Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has surprisingly emerged against the demolition orders at Beit El on Tuesday, as IDF and Border Police stormed the site of several homes slated for demolition – and reportedly engaged in police brutality against residents.
"My position on the matter is clear – I am against the demolition order, and I am working to prevent it and to strengthen the settlement of Beit El in particular and Judea and Samaria (Shomron) in general," Ya'alon stated Tuesday, according to Maariv. "In recent weeks I have made several moves to lay the legal groundwork that would prevent the demolition at Beit El, and now I'm waiting for the High Court decision on the matter."
"I made it clear yesterday to Jewish Home ministers with whom I spoke, that there will be no demolition before the court hearing," he added, in response to rage from several Jewish Home and Likud ministers over the moves in preparation for demolition. "In any case, we will act on the matter only in accordance with the law and the decisions of the Supreme Court."
Ya'alon's remarks surface after a photo making the rounds on social media shows an SMS dialogue between Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) and the Beit El mayor, wherein she assures him that Ya'alon told her there would be no demolition overnight.
Hours later, IDF and Border Police stormed Beit El for a surprise takeover of the homes, which are undergoing a legalization process in the High Court for Justice. At least 50 people have been arrested in the ensuing clashes.
Both Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett and Shaked specifically pinned the blame on Ya'alon, who has been responsible for demolitions on multiple occasions in the past.
Shaked, particularly, was livid.
"On the day marking a decade since the Disengagement, the Defense Minister has decided to send security forces, under the cover of darkness, to Beit El," Shaked fired Tuesday. "All of this, despite what he promised me, and despite what I then passed along to the residents of the place."