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Meretz won’t let Bennett authorize Evyatar outpost, Minister Frej warns

CM 18/10/2021

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The Meretz Party will block the legalization of the West Bank Evyatar outpost, Regional Cooperation Minister Issawi Frej told Israel Radio on Monday.
“We won’t allow [Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government to be more right-wing than [former Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s government was,” Frej said, adding that this applied to both settler violence and the creation of outposts.
This government is not supposed to be creating stumbling blocks for an eventual peace process, he said.
“The government won’t create an outpost or a yeshiva at Evyatar,” Frej said, as he referenced a hilltop near the Tapuach Junction in the Samaria region of the West Bank.
In the last month of the Netanyahu government, some 50 families were able to move into makeshift homes on the hilltop, eight years after a failed attempt to establish a new community there in the wake of the murder of 31-year-old Evyatar Borovsky, who was killed in a terror attack at the junction.

Meretz MK Issawi Frej (credit: WIKIMEDIA)Meretz MK Issawi Frej (credit: WIKIMEDIA)

In May of this year, Yehuda Guetta, 19, was also killed in a terror attack at that same junction. His death sparked a second attempt to build an outpost there.
Netanyahu took no action against the outpost, instead calling for its legalization.
Bennett avoided a forced and potentially violent evacuation of the families by striking a deal by which the settlers voluntarily left the hilltop.
The government agreed in exchange to leave the buildings intact. It also agreed that the site could eventually become a legalized settlement, beginning with the construction of a yeshiva, should it be determined that there was enough state land on the hilltop to allow for a viable Jewish community there.
In an interview with Arutz 7, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) said that Frej was not calling the shots here.
His declaration “is meaningless,” Shaked said.
There is an agreement that both Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz have signed for the authorization of Evyatar, she said.
Gantz has stood by his word and conducted an immediate land survey, the results of which he received only this week, Shaked said.
“I believe that the defense minister and the prime minister will advance the [Evyatar] deal precisely as was agreed upon.”
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman told reporters in the Knesset that the government would not fall apart over Evyatar.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan dismissed his words.
“The extreme left can shout, but a yeshiva in Evyatar will be created,” Dagan said.
“If the extreme left is opposed to Evyatar and settlement expansion, it’s a sign that we are doing the right thing,” he added.
“The establishment of the yeshiva in Evyatar is the right thing for the State of Israel.”

Source: Jerusalem Post

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