Settlement evacuation may end coalition

April 21, 2012 at 4:03 PM

JERUSALEM, April 21 (UPI) -- Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon warned Saturday that evacuating a settlement neighborhood on the West Bank will tear apart the ruling coalition.

Yaalon, speaking at a cultural event in Beersheba, said the Likud Party will not accept forcing settlers to leave the Ulpana neighborhood, The Jerusalem Post reported. The country's Supreme Court ordered the neighborhood emptied by May 1 after finding the land belongs to a Palestinian.

"We are a government that is strictly observant to the rule of law. But we are faced with a problem like that of Ulpana, which the Defense Ministry and the State Attorney's Office want to destroy," Yaalon said. "If the demolition of Ulpana necessitates that the coalition should be broken up, then let the coalition be broken up."

Yaalon and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are both members of the Likud Party. Yaalon said that Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who left the Labor Party and founded the Independence Party last year to remain in the coalition, has a "different agenda" involving the settlements, Haaretz reported.

Netanyahu has been working to have Ulpana declared an authorized part of Beit El, which would negate the high court's order.

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