Likud Knesset members reacted harshly Wednesday after Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy Dan Meridor said on television that the Givat HaUlpana neighborhood in Beit El must be torn down and that legalization is not an option. One Likud MK told Arutz Sheva: "Minister Meridor is a Peace Now man who was planted in the Likud faction and in the government."
A source close to the Prime Minister also reacted with anger and said: "Meridor wants the Prime Minister's downfall. Meridor belongs to the furthest tip of the far left. He knows that he has no chance of being elected in the Likud primaries and he is preparing the ground for joining the Meretz faction."
Interviewed on the Knesset Channel, Meridor said that a law legalizing disputed outposts and neighborhoods like Givat HaUlpana is "unconstitutional" and "is not in our arsenal of tools."
"Even a retroactive law cannot undo a court decision about something that has already happened," Meridor explained. "I cannot envision a situation in which the government fails to uphold the court's decision."
Asked whether the meaning of what he is saying is that the buildings must be demolished, he said: "Yes, definitely."
Meridor belongs to the old guard of Likud MKs sometimes referred to as "princes," because their parents were among the movement's founders. Meridor is considered to be a close friend of former Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, whom he appointed State Attorney when he was Justice Minister, in 1989.