Daily Israel Report

Finance Minister: Razing Outposts 'Unthinkable'

Minister Yuval Steinitz says "the fate of Kfar Saba and Tel Aviv is that of Beit El and Shilo," Amona was a mistake.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/21/2011, 7:17 PM

Amona
Amona
a7.org

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz told Arutz Sheva Wednesday that the status of outposts and neighborhoods that the Supreme Court wants razed must be legalized and that demolishing them is "unthinkable."

"It is unthinkable that we will evacuate neighborhoods and homes built years ago because of doubt regarding the ownership of the land," Steinitz said. He explained, however, that this position does not apply to the eviction of a single home or caravan.

"The fate of Kfar Saba and Tel Aviv is like the fate of Beit El and Shilo," he said. "Even if it turns out, in Kfar Saba or Tel Aviv, that an entire neighborhood is built on private land, we do not evict an entire neighborhood, but rather, we give proper compensation."

"The same law and logic that apply in Kfar Saba and Tel Aviv should also apply in Beit El and Shilo," he stressed. "Entire neighborhoods or communities are not evicted even if it turns out, after dozens of years have passed, that a mistake was made regarding ownership of the land." The State Attorney's Office and Attorney General need to find away to legalize the outposts, he said.

In retrospect, he said, the destruction at Amona had no real justification. 

"Amona is a tragedy and it was unnecessary. We gained nothing by tearing down the 9 houses there. There is nothing there today and we caused antagonism between the settlers and the state. We took wounded people to hospital without a real justification…"

The phrase "The fate of Kfar Saba and Tel Aviv is like the fate of Beit El and Shilo" may strike some as disconcerting. Former Prime Minister Arik Sharon famously said "the fate of Tel Aviv is like the fate of Netzarim" -- then reversed his position and gave orders to tear down Netzarim along with the other Jewish communities in Gush Katif.