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MK: Jewish Home's 'Red Line' is Judea and Samaria Expulsion

MK Muallem defends her party remaining in gov't despite prisoner release, says Jewish Home Israel's 'Iron Dome' against far-left.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 12/30/2013, 2:54 PM

MK Shuli Mualem visits protest tent opposing prisoner releases outside the Prime Minister's house
MK Shuli Mualem visits protest tent opposing prisoner releases outside the Prime Minister's house
Flash 90

Jewish Home may not approve of the terrorist releases - or of other government decisions - but it will only leave the coalition in the event that Israel evicts Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria. 

So said MK Shuli Muallem-Refaeli Monday, in a visit to the bereaved families protesting outside the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem. The bereaved families have staged a nearly week-long protest against the release, which is part of the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). 

Muallem-Refaeli, when asked why the Jewish Home party remains in the coalition despite its opposition to several government policies, explained that the party acts as the first line of defense against extreme-left policies. 

"The Iron Dome placed in Sderot last week is not the result of the release of terrorists and not of construction in Judea and Samaria; the Iron Dome is the result of the failures of the Disengagement," Muallem explained.

The Disengagement in 2005, the result of left-wing policies, saw 1,404 Jewish families forcibly evicted from their homes - and turned the Gush Katif region into Hamas-controlled Gaza.  

"During these days, when a storm has descended upon the Jewish state, Jewish Home is the Iron Dome of the government - and that is why we will not leave" over the release of terrorists the MK elaborated. 

Jewish Home does have its own "red line," however: the evicting of more Israeli citizens from Judea and Samaria. Then, Muallem predicted, Jewish Home would leave the coalition government. 

The future of Judea and Samaria is frequently a hot topic in international negotiations, with the PA and other international bodies failing to recognize Israel's legitimate claims to sovereignty over the region.

One such region - the Jordan Valley, which is crucial to Israel's security - might soon be fully annexed into Israel. On Sunday, the Ministerial Committee approved a bill proposing its annexation; if passed, it could be the first step toward full annexation of Judea and Samaria. The move is facing stiff opposition from left-wing coalition members, most notably from Justice Minister and Hatnua party leader Tzipi Livni.