Rabbi Elyahu Ben Dahan
Rabbi Elyahu Ben DahanDavid Hochberg, Besheva

MK Amar Bar-Lev (Zionist Union) turned to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit this morning (Wednesday) after Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan instructed the so-called “Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories” (COGAT) that the destruction of all houses deemed illegal in Judea and Samaria must first pass Ben-Dahan’s approval.

In a letter to the Attorney General, Bar-Lev said: “Aside from the fact that this instruction changes the current protocol, it is illegal and is not under the authority of Deputy Defense Minister.

“[…] As far as I know, the Defense Minister, to whom the IDF is subordinate, did not grant the Deputy Minister authority in every matter he declares under his jurisdiction.”

After the removal of a house in Esh Kodesh the other day, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan told Arutz Sheva that the Minister is checking the circumstances of the removal, and also promised to clarify the policies implied in such incidents for the future.

It will be noted that, according to the so-called “fresh invasion” policy established during the tenure of former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, the civil administration can remove illegal structures on state, private or agricultural land immediately, without waiting for a decision from the political echelon.

The Deputy Defense Minister’s office noted that “the removal of the structure was carried out without the knowledge of the Minister. The Minister will check the matter and, if needed, policies will be clarified or even changed.”