Gallant (right) and Smotrich (left)
Gallant (right) and Smotrich (left)Israel National News

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich sent a message to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant today criticizing the destruction of Israeli homes on Mt. Hebron.

"First, I am sorry that we must deal with the matters in this letter when we are all busy managing the war, but the seriousness of the situation does not leave me any choice," Smotrich wrote.

"Yesterday, on Sunday afternoon, a request was submitted for my approval to enforce the building codes on Mt. Hebron. I emphasize that this request was a routine matter of illegal building enforcement and did not mention any security aspects. In light of the state of war we are in, I stated that I would not approve the enforcement."

"This morning I was alerted that the commanding General had decided to declare the enforcement as a security need and he intended to enforce it immediately. It is superfluous to state that, in light of the sequence of events, there is significant doubt as to this decision, and it seems, at face value, like the decision was intended to circumvent my instructions as the Minister appointed over such matters."

"At any rate, since the general has declared building enforcement and dealing with new land claims an urgent security matter, I acted according to the ministerial agreements, which as you remember were signed in agreement with the Chief of Staff, and sent a letter in which I clarified that we must bring the matter to a vote of the Ministers, and if there is not an agreement between the Ministers then the matter must be brought to the Prime Minister for arbitration."

"Despite all this, the commanding general acted against the agreements and without authority and carried out the enforcement activity. I see this as a most serious instance of the military acting against the state. Beyond that, it is unclear to me why there was no instruction given by you, as Defense Minister, to suspend the demolition until the Prime Minister could reach a decision."

"I request that you order an investigation of the matter and that the findings be transferred to me as well," Smotrich concluded.