Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Defense Minister Benny Gantz told Yamina’s former coalition head, MK Idit Silman, that he intends to expel all the Jews from Chomesh, and the deal with the settlers from Evyatar will not be implemented in the near future. Furthermore, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar all know this.

Gantz and Silman met on Wednesday in the Kirya building in Tel Aviv, according to Channel 12’s Yaron Avraham.

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Gantz told Silman that Chomesh and its yeshiva will once and for all, soon be completely evacuated of all Jews. He has no intention on compromising on this, as he says that is the law.

Gantz also told Silman that any repopulation of the settlement of Evyatar will take a very long time. Gantz blamed this on former AG Avichai Mandelblit, claiming that he had decided that declaring the community’s land as state land would then require allowing an additional 45 days for people to file appeals on the land, and no one can move in until the end of the appeals process – and who knows how long that will take.

That of course was not how anyone else involved in the agreement understood it.

It appears that Gantz believes that elections are approaching fast and he needs to shore up his appeal to his leftwing voters, and what better way than doing that, than by hurting the settlers. Gantz’s statements made it clear to Silman and to the Opposition, that he doesn’t intend to join their replacement coalition in the current Knesset.

Gantz also told Silman that the Judea & Samaria planning committee may soon be allowed to meet, perhaps even in May. This was a demand by Yamina MK Nir Orbach in exchange for his not quitting the coalition. Fortuitous for them that Orbach didn’t mention Evyatar or Chomesh in his rather minimalistic demands.

The head of the Shomron Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, reacts sharply to the report on Gantz’s remarks to Silman and threatened the government with a struggle that will “shock the country”:

“Violation of the Evyatar agreement by Naftali Bennett and Bnei Gantz is a red line.
If Evyatar’s agreement is violated – we will go to a public struggle that will shock the country. Settlement in Samaria will not be an overrun of any cynical internal political struggle between the components of this government.
I wholeheartedly suggest to the politicians in this government not to bring the public who love the Land of Israel to the edge.”

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