Liberman Warns Against Clash With Army at Amona

Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

As the likelihood of an ugly confrontation at Amona grew in the wake of the High Court decision to proceed with evacuation on schedule, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman appealed for moderation on Tuesday.

“Don’t drag the IDF into politics,” Liberman said during an inauguration ceremony of a new IDF training base complex in the Negev. “The IDF only implements. The people who make the decisions are the government. Don’t let it come to clashes with IDF soldiers.”

“I am talking about the possibility that we will need to evacuate Amona. The things that I have already heard said are unacceptable,” Liberman said.

Earlier in the day Amona resident Tamar Nizri warned over Army Radio that the residents will not resort to violence, but that they cannot control the thousands of people who are anticipated be there to resist a forceable evacuation.

“We will do everything in our power to remain here — these are scenes that a right-wing government doesn’t want to see,” she continued. “I personally will not raise a hand, but I am not responsible for the mass of people we are telling to prepare for the order day. If the soldiers come, I want there to be such painful pictures that it will not happen again. That Jews never again be forced off their land.”

“Hitler’s soldiers also received orders. So what? There are orders and there are laws, and logic and basic ethics,” Nizri said.

Haaretz reported Tuesday that Deputy Police Commissioner Moshe Barkat, Commander of the Yehudah and Shomron district, heard much the same from Amona residents. When he asked them to avoid violent resistance, they replied that while they would comply, they could not speak for others.

Meanwhile, the community of Ofra, an outpost in Shomron similarly threatened by court evacuation, urged MKs in the coalition to support the Regulation Law, or Amona bill, in the preliminary reading on Wednesday, and to amend it to satisfy the Attorney General and the High Court afterwards, according to Arutz Sheva.

“All of [Yehudah and Shomron], and Ofra in particular, is subject to a serious legal threat which demands brave legislation that will also stand up to the scrutiny of the Court,” the community said.

Nine homes have been marked for demolition, and the families plan to be at the Knesset on Wednesday to lobby for immediate passage of the law to prevent that from happening.

On Monday night, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit spoke of his reservatiomns regarding such legislation:

“Even when a country is struggling against terror, it must work within the framework of the law. The state will always be subject to the rule of law – this also applies to the regulation of illegal building in [Yehudah and Shomron],” he said.

“As Attorney General, I am obligated to help the government bring about its policy which, today, entails finding legal solutions that will prevent the evacuation of buildings that was established in cooperation with authorities. But these solutions will always be within the framework of the law.”

Mandelblit reiterated his position that the Regulation Law would not work. “Solutions – including legislative ones – should not be accepted which don’t stand up to the requirements of the law which, in this case, is constitutional and international law. Further, legislation that hurts the status of the Court should not be accepted.”