

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Rabbis Call for Harsh Protest over Givat HaUlpana

Rabbis lament “destruction for destruction’s sake.” Will homes be sealed off instead of moved?

 

Protesting the planned eviction.

Protesting the planned eviction.
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Rabbis from the Derech HaEmunah movement issued a call to the public Monday in which they asked people to take action against the government’s intention to destroy the Givat HaUlpana homes and evict 30 families.

“We call for the cancellation of the decree of destroying the homes at Givat HaUlpana in Beit El,” they wrote. “This is a decree that the public cannot abide by. It is contrary to the Bible and human morality. It is destruction for destruction’s sake.”

“We call upon the public to carry out a harsh and meaningful protest that will bring about a change in the government’s decision, which endangers thousands of homes that have been built in the settlements,” the rabbis added, with the caveat that “No violence should be used against the security forces or against the settlers, G-d forbid.”

The letter is signed by Rav Haim Shteiner, Rav David Chai HaCohen, Rav Iser Klonsky, Rav Avi Smotritz, Rav Yosef Artziel, Rav Ben Dahan and Rav Shimon Cohen.

Meanwhile, the daily newspaper Yisrael Hayom reported Monday that the state may ask for a postponement of the destruction at Beit El, following intensive contacts between the settlers and representatives on behalf of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, including Minister Gilad Erdan….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief June 8, 2012: Ulpana Supporters Prepare for Struggle after the Regulation Bill Failed to Pass Knesset

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Ulpana Supporters Prepare for Struggle

Residents of the Ulpana neighborhood and their supporters sat down after the Regulation Bill failed, spoke about next stage of struggle.
Ulpana neighborhood

Ulpana neighborhood
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Dozens of activists and regional leaders sat down with residents of the Ulpana neighborhood after the Regulation Bill was voted down to discuss the next stage of the struggle. Yesha (Judea and Samaria) Council head Danny Dayan spoke to Arutz Sheva about the meeting.

“We’re very determined, I believe that we will ultimately be the winners here,” Dayan said. The residents have not yet decided exactly what form the struggle will take, he added, “or what kind of physical confrontation, if there will be one.”

Residents, regional officials, and rabbis sat and talked from Wednesday night until early Thursday morning.

The meeting took place in the home of Didi Dickstein and his wife. Dickstein lost his parents and a sibling in a terrorist attack in 2002; he and his wife and two children now live in Beit El, where he chairs the official Ulpana neighborhood Neighborhood Committee….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief June 7, 2012: US Condemns Israel Over PM Benjamin Netanyahu Announcing Beit El Expansion of 300 New Homes

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Israel’s West Bank plans stir U.S. furor, settlers’ ire

Source: JTA, 6-7-12

The announcement of new settlement construction in the West Bank, following the defeat of a Knesset bill recognizing settlement outposts, draws U.S. rebuke….READ MORE »

State Dept. slams new West Bank housing approval

Source: JTA, 6-7-12

The Obama administration said it “does not accept the legitimacy” of announced plans for up to 851 new housing units for West Bank settlements….READ MORE »

U.S. Condemns Israel Over Beit El Expansion

U.S. says “Israeli settlement activity undermines peace efforts” after PM Netanyahu announces 300 new homes for Beit El.

Source: Israel National News, 6-7-12

Ulpana neighborhood

Ulpana neighborhood
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The United States condemned Israel on Wednesday, after Prime Minister announced that 300 new homes will be built in Beit El.

“We’re very clear that continued Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank undermines peace efforts and contradicts Israeli commitments and obligations, including the 2003 road map,” U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, according to the Chinese Xinhua news agency.

Toner told reporters, “Our position on settlements remains unchanged. We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity.”

He added, “You know, we want to see these parties — both parties, rather, refrain from these kinds of actions and to get back into negotiations.”

Netanyahu promised to expand construction in Beit El, in a special statement he issued Wednesday, regarding the impending demolition of the Ulpana neighborhood.

“This is not a simple or easy day,” said Netanyahu. “Relocating the houses is certainly not an action that the government is eager to carry out, but the court made a decision and we respect the court system’s decisions. At the same time, the community of Beit El will be widened. The 30 families from the Ulpana Neighborhood will remain in Beit El and they will be joined by 300 new families.”

Netanyahu’s statement was made shortly after the Knesset rejected a bill aimed at circumventing a court order to destroy five residential units in the Ulpana neighborhood.

The vote was 22 for the bill and 69 against. Absent from the vote were all of the ministers and deputy ministers who vowed to test Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s ultimatum to vote against the bill or be fired.

The extreme leftist group Peace Now was not happy at all with the commitment by Netanyahu to build 300 more homes in Beit El, and was quick to start an online petition calling on him to rescind what they called “a collective punishment” that he has meted out against Israel’s citizens.

Full Text Israel Political Brief June 6, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks on the Ulpana Neighborhood in Beit El Issue

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Netanyahu: 300 New Families to Join Beit El

PM says: “Those who want to use the courts to damage settlements are mistaken – the opposite will happen.”

 

Netanyahu

Netanyahu
Reuters

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a special statement Wednesday regarding the impending demolition of the Givat HaUlpana neighborhood….READ MORE

PM Netanyahu’s Remarks on the Issue of the Ulpana Neighborhood in Beit El

Source: PMO, 6-6-12

Photo by GPO

Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks today the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El:

“We are not strangers in Beit El. We are not strangers in Judea and Samaria. This is the Land of our Patriarchs. This is where our identity was formed. I say this here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, and I say this everywhere in the world. Israel is a democratic state in which upholding the law is at the foundation of our free lives. The State of Israel is a law-abiding democracy and as the Prime Minister of Israel I am committed to upholding the law and am I committed to uphold the settlement enterprise, and I tell you that there is no contradiction between the two. The draft law that was rejected today in the Knesset would have hurt settlement whereas the outline that I have decided upon – the expansion of the community, moving the homes and legal defense against any precedent – strengthens settlement.

And yet it must be said that this has been a complicated and difficult day.  Moving homes from their location, even if it is only five homes, is certainly not an action that this Government rejoices in doing.  But the court ruled as it did and we honor the decisions of the judicial system.

At the same time, the community of Beit El will be expanded. The 30 families will remain in Beit El and will be joined by 300 new families.  I tell those who think they can use the judicial system to hurt settlement, that they are mistaken, because in practice, the exact opposite will occur. Instead of shrinking Beit El – Beit El has expanded.  Instead of hurting settlement, settlement has been strengthened.

I also received a clear legal opinion which I would like to cite. ‘The verdict set no law and in any case does not constitute a precedent.  Nothing may be construed from it regarding other cases.’

I have also decided to establish a ministerial committee on settlement to ensure that the Government’s policy of strengthening settlement is implemented.

I would like to thank my ministerial colleagues for showing responsibility at a difficult time. Yuli Edelstein and Daniel Hershkowitz spoke to me at length about the importance and necessity of establishing the ministerial committee. Benny Begin and Moshe Yaalon invested considerable time in the work of the ministerial team to strengthen settlement. Gideon Saar and Gilad Erdan certainly lost much sleep in recent days in the discussions to find a legal outline that would forestall a precedent.  I would also like to thank my colleagues, my partners, the heads of the coalition factions, Shaul Mofaz, Eli Yishai, Ehud Barak, Yaakov Litzman and Moshe Gafni. I would also like to thank Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman for acting responsibly.  There is responsible leadership in Israel.

In conclusion, I would like to say a few words to my brothers and sisters from the settler public. I understand your pain, and I share it. I met several of the families. I saw the people. I saw the children and I would like to tell you what I told them. There is no government that supports, or will support, settlement more than my government.  I also say that there is no government that has withstood such heavy pressures, which could have hurt settlement, and it must be understood that ours is a very complex diplomatic, national and legal environment. And in this complex reality, one must navigate wisely, sagaciously and responsibly. Thus the members of the Government and myself have acted up until now and thus we will continue to act. We will continue to strengthen settlement and we will continue to strengthen democracy in the State of Israel.”

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

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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

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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, Defense Minister Ehud Barak under fire over Machpelah house eviction

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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.”

Related stories:

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.

Israel Political Brief April 3, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu seeks delay in Hebron home eviction

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Netanyahu seeks delay in Hebron home eviction

Source: JTA, 4-3-12

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested a delay in the eviction of Jewish settlers who moved into an Arab-owned home near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

Netanyahu on Monday evening asked Defense Minister Ehud Barak for the delay until the several dozen settlers have an opportunity to prove in court their ownership of the house, the Defense Ministry said. Under an eviction order issued earlier in the day by the Israel Defense Forces, the settlers must leave by 3 p.m. Tuesday or they will be evacuated by the army.

The settlers say they bought the house and have the papers to prove it. 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….READ MORE

Israel Brief March 29, 2012: Jewish settlers move into Hebron home near Cave of the Patriarchs

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Jewish settlers move into Hebron home near Cave of the Patriarchs

Source: JTA, 3-29-12

Several dozen Jewish settlers moved into a home near the Cave of the Patriarchs that they say they purchased.

The settlers, including whole families with children, moved into the house at 1 a.m. Thursday. They say they have papers proving that they bought the house some four months ago, Haaretz reported

Palestinian police brought in the Palestinian owner of the house for questioning, according to Ynet, citing sources in Hebron.

The Israel Defense Forces moved into the area after news of the takeover became public and declared the immediate area a closed military zone. The military and police have opened an investigation into the ownership of the home.

The IDF called the move “an irresponsible move and a dangerous provocation that may inflame spirits, especially ahead of Land Day” on Friday. Land Day commemorates the deaths of six Arab Israelis killed in 1976 during protests against Israeli government land policies that confiscated privately owned Arab land.

Settlers reportedly have been purchasing homes and land in Hebron for many years, though many of the purchases have been legally contested, according to Ynet.

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