Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday called the dismantling of illegal outposts in Judea and Samaria a "red line" and warned of the dire consequences that would result from such an action.
"The government will fall apart if communities are evacuated," Lieberman said at a Yisrael Beitenu faction meeting.
"We are not talking about small outposts, but communities with dozens of families," Lieberman said. "Just because [former head of the State Prosecution Criminal Department] Talia Sasson [authored a report that] deems them illegal outposts, does not mean our hands are tied."
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Lieberman went on to say that these communities were built legally, with all the necessary authorizations. "Dismantling the outposts crosses a red line as far as we and others are concerned," he said. "The Likud and the New National Religious Party would also oppose such an action."
Lieberman was referring specifically to the illegal outposts of Givat Assaf and Migron, which have been declared illegal by Israel's top courts and have been slated for demolition by the end of March 2012.
On Tuesday Lieberman elaborated on his warning. Speaking with Israel Radio, Lieberman said his threat to topple the government over the outpost issue "is just an implied threat." But he warned that his party would have to act if faced with "such a wrenching dilemma" in the event outposts are removed.
The state, earlier this month, requested a six-month delay from the High Court in an attempt to prevent the destruction of the outposts. The High Court is expected to respond to the request in a matter of days.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Likud colleagues at a party meeting two weeks ago that the government cannot sanction buildings erected on privately owned Palestinian land.
Likud MKs replied that in some cases there is no proof of the Palestinians' claims to the land, and that in others, private deals had been made to purchase the land for the settlers. Netanyahu asked for an inquiry into whether the Palestinians would be willing to accept compensation instead of land.
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