Settlers peacefully evacuate Oz Zion outpost

After clashes with security forces, prevention of evacuation of W. Bank outpost, settlers voluntarily leave after Sabbath.

December 29, 2012 19:37
2 minute read.
Illegal structure demolished in Oz Zion [file]

Demolished structure in Oz Zion outpost 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Settlers peacefully evacuated the Oz Zion outpost on Saturday evening, after the IDF reached an agreement with Kiryat Arba and Hebron Rabbi Dov Lior, Channel 2 reported.

On Friday afternoon, prior to the start of the Sabbath, five Border Police officers were lightly injured when some 200 settlers clashed with security forces attempting to evacuate the illegal West Bank outpost.

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The settlers threw stones at the forces, eventually forcing them to abandon the evacuation attempt.

As settlers began voluntarily leaving Oz Zion on Saturday evening, Judea and Samaria District Spokesman Dudi Ashraf said that as far as the  police are concerned, things are back to normal in the district following the incident. 

Ashraf said that only one person was arrested during the clashes – a minor who threw rocks at a YASSAM officer. The minor will be brought to court for a remand hearing on Saturday night he added.

According to Ashraf, police received a call from the army shortly after the settlers arrived at the outpost on Friday, during which the army told them that there was a large group of youths attempting to stay in the outpost over the weekend without their approval and they needed reinforcements to help them remove them from the area.

When YASSAM, Border Police, and IDF troops arrived at the scene, the youths began throwing rocks at them and punctured the tires of a Border Police car.

Ashraf said that the five Border Police officers wounded during the clashes were all lightly wounded by rocks thrown by the youths, and were treated at the scene.

Tzipi Livni attacked Likud and Bayit Yehudi following the incident, saying they bore the responsibility for a situation in which the IDF and police could come under attack from settlers.

"The extreme-Right, which has taken control of Likud and Bayit Yehudi is clashing with IDF soldiers, doing as it pleases in the territories and forcing the IDF and the police to deal with this instead of security."

On Saturday, Livni attacked Naftali Bennett, accusing the Bayit Yehudi leader of instigating in conjunction with "extremist Rabbis" the clashes between the IDF and residents of the Oz Zion outpost.

Livni accused Bennett of creating unrest amongst the settlers, which led to the confrontation.

Bayit Yehudi called Livni's comments "unfortunate," claiming that she was putting words in Bennett's mouth while he was observing the Sabbath and could not respond. The party charged that Livni was tying Bennett to events to which he had no connection.

Bennett wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday evening that "if there's an illegal outpost that requires evacuation, it can be done on a regular day and not on the Sabbath."

Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich said Saturday that while the decision by settlers to leave the Oz Zion outpost without a struggle was the right move to make, it did not erase Friday's attacks against Border Police officers.

"Justice must be pursued against the lawbreakers," Yacimovich stated. "This was a grave undermining of the rule of law, and a challenge to the state, its laws and the IDF, whose strength is necessary to our existence here."

She added: "We see here a clear and dangerous expression of the  legitimization of refusal to carry out orders and selective adherence to the rule of law."

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