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Leader of settlement organization steps down citing ‘differences of opinion’

Former Yesha Council chairman and head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council in the West Bank David Elhayani at a protest tent outside the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on June 21, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Former Yesha Council chairman and head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council in the West Bank David Elhayani at a protest tent outside the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on June 21, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

David Elhayani, chairman of the Yesha Council umbrella organization representing local authorities in the West Bank settlements, resigns following a tempestuous three-year tenure.

In his letter of resignation, Elhayani cites “differences of opinion” that arose around his leadership, referring to his direct affiliation with Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party, which is a coalition partner in the outgoing government.

He refers to his three years in office and “political developments and new elections” as reasons for his departure, although it remains unclear if he is seeking to run for Knesset.

Elhayani’s association with the current government generated harsh opposition to his leadership of the Yesha Council, which is strongly supportive of the right-wing, religious parties in the current opposition.

Just last month, dozens of settlement local council members signed a letter calling for him to resign after he backed a government position on the settlements at odds with the opposition’s stance, which was backed by many settler leaders.

The process of selecting a new chairman of the Yesha Council will begin at the upcoming general assembly of the organization.

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