MK to Defense Minister: 'How many mosques have you seized?'

Jewish Home MK protests the Defense Minister's intention to put a company of Border Police in Yitzhar's 'Od Yosef Chai' Yeshiva.

Tzvi Lev, Ido Ben Porat ,

Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel Smotrich
Miriam Alster/Flash90

MK Bezalel Smotrich (The Jewish Home) sent a letter Wednesday to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) protesting the governments intention to seize Yitzhar's 'Od Yosef Chai' Yeshiva in response to its alleged role in a wave of violence.

Smotrich's letter came in the light of recent reports, in which the Defense Minister will put a company of Border Police in the Yeshiva to quell a recent wave of 'Price Tag' attacks. The MK deemed it a selective case of collective punishment.

"I am unaware of you ever taking this reckless action in the most severe cases of violence, terrorist acts and the murder of civilians or of the security forces, when this is done by Arab villains after being incited by an inciter in the mosque" wrote Smotrich.

Smorich continued that "I would be happy to know how many mosques you seized and closed during your tenure in the Defense Ministry, and in recent years.Perhaps the closure of religious institutions for acts or statements reserved for Jews only?"

The MK also emphasized that "this is even more outrageous because of the week in which the system you headed damaged the Temple Mount, when a decision was taken by the cabinet to remove the metal detectors from the entrance to the mountain, without any real alternative to ensure the security of the policemen on the mountain. You can not protect the entrance to the Temple Mount, but you want to close the settlement in Yitzhar? "

Smotrich was referring to the recent decision by Israel's security cabinet to remove the metal detectors installed on the Temple Mount, after terrorists used weapons hidden on the Mount to murder two policemen.

This would not be the first time the Defense Ministry has ordered the Yeshiva seized,having already occupied the site from 2014 to 2015 over similar accusations. The Defense establishment has been hostile towards the 'Od Yosef Chai' Yeshiva, believing that it has become a hotbed of anti-Arab activity, ordering the Yeshiva to be closed in 2010, and cutting off all funding from the Education Ministry.