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Wednesday, April 11, 2007 

Amir Peretz wants to throw Jews out of a legally bought house, but is finding opposition to it

Israeli defense minister Amir Peretz is now getting what he's asked for: opposition. He wants to throw Jewish residents out of the building in Hebron that was legally purchased, but he's finding now that other government and Knesset members, are against what he wants to do:
Opposition by government ministers over the decision to evacuate the contentious Hebron home, which was taken over by settlers on March 19 as in an ownership dispute, increased on Wednesday afternoon.

Interior Minister Roni Bar-On urged the government secretary to convene an urgent meeting before the planned evacuation.

"There is no reason for Jews not to live in Hebron, or anywhere else in Israel for that matter," said Bar-On. "The decision (to evacuate Israelis) falls on the entire government and not just on the defense minister," he stated.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai also added to the growing dissatisfaction of MKs on the issue. While visiting the disputed house, Yishai said, "any residents of a property that was lawfully purchased can't be legitimately removed from their home."

The occupants of the building received orders from Defense Minister Amir Peretz Wednesday morning to vacate the property within 15 days.

However, Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz refused to permit the evacuation of the house for the time being.

Army Radio reported that in a meeting held Tuesday evening, Mazuz said that there was no security reason for the evacuation and that the settlers could not be defined as intruders. He emphasized that a more extensive legal procedure would be needed to allow petitions to be filed to the High Court in order to determine the case.
I don't know if it's because the government is desperate to do something to restore their shrinking credibility, but they're quite right that aside from being a house in Israel, this is also a legal purchase and they cannot throw someone out of their own property. Peretz may deny this is out of political motivations, but it's apparent that he hopes to get Muslims to vote for him in the Labor party primaries, and that could be why he's trying to do this.

Update: no, Olmert isn't allowing him to do it.

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