Eyewitness accounts published in The Jerusalem Post in which residents of the Negev Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran said police fired at a vehicle during the January 18 demolition operation there have sparked sharp criticism by an opposition lawmaker of the government’s handling of the incident.
MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Union) said the Post report and other reports emerging about the incident appear to show that the scene of the police operation was a “complete mess.” She also blasted Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan for rushing to say that it was a terrorist ramming attack that killed the soldier Erez Levi and wounded at least one other policeman.
The accounts published in the Post contradict the police version of events that led to the deaths of Levi and driver Yacoub al-Kaeean during the court-ordered demolition operation.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld implied that the eyewitness accounts of Sabri Abu al-Kaeean and Tayseer Abu al-Kaeean, which were reported in the Post on Monday, were not credible. “The incident is being looked at and examined. The Public Security Ministry declined to comment.
Criticism of the operation also emerged from the right on Monday.
Former defence minister Moshe Arens termed the demolitions “a human tragedy that should not have been permitted to occur.
“We are in the process of having the Bedouin population become loyal citizens of the State of Israel and that doesn’t move things in that direction at all,” he said. “From a human point of view, it’s a very unfortunate incident, something that should not have been done. Even if the High Court of Justice gave its okay, it should not have been done.
MK Eli Cohen (Kulanu) was appointed Minister of Economics while MK Ayoob Kara (Likud) was appointed Minister without Portfolio during a Knesset plenum vote that took place on Monday afternoon.
The two new ministers were approved by a vote of 45-33, Yediot Aharonot reports.
An elated Cohen outlined his plans for strengthening the economy, placing particular emphasis on attracting investment
“Advancing the economy and industry is a subject that is close to my heart,” Cohen said “I will work to strengthen economic growth by increasing investment in industry, raising productivity, attracting investors and international companies to Israel, investing in and advancing education in technology and protecting the rights of workers who constitute the source of human capital crucial to development.”
The High Court of Justice on Monday issued a temporary injunction halting work to prepare a new location for the Amona outpost in the West Bank, complicating government efforts to find a solution for the settlers and avoid a possible violent standoff, the Times of Israel reports.
Amona is scheduled for court-ordered removal by a February 8 deadline and, in a deal struck last month with the government, the residents agreed to move to an adjacent plot. The injunction prevents preparation of the new site until a further decision is taken, but does not halt the removal of the existing outpost.
The petition, filed by human rights group Yesh Din, objected to a government plan to divide certain plots, which supposedly had no present claimant, and called for the deal to be cancelled.
Settlers in the Amona outpost of some 40 families, which was built on Palestinian land, accused the government on Monday of not living up to the terms of the deal reached in December that would see them voluntarily moved nearby.Tuesday, January 24, 2017