[I told you so] PM and DM statement after instructions of Min. Smotrich
Ignored and New Outpost Evacuated
Dr. Aaron Lerner 20 January 2022
Further to my 29 December 2022 Commentary: Coalition Agreements Give
Netanyahu Veto Power in Judea and Samaria (below)
Today an outpost was evacuated in contravention of explicit written
instructions issued by Min. Smotrich
Prime Minister's Office Statement
The Government supports settlement but only when it is done legally and is
coordinated in advance with the Prime Minister and security officials, which
was not done in this case. The Prime Minister will convene a discussion on
the issue early next week.
Defense Ministry Statement
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant recently spoke with IDF Chief-of-Staff
Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, and reaffirmed his full support for the IDF and
Every action on the ground must be conducted in accordance with the law. It
must also be fully coordinated and must be taken in accordance with the
relevant security situation assessment.
Commentary: Coalition Agreements Give Netanyahu Veto Power in Judea and
Dr. Aaron Lerner 29 December 2022
Copies of the coalition agreements are available on the Knesset website:
The phrase which probably appears in the agreements with the greatest
frequency in sections dealing with Judea and Samaria is "in coordination and
subject to the consent of the prime minister".
Paragraph 21 of the appendix to the coalition agreement between the Likud
and Religious Zionists dated December 1st essentially strips Smotrich of any
power: "The minister in the Ministry of Defense as per subparagraph 6.4
(hereinafter the minister) (AL: Smotrich) will receive receive full
responsibility for areas of activity of Coordination of Government
Activities in the Territories and the Civil Authority. The activity of the
minister will be in coordination with and subject to the consent of the
So when Binyamin Netanyahu reassured America in various interviews in
English that he was in charge in Judea and Samaria he knew he already had
this appendix signed.
As for applying sovereignty to Judea and Samaria, Paragraph 118 of the
coalition agreement between the Likud and Religious Zionists dated December
28th states "...the prime minister will lead the development and advancement
of policies within whose framework sovereignty will apply to Judea and
Samaria, while choosing the timing and weighing all of the national and
international interests of the State of Israel."
In other words: Binyamin Netanyahu can opt to freeze Jewish construction in
Judea and Samaria while ignoring illegal Arab construction and indefinitely
postpone any application of sovereignty to any areas of Judea and Samaria.
The "explanation of the month" for such a policy is the opportunity to
establish diplomatic relations with the Saudis.
The idea is that the Saudis would excuse the move as a measure to prevent
Israel from annexing Judea and Samaria. But right now the "annexation
threat" is a gun with dud bullets.
I daresay that if the Netanyahu coalition were to do a snap annexation of
the Jordan Valley and perhaps other strategic areas that this would give the
Saudis a substantially stronger justification to establish diplomatic
relations with the Jewish State to prevent additional annexations.
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