Hanegbi: Crisis over Hevron eviction 'exaggerated'

Despite asserting gov't is not in crisis, coalition chairman says he will not accept 'threats' from MKs angry about eviction of 200 Jews.

Hezki Baruch ,

Tzahi Hanegbi
Tzahi Hanegbi
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Coalition chairman Tzahi Hanegbi (Likud) asserted Sunday that reports of tension within the Israeli government over the eviction of 200 Jews from two buildings in Hevron have been "exaggerated."

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) ordered the eviction on Friday, prompting the ire of several right-wing MKs, from both the Jewish Home and his own Likud party, who warned they would buck coalition discipline and bring down the government unless the Jews were returned to the buildings. 

Hanegbi did, however, stress to Reshet Bet that such threats were "unacceptable" and announced he would not give them credence. 

He added that sanctions would be taken against MKs who attempt to harm the coalition, arguing that "disputes should be discussed between the two sides" and that "a policy of threats" should not be accepted. 

Among the Knesset members fuming over the decision to evict the Jews were Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) and MKs Oren Hazan and Ayoub Kara from the Likud. 

Smotrich tweeted over the weekend that, "I informed the Prime Minister I will not vote for the coalition until it allows the residents of Hevron to return to the homes they purchased legally."

Hazan too threatened on Twitter to take a stand against the government, writing, "I stand behind my words. It is impossible to continue with the private security policies of Minister Ya'alon. If no solution is found to the homes in Hevron, I am committed to not voting with the coalition."