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Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Orders Shas to Back 'Regulation Law'

The Sephardic Shas party has been ordered by its spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, to vote Wednesday for the Regulation Law.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 6/4/2012, 6:10 PM

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Sephardic Shas party has been ordered by its spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, to vote Wednesday for the Regulation Law.

Shas Chairman Eli Yishai told Knesset faction members that if it appeared that he would be fired as Interior Minister were he to be in conflict with the government's opposition to the law, he would consult again with the rabbi.

Earlier, Shas informed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he would find no cooperation if he enforced coalition discipline and ordered members to oppose the law.

The measure, known as the “Regulation Law,” is intended to protect Jewish homes from being uprooted in Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron, also known by the acronym “Yesha”).

The prime minister contended in a meeting with the Likud faction Monday that the law “would achieve the opposite of what is intended – the evacuation of the neighborhood, and injury to the settlement enterprise as a whole.” Netanyahu asked Likud MKs to support him in opposing the bill.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said his Yisrael Beytenu party would also back the law when it comes to a vote Wednesday, regardless of pressure from the prime minister.

The bill would also legalize the status of Beit El's Ulpana neighborhood, which the High Court has ordered razed.

The decision came after a petition for demolition by the far-left Peace Now movement and the Arab who originally sold the Jews the land on which the homes were built, but who later denied the sale.

Sale of land to Jews is considered a capital crime in the PA and is punished by death.