Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postponed the evacuation and demolition of five illegal Palestinian buildings in southern Hebron, following the application of international pressure.
The police action was scheduled for Tuesday morning, with hundreds of police officers and soldiers in position with heavy equipment and demolition explosives, but the illegal buildings, located in Khirbet Susya in the southern Hebron hills, were saved at around 10 p.m. on Monday night by order of the Prime Minister’s Office, according to a report by Ynet.
This is the third time the buildings were spared in the last few months.
The Regavim movement, which petitioned the High Court to demolish the Palestinian outpost, expressed outrage that Netanyahu would save the illegal Palestinian buildings, but destroy two Jewish neighborhoods in less than a week.
“In the past week, Netanyahu implemented the demolition of the Netiv Ha’avot neighborhood and Tapuach West, but avoided demolishing the Palestinian Authority’s outpost in South Mount Hebron,” the organization said in a statement.
“Netanyahu can’t just blame the High Court and the left-wing organizations when he is essentially imposing strict enforcement against the settlements, while demonstrating weakness and zero action against the Palestinian Authority’s intensive and illegal activity.”
Thousands of Jews arrived at Netiv Ha’avot in Judea and Tapuach West in Samaria last week to protest the destruction of the neighborhoods, which were situated on land not owned by the government and claimed by Palestinians, working in coordination with left-wing political groups.
Representatives of the neighborhoods, along with numerous government officials, implored the prime minister to stop the execution of the orders to destroy the Jewish homes and buildings, arguing that it is not uncommon for Supreme Court orders of this nature not to be carried out to completion. However, Netanyahu did not stop the evictions and subsequent demolitions.
The final destruction of the illegal Palestinian homes in Khirbet Susya has come to symbolize the fight for control between the P.A. and Israel in Judea. Destruction of the homes was expected to receive news coverage from international outlets.
Analysts speculate that the demolition may have been postponed in anticipation of the arrival this weekend of U.S. President Donald Trump’s envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, and his special advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.