Israel evicted settlers from Hebron homes pending issuance of necessary government permits.
Israeli settlers can move into homes they claim to have purchased in downtown Hebron only when they receive all legally required permits, Israeli prime minister Netanyahu said on Friday, after some 20 settler families and scores of activists were evicted from two adjacent buildings in Hebron's Old City.
Israeli military forces on Friday removed the settlers a day after they had moved into the buildings.
The settlers' move came as a surprise to Israeli military and government authorities, who were not informed or coordinated with in advance. They were not granted a permit of transaction, required under military orders in the occupied West Bank, for carrying out real-estate deals.
Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya'alon said Friday that the "intruders" were evicted because they "trampled the law," having failed to take several legal measures required to move into the houses.
"The settlements are important to me and I take action [to support them], but I won't compromise on the law," he said.
Right wing politicians verbally attacked Ya’alon, after the army evicted the settlers.
Politicians from the ruling Likud and Jewish Home parties threatened to destabilise the government coalition in response to the eviction.
Deputy Regional Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud) said it “is forbidden to remove Jews from their homes. Such a move will have consequences,” he warned.
MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) said he will be taking drastic measures because “as a member of the coalition, I am responsible for its behaviour and giving critical speeches is not enough.”
MK Smotrich wrote on Twitter that "I have notified the prime minister that I will not be voting with the coalition until the Hebron settlers can return to the homes they bought legally and properly." Smotrich made a similar statement several months ago after a settlement home was evicted, although he eventually capitulated.
MK Oren Hazan (Likud) said "the coalition should not bring anything up for a vote next Monday.
Hazan accused Ya'alon of running a private policy that opposes coalition agreements.
"It is unacceptable for the defense minister to have his own private policy, especially during this wave of terrorism we're going through," Hazan said.
"Settlements are important to me and I work to aid them, but I will not compromise on legal matters," replied Ya'alon.
"The claims regarding purchased homes will be examined, as will security and state aspects of the matter, before their occupancy is approved. Those who work by breaking the law are not aiding the settlements, but severely harming them," he added.
Like many houses in the area, the buildings occupied by the settlers were not physically populated. The insecurity created by continuous settler attacks military harassment has led many of the 30 thousand residents of Hebron's Old City to leave the area.