Video of Wednesday's expulsion of 15 families from Beit Hamachpela ("House of the Patriarchs") shows several busloads of border police were employed.This has led to some rightful outrage:
"They took our home before Passover!" one little girl who was expelled can be seen crying in the video.
The expulsion violated an agreement between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Ministers Benny Begin and Moshe Yaalon to delay action on the issue until April 26 – after the Passover holiday.
Netanyahu had previously said the expulsion was on hold until the legal facts of the case could be established.
An unconfirmed report in the Hebrew-language Maariv indicated Netanyahu consented to the Defense Minister's face-heel turn late Tuesday evening after Barak told him it was "necessary for security reasons."
However, Barak subsequently told reporters on Wednesday that he refused to delay and allow the residents to "create facts on the ground."
His comments lead credence to charges from Likud lawmakers that Barak – whose independence party has yet to poll well enough to be seated in the Knesset should elections be held – is seeking to use the eviction as an electoral ploy.
The expulsion of Jewish families from the Machpelah House in Hevron on Wednesday afternoon caused outrage in the coalition as well as the opposition. MKs and ministers in coalition parties strongly criticized Defense Minister Ehud Barak for giving his go-ahead to the eviction, and several called to restrict his powers.Avigdor Lieberman has also slammed Barak on his atrocious deed. There is definitely a case to be made here that the defense ministry cannot be allowed to have control over who buys property over the "green line". This could also cause some embarrassment for Netanyahu as well, if he doesn't come to the defense of the people who were living there till now.
Barak approved the violent expulsion despite a request from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to delay eviction until the legal facts could be determined.
Deputy Minister Leah Nass of Likud called Barak’s decision “an outrage” and accused the defense minister of “ignoring the buyers’ human rights.”
“Citizens in the state of Israel must not be treated this way,” Nass said.
Minister Limor Livnat of Likud accused Barak of overstepping his bounds. “We should all remember that this is a Likud government, not an ‘Independence government,’” she said.
Barak is disturbing the peace in Hevron, not preserving it, Minister of Diaspora Affairs Yuli-Yoel Edelstein (Yisrael Beiteinu) accused. “I call on the Prime Minister to take over authority over Judea and Samaria from Barak, in order to maintain the delicate balance of life there,” he said.
Minister of Science Daniel Hershkowitz, head of the Bayit Yehudi party, expressed displeasure as well. Barak is ignoring the will of the majority of Israelis, he said. “His authority in Judea and Samaria must be taken away,” Hershkowitz said.
“This isn’t a struggle between those who uphold the law and those who break it,” he added, “but between those who love Israeli settlement in Judea and Samaria and those who seek to destroy it.” The expulsion was carried out “for personal political reasons,” he accused.