Government to set up a COGAT for Israelis

Ministers Ya'alon, Shaked and Ariel to head up new government coordination group for Jewish activities in Judea and Samaria.

Raphael Poch ,

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon (L) with Netanyahu (R)
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon (L) with Netanyahu (R)
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

In an effort to end the coalition crisis that resulted from the eviction of some 200 Jews from their purchased homes in Hevron last week, the government has decided to create a joint commission to coordinate activities for Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria.

The commission will be lead by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud), Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), and Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel (Jewish Home).

Army Radio reported that the ministers met for the first time on Sunday night to discuss issues regarding the buildings that were evacuated in Hevron, as well as other areas in Judea and Samaria in which houses were purchased by Jews but there still exists a conflict with regards to the legalities of the purchase. 

During the crisis both MK's from the Jewish Home party as well as the Likud party had threatened to no longer vote with the coalition in the plenum if an answer to Defense Minister Ya'alon's perceived unilateral decisions was not found. MKs Betzalel Smotrich (Jewish Home), and Oren Hazan and Ayoub Kara (Likud) were particularly outraged over the removal of the Jews from the buildings in Hevron.

Smotrich and Hazan both threatened to withhold their votes from the plenum, something that would allow the opposition to bring down the government. 

Coalition Chairman Tzahi Hanegbi said that he would not accept threats from individual MK's and said that such threats are unacceptable.