It took Naftali Bennett, HaBayit HaYehudi chairman and right-wing icon of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, almost three days before he issued his first hint of criticism about the decision to rein in construction in the settlements. On the evening of April 2, he tweeted, “This was a missed strategic opportunity. Instead of laying out alternatives … we were passive.”
Bennett was referring to what took place March 30, when the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet convened for an urgent meeting. It was close to midnight when the Cabinet made public its decision to establish a new West Bank settlement for the settlers evacuated from the Amona outpost. The decision made it into the weekend newspapers just before deadlines and was of historical significance: It will be the first new settlement established in 20 years.