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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Peretz lied

Arutz Sheva is reporting that Israel's dimwitted 'defense' minister Amir Comrade Peretz lied when he said that Attorney General Manny Mazuz approved the immediate expulsion of the Jewish residents of Shalom House. In fact, Mazuz specifically said that there is no reason for an immediate expulsion, and that the residents could have at least thirty days to institute court proceedings:
The Justice Ministry confirmed this afternoon that Mazuz had found no reason to order an immediate evacuation, but rather that the residents must be informed in advance of the intentions to evacuate them, and be allowed a hearing and a court appeal if necessary.

It is not clear why Peretz's office released the mistaken information regarding Mazuz; Arutz-7 has submitted a query to the Defense Minister's office as to why this announcement was made, and on what basis Mishlav was given the above order.

In response, the Defense Minister's spokesman relayed a copy of the original announcement, which reads: "Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Amir Peretz instructed [Gen. Mishlav] this evening [Tuesday] to evacuate the settlers who occupied the building in Hevron without a permit. The orders come as a result of [or, following] the summation of a meeting and legal opinion that was received today [Tuesday] from Attorney General Mazuz on the matter. It should be emphasized that the evacuation order is being issued because populating the building was done without the legally required permit."

As of late Wednesday afternoon, no evacuation orders had been ordered to the new residents.

The Defense Minister's spokesman also relayed a transcript of Peretz's remarks today on Voice of Israel, in which the interviewer asked, "I must tell you, Mr. Defense Minister, that I don't feel at ease. I hear that the Attorney General says that there is no reason at all - not in terms of security nor in terms of legal issues - to evacuate these people. I hear from the Interior Minister that you can't do it because you're not the government and you don't have the mandate to do it. And you're telling me totally different things."

Another reporter then interrupted and said, "Could it be that the reason for the evacuation is political?"

Peretz responded, "It is not at all connected with political considerations. There is a policy [regarding settlement]... It's not at all political, but rather a question of authority and the rule of law. Wherever the law must be enforced, I will do so in the legal ways at my disposal. I am acting according to the conclusions [that were reached]. The representatives of the Defense Ministry's legal counsel were also at the meeting, and also those of the Military Prosecution, and we are acting according to instructions that were concluded at the meeting led by the Attorney General."
In his zeal to act against the hated revenants, Comrade Peretz has jumped the gun. He thought this was just like declaring a Histadrut strike....
The Attorney General held a meeting regarding Peretz's desire to evacuate the buildings last night (Tuesday). Mazuz said that neither of the two reasons that would justify an immediate evacuation exist. For one thing, there is no security danger inherent in a Jewish presence there; the IDF is not against it, and in fact has had a position on the building's roof in the past years. In addition, the new Jewish residents cannot be termed "squatters" or "infiltrators" because the sale has not been shown to be illegal.

On the other hand, Mazuz told Peretz that if he wants to evacuate the building, he must implement a longer process that will allow the Jews who purchased it to appeal to the Supreme Court. This route involves the claim that every acquisition in Yesha (Judea and Samaria) must be approved in advance. It is widely agreed that this is a process that could easily take months, and the residents currently there are preparing either to remain for the long haul, or to make way for others who will.

MK Uri Ariel (National Union) advised Peretz today to back down from his desire to evacuate the building. "For one thing," Ariel said on the Knesset Channel, "it's not Peretz's decision to make, but rather the entire government's.
YNet is reporting that the cabinet will hold an 'urgent meeting' on Sunday at the request of Interior Minister Ronnie Bar-On, who was infuriated by Peretz's actions:
Bar-On claimed that Peretz has overstepped his authority when he decided on the evacuation without consulting the government, and added that the settlers' right to the property was undisputed.


In a letter he sent to Government Secretary Yisrael Maimon, Bar-On noted that a government decision from 1980 enables Jews to settle in Hebron. He also stressed that any decision to evacuate settlers should first get the government's approval.

According to Bar-On, the settlers' legal claim to the house had not been challenged up to his point, and the army itself did not find cause for an immediate evacuation on security grounds.
47 more days until (May 28) Peretz is gone as Chairman of the Labor Party, and probably not more than a day or two after that until he is gone as 'defense minister.' Let's hope there are no more wars before that.


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