Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has canceled a planned visit by his Yisrael Beytenu party to the Jewish town of Amona in Samaria, raising fears that the new "nationalist" defense minister will act to demolish the community despite previous statements of solidarity.
Amona is slated for destruction by the end of 2016, in accordance with a Supreme Court ruling, Army Radio reports. As defense minister, Avigdor Liberman is responsible for administration of Judea and Samaria, including enforcing demolition orders.
The Yisrael Beytenu leader had been scheduled for today (Monday), but on the morning of Liberman's swearing in as defense minister party leaders called community heads at Amona to cancel.
The official reason for the cancellation given by Liberman's office is a problem with scheduling, given his new responsibilities.
"From the moment he entered his (new) role, the minister's time has been dedicated to urgent matters… and therefore no new dates will be set for events which were on his previous schedule," sources from Liberman's office responded to the report.
As for why such personal scheduling problems should require all party members to cancel their trip, the sources said a faction event must by definition include all party members.
Residents of Amona are skeptical, however, noting that the "hardline" Liberman of the opposition embarked on an abrupt about-turn on entry into the government, repeatedly insisting he would be "pragmatic" and coming out strongly in favor of territorial concessions.