Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin NetanyahuMarc Israel Sellem/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday said he backs Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon with regards to the eviction of Jews from their Hevron homes earlier in the day.

"We all must respect the law and in this case all the approvals have not yet been settled," sources in the Prime Minister's Office said on Friday evening. "Once that happens, they will be able to return to their homes, as happened in similar cases in the past."

“The Prime Minister supports the settlement enterprise and appreciates the residents of Judea and Samaria, who deal with courage and determination every day against terrorism," the statement stressed.

Ya’alon was blasted earlier on Friday over the eviction by members of both his Likud party and the Jewish Home party.

Deputy Regional Development Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud), Likud MK Oren Hazan and Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich on Friday warned the Prime Minister that they would buck coalition discipline and bring down the government, unless the Jews were returned to the strategic buildings.

Immigrant Absorption Minister Ze'ev Elkin demanded that the Security Cabinet be convened on the matter, and condemned Ya'alon for the decision. Sources close to Ya'alon said Thursday, hours before the eviction, that the purchase did not receive required political approval.

"It cannot be that we speak about collective responsibility of all the ministers, and in practice one minister decides for all the ministers, without holding a prior discussion in the Cabinet," said Elkin.

Earlier on Friday, the Jewish Home party came out with a statement against the decision, saying, "In the midst of a terror wave, the Defense Minister is working firmly, uncompromisingly and inflexibly precisely to throw Jews from their homes. This is a lack of responsibility, a mental fixation and stirring up the tensions without any clear reason."

"The Defense Minister should turn that flame and firmness against Arab terror and obvious illegal construction in the towns of the terrorists. A check of the purchase documents can be done without throwing Jews from their homes."

Ya’alon responded to the criticism on Friday, claiming that by evacuating the residents who had purchased the buildings in full he was enforcing the law.

"The state of Israel is a state of law, and I do not intend to compromise when the law is breached. In the case of the buildings in Hevron, the law was systematically breached. In order to enter a home several legal activities are required, and none of them were conducted. Therefore the squatters were evicted," said Ya'alon.

"I call on the ministers, MKs and public representatives to act with responsibility, to restrain their statements and back the rule of law - and not to encourage taking the law in ones hands and breaching it. That's a sure recipe for anarchy. The conduct and statements of several politicians on this topic border on abandonment, and harms our national strength," he added.

"The settlements are important to me and I work for them, but I will not compromise on the law. The claim of purchasing the homes will be checked, as will security and political aspects, before permission to populate (the buildings) is given. Those who act by breaching the law will not aid the settlements but rather will seriously harm them," said Ya’alon.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)