Preparing the ground for planting
Preparing the ground for plantingCourtesy of Regavim

Welfare Minister Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) on Wednesday reached an agreement with the Negev Bedouin to immediately cease planting trees in the Negev.

Cohen, who has been charged with reaching agreements with the Bedouin, said that the tractors would leave the area during the course of Wednesday, following which the two sides would sit for negotiations in order to reach an agreement on the issue.

Journalist Mohammad Magadli tweeted, "It's not a victory for Ra'am (the United Arab List - ed.) and it's not anything else." According to him, "they planned ahead of time, even before they started, to cease the planting today. Just like they stopped earlier and restarted this week."

MK Bezalel Smotrich, who heads the Knesset's Religious Zionism party, responded: "This is a sad day for the Jewish state. The Israeli government has caved to terror and violence by Hamas' branch in Israel. The State of Israel has been sold to the Islamic Movement, and there is no red line that this government will not cross in order to survive politically."

"Suspending the planting on State lands, as a capitulation to Ra'am, is an embarrassment which cannot be forgiven. The Bennett-Abbas government is endangering the continuation of the Zionist enterprise."

The Regavim Movement slammed the decision to suspend the KKL forestation project in southern Israel, accusing the government of making "protection payments" to MK Mansour Abbas (United Arab List) and making the next round of violence and domestic terrorism inevitable.

"The Ra'am Party and the Bedouin know full well that they can dictate to the government through the use of political pressure, strong-arm tactics and violence," Regavim said. "When you cave in to terrorism and blackmail, you invite the next round of violence."

"[Israeli Prime Minister Naftali] Bennett and [Interior Minister Ayelet] Shaked (Yamina) have repeatedly asked that the 'government of change' be judged by actions, not words. Today, the government's decision to surrender to terrorism and to suspend the planting project is a an action that speaks louder than words. The words we’re hearing are Ayelet Shaked's – but the tune the government is dancing to is being sung by Mansour Abbas."