Ayelet Shaked challenges Netanyahu: Stop wasting time, build in Hebron now

Shaked challenged Netanyahu to sign off on building a new Jewish neighborhood in a marketplace area once owned by Jews in the city of Hebron.

By World Israel News Staff

Right-wing leader Ayelet Shaked threw down the gauntlet to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, publishing an online post in which she said: “Enough wasting time, now’s the moment to build a Jewish neighborhood in Hebron. It’s in your hands.”

The head of Yemina, an alliance of several parties to the right of Netanyahu’s Likud, issued the challenge ahead of the prime minister’s visit to the city on Wednesday.

Netanyahu is visiting the city for the first time in 20 years to take part in the commemoration of the 1929 Arab massacre of Jews in Hebron, in which 67 Jews were slaughtered in a pogrom.

About 1,000 Jews live in Hebron today in a small enclave surrounded by 250,000 Arabs.

Hebron’s Jewish residents and their supporters hope that Netanyahu will take the opportunity of his visit to announce his approval for Jewish building in a marketplace that had been owned by Jews before the massacre.

Shaked said in her post, “Every day that the property of those murdered in the 1980 massacre is in the hands of the Palestinian mayor, the murderer – is a day of national shame and disgrace.” (Hebron’s mayor, Tayseer Abu Sneineh, was convicted in the 1980 Hebron attack, in which three Israelis, two Americans, and one Canadian were killed.)

In early November, Shaked, then serving as justice minister, announced “a legal breakthrough” in the case of the Jewish market in Hebron, in which she, together with others, including Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, approved an end to the Arab Hebron municipality’s control of the market in favor of building a Jewish neighborhood.

Shaked wrote in her Wednesday post, “It is hard to believe and it is difficult to understand that until now the legal route I paved hasn’t yet been realized.”

She called on the prime minister, “Even before you leave for the state ceremony, send the letter to the mayor of Hebron this morning already! 10 months is too long.”