Naftali Bennett and Mansour Abbas
Naftali Bennett and Mansour Abbas Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The Likud party strongly criticized the government and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett following the United Arab List's (Ra'am) opposition to the planting of trees in the Negev.

"Every day the Bennett-Ra'am government descends to a new anti-Zionist low," the Likud party said. "For the first time in 73 years, a senior member of the Israeli government opposes planting trees in the Land of Israel. Bennett, be ashamed."

Meanwhile, hundreds of police officers arrived this morning at the state lands near Hura in the Negev to protect the JNF workers preparing the ground for planting the trees that will eventually become a forest.

MKs from the Joint Arab List and Ra'am parties protested the planting of the trees, with the latter threatening to boycott Knesset hearings and debates. "We condemn and reject the plowing and damage to land and the source of livelihood for Arab families in the area," the party said.

Yediot Aharonot journalist Amichai Attali reported that the forestation efforts in the Negev were frozen under the previous Netanyahu government. "The freeze on planting in the Negev came into being and was realized in the Netanyahu government in light of Bedouin pressure on the king of the combos, Amir Peretz. This did not bother Netanyahu. I prefer a government with the abominable Ra'am, but one that looks reality in the eye and tries to deal with it, over the continuation of the lies and fakeness that are the whole essence of Netanyahu."