Defense Minister punishes Deputy for revealing secret task force

At Jewish Home faction meeting, Deputy Defense Min reveals existence of secret team tasked with normalizing Judea and Samaria communities.

Ido Ben Porat ,

Liberman and Ben-Dahan
Liberman and Ben-Dahan
Yonatan Sindel/Flahs90

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) ordered his deputy, Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home), not to take part in the discussions of a secret team in the Defense Ministry tasked with the normalization of communities in Judea and Samaria, summoning him for rebuke for revealing the existence of the team to members of the Jewish Home faction.

Yesterday, Channel 2 reported that, for half a year, a small team of the Defense Ministry had been working on a secret plan to normalize communities in Judea and Samaria that are not yet officially recognized.

The plan maps out all the communities that need to be normalized, about seventy, and ranks them from the easiest to the hardest in terms of achieving normalization.

The top of the list includes the community of Asa’el in the Har Hevron Regional Council, with 46 families. At the bottom of the list are communities such as Avigail in the Har Hevron Regional Council (25 families), Givat Harel in Binyamin, and Esh Kodesh in Binyamin, overlooking the Jordan Valley (31 families).

Ben-Dahan revealed the information at an internal meeting of the Jewish House faction. "We have established a team of 4-5 people in the past six months, and we began to map out all the outposts, there are close to 70 communities that are not normalized. Just last Thursday we sat for almost three hours and arranged all 70 of these communities by rank, each according to how it can be normalized and in what ways,” he said.

"There are communities that can be easily normalized, for example, Asa’el, a community that the government decided to build. When Rabin came to power in 1992, he passed a government decision that says that every community that received approval and was not built or normalized is cancelled. If this government decides to cancel Rabin’s decision, we can normalize a good number of communities,” Ben-Dahan told the faction.