Defense Minsiter Benny Gantz hits back at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s warning against demolishing an illegal outpost that was recently established by national religious settlers in the northern West Bank.
“There’s no stipulation in law that requires a demarcation order [by the army] in the Judea and Samaria region to be approved by the prime minister,” Gantz’s office writes to Netanyahu, effectively telling the prime minister he had no authority over the site.
“Irrespective of the complex questions surrounding the determination of the status of land in that area, the mere act of establishing the outpost is an illegal act of exceptional scope and type,” the letter from Gantz’s office says. “It is those anomalous characteristics of this case that led to the decision to issue a demarcation order, which followed consultation with all relevant defense and legal authorities.”
In a letter to Gantz sent yesterday, Netanyahu’s chief of staff, Asher Ohayon, claimed that the head of the IDF Central Command did not have the authority to issue a “demarcation order” this week barring additional construction in the Evyatar outpost and ordering all inhabitants to vacate the site with their belongings beginning next week. Ohayon said that such sensitive military orders require the prime minister’s approval.