IDF tries to postpone illegal outpost evictions

Fearing settler unrest, Defense Ministry working with State Attorney’s Office to seek delay to court-ordered evictions.

September 28, 2011 02:52
2 minute read.
Woman defends homes at Migron outpost

Woman defends homes at Migron outpost. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The Defense Ministry is working with the State Attorney’s Office to seek a delay to court-ordered evictions of a number of illegal outposts over the coming months.

Behind the request are fears within the defense establishment that evacuations from homes in Judea and Samaria could lead to a major escalation in settler violence against Palestinians in what is often referred to as “price tag” attacks.

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Photo Gallery: 3 homes demolished in Migron outpost

“A number of outposts are scheduled to be removed in the coming months and there is concern that it could escalate the situation on the ground in the West Bank,” a senior defense official explained on Tuesday.

Peace Now secretary-general Yariv Oppenheimer said that if the defense establishment decides to ask the courts for an extension, it will be playing into the hands of the people behind the price-tag attacks.

“Doing this would be giving in to the bullies and terrorists who carry out the price-tag attacks, and if the state says that because of them they are not fulfilling their duties, then they will be getting their way,” Oppenheimer said.

The army will retain a high level of alert in the West Bank over Rosh Hashana and Shabbat out of fear that Palestinians will take advantage of the Jewish holiday and hold large demonstrations throughout the territories.

IDF sources said that the military was satisfied with the ongoing coordination with Palestinian Authority security forces and that they were working to contain demonstrations inside cities and to prevent demonstrators from clashing with soldiers.

Meanwhile, OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrachi said that he was in favor of implementing the death penalty for the two Palestinians convicted of murdering five members of the Fogel family in the Itamar settlement on March 11.

One of the murderers has been sentenced to five consecutive life sentences and the other is awaiting sentencing.

“In this case, it would have been right for the military prosecution to demand a death penalty for the perpetrators,” Mizrachi said in an interview with Army Radio. “The chief of General Staff said it before me; these are not people worthy of being called human beings.”

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