Liberman: Wait till Trump gets into office

Defense Minister calls on government to delay moves to strengthen Judea and Samaria communities until after Trump takes office.

David Rosenberg ,

Donald Trump with Indiana Governor Mike Pence
Donald Trump with Indiana Governor Mike Pence

The Israeli government should hold off passing the Regulation Law, and other moves intended to strengthen Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, the Defense Minister said on Friday.

Speaking at the Saban Forum hosted by the Brookings Institute in Washington on Friday night, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) said the coalition government would be well-advised to delay any “legislation and steps” directly affecting the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria until after President-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20th.

"I think it's much better to postpone all this legislation and steps until January 20," Liberman said.

Among the moves the Defense Minister referred to is the Regulation Law, which passed its initial reading on Wednesday.

If passed, the law would normalize the status of some 4,000 homes across Judea and Samaria, extending to them the kind of protection enjoyed by towns inside the Green Line from ex post facto claims of ownership on the land by absentee claimants.

"My proposal is to wait for the new administration and to create, together with the new administration, a common policy without any surprises and not to create facts but to wait and to discuss with the next administration our policy and our visions,” the Defense Minister said. "I think it makes sense.”

Liberman has reportedly been working behind the scenes to block passage of the Regulation Law. According to a report in the Haaretz newspaper last week, both Liberman and Netanyahu fear the passage of the bill into law could encourage the International Criminal Court at The Hague to target Israel.

AFP contributed to this report