Bennett's ultimatum: Delay Amona demolition

Jewish Home ministers to confront Prime Minister over planned demolition of Samarian village, threaten coalition crisis if demands not met.

Shlomo Pyotrovsky ,

Netanyahu and Bennett
Netanyahu and Bennett
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) are expected to raise their party’s demand in a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) on Thursday that the planned demolition of the town of Amona be delayed.

According to a report on Army Radio on Thursday, the two are planning to threaten a coalition crisis if their party’s demand for a delay is not met.

The Prime Minister met Wednesday evening with Bennett to discuss the issue. Today the two are scheduled to sit down again on the matter, bringing in Liberman and Shaked. Yoav Mordechai, chief of the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) is also expected to attend the meeting, as well as Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

Despite their efforts to delay the demolition, on Monday, Bennett conceded that he saw no “legal way to save these houses.”

“I know this is not what you hoped to hear, but I must tell you the truth.”

Some Yesha leaders have argued that a delay would strengthen Israel’s hand, claiming that replacement housing built near Shiloh in Samaria could be used by President Obama as a pretext to drop his support of Israel at the UN in his final months in office.

"Between November and January 20th,” former Binyamin Regional Council chief Pinchas Wallerstein told Arutz Sheva, “a [lame duck] President of the US who is not a great friend of Israel may choose not to veto a UN resolution establishing a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, and east Jerusalem, and then we'll have a real big problem. Anyone who enters those territories without the proper authority will be seen as violating international law."