Lapid-Bennett friction? PM did not inform top diplomat of plan to raze terrorist’s home

Lapid seemed to place the blame on Netanyahu, saying, “Years of government neglect caused the communication and coordination system between the Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office not to function properly.” 

By World Israel News Staff

The IDF razed the home of a Palestinian terrorist in Samaria early Thursday morning, triggering condemnation from the Biden administration.

The demolition of the home of Muntasir Shalabi, who shot and killed 19-year-old yeshiva student Yehuda Guetta in early May, was done without the knowledge of Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and despite a request by Washington not to do so, Channel 13 reports.

The demolition in the village of Turmus-Aya in Samaria was carried out after the terrorist’s family filed a petition with the High Court of Justice, which rejected it.

“We are following reports that the home was demolished,” a U.S. Embassy spokesperson said in a statement.

“We believe it is critical for all parties to refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution.

“This certainly includes the punitive demolition of Palestinian homes. As we stated numerous times, the home of an entire family should not be demolished for the actions of one individual.”

Lapid’s office contacted Bennett’s, the Channel 13 report said, demanding to know why they were not informed of the decision, adding that they could have prepared and softened the harsh response from the U.S. administration.

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The Prime Minister’s Office reportedly responded that it is not their job to update on such matters.

Lapid apparently placed the blame on the Netanyahu government, saying, “Years of government neglect caused the communication and coordination system between the Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office to not function properly. We are now fixing and arranging everything.”

Lapid has accused former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu of cultivating ties with Republicans at the expense of Democrats, transforming once-bipartisan support for Israel into an issue that splits along party lines.

“In the past few years, mistakes were made,” Lapid told Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a June meeting in Rome. “Israel’s bipartisan standing was hurt. We will fix those mistakes together.”