Police restrain activists in Samaria

All five of the Samaria residents have been suspects in attacks against Palestinians in the past.

October 6, 2006 00:29
2 minute read.
olive harvest 88

olive harvest 88. (photo credit: )

Days after the olive harvest began, police issued a notice of pending restraining orders on Thursday to five right-wing activists in Samaria in hopes of warding off violence between settlers and Palestinians. The orders are against three residents of Yitzhar, one resident of Tapuah and one resident of Shiloh. All five of the Samaria residents have been suspects in attacks against Palestinians in the past. Police said that in four of the five cases, the notices were delivered to the recipients without incident. By Thursday night, police had yet to locate the fifth would-be recipient but said they were relying on intelligence information to locate him. Among those who received the orders was well-known Yitzhar activist Nerya Ofan, who is the father of five children under the age of 10. Last year he spent four months in administrative detention under suspicion that he planned terror attacks against Palestinians in an effort to thwart disengagement. Yitzhar spokesman Yigal Amitai said that Ofan planned to appeal the order. He said that Ofan, who is 35, was arrested last year because he was a well-known activist and not because he was planning any violent actions. According to the order, Amitai said, Ofan would be barred from entering Judea and Samaria for half a year, a situation that would be untenable for his family. He said that the orders were an attempt by Defense Minister Amir Peretz to score minor victories by evacuating outposts and defending Palestinians to make up for his failures on a larger scale. Amitai said the media was overly focused on alleged settler violence against Palestinians, which had rarely been proven to be true. He said that it was the Palestinians who were attacking the settlers, and alleged specifically that they were stealing farm equipment and damaging fields. The notices delivered Thursday morning by police detectives alerted the recipients that they would all be issued restraining orders prohibiting their presence in the West Bank, and instructing them to go to local police stations to be issued the formal orders. The recipients have the right to appeal the orders to the attorney-general's office within four days of receiving the notice. Otherwise, if they fail to report to the police stations to collect the orders they will be considered by police to have carried out a criminal act. Nonetheless, police said that whether or not they collect the orders, which were issued by the IDF, they will be considered as having received them. Four of the restraining orders were issued for six months and the fifth was issued for a two-month period.

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