Daily Israel Report

Officials: Barak Not Behind Warning to Beit El

IDF general says officer's meeting with Beit El mayor was carried out on his own initiative.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 5/30/2012, 7:53 PM

Brig. Gen. Haggai Mordechai
Brig. Gen. Haggai Mordechai
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), told political and diplomatic officials Wednesday that Defense Minister Ehud Barak had not approved the meeting between the Judea and Samaria Division Commander and the mayor of Beit El.

The officials were surprised to read on Arutz Sheva that Samaria Division Commander Brig. Gen. Haggai Mordechai had asked Mayor Moshe Rosenbaum to ask the residents of Givat HaUlpana to voluntarily leave their homes, before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Barak had announced a decision regarding the neighborhood. 

"Mordechai acted without authority, on his own initiative, and not under a direct order from the Defense Minister," the officials were told.

Jewish Home MK Zevulun Orlev warned the government Wednesday that he may decide to bring the Outpost Legalization Bill for a vote in the Knesset next week unless Brigadier General Mordechai is "seriously reprimanded" for the conversation with Rosenbaum and unless the government finds a way to express "deep remorse for what happened this morning." 

Orlev called the IDF warning "a serious breach of the understandings reached between the prime minister and the coalition."