Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett were vying for credit Thursday over a proposal for a six-month stay in the demolition of the Amona outpost, The Times of Israel reported.
Netanyahu reached an agreement with the justice and defense ministers and the attorney general to submit a request to the High Court for the delay, the Prime Minister’s Office announced.
Bennett claimed the decision was precipitated by his ultimatum to Netanyahu Wednesday night that if a delay were not proposed, his Jewish Home party would leave the coalition, causing the government to fall. The coalition has only 67 members, and losing that party’s eight members would wreck its majority in the Knesset.
Netanyahu countered that the decision had been made prior to his meeting with Bennett and that the “spin” was “damaging the process.”
The U.S. harshly condemned a plan to relocate the 40 families in Amona to a housing project to be built in nearby Shiloh, in the Shomron. The Foreign Ministry disputed the State Department’s assertion that it constitutes a “new settlement.”
Meanwhile, part of the land in Shiloh has been claimed by Palestinians, which adds to the complexity of the situation.