Clashes erupt as Yad Yair is evacuated

Army: Settlers attacked reservists and slashed vehicle tires; settlers deny any violence.

September 18, 2008 14:31
2 minute read.
dismantling outpost 298

idf dismantling outpost settlers 248 88. (photo credit: Channel 1[file])

Settlers clashed with IDF reservists on Thursday in response to the evacuation of the unauthorized Yad Yair outpost near the Dolev settlement, west of Ramallah. The settlers attacked reservists near the outpost and slashed the tires around 10 military vehicles, officers said. The settlers denied that they participated in any violence. The evacuation caught them by surprise because last month they had come to an agreement with the army to move the outpost, which is home to a couple with four children and students attending a nearby yeshiva. "It was an unnecessary move," Binyamin Regional Council Avi Ro'eh said. Dolev resident Iris Zangi said Yad Yair was not one of the 105 outposts categorized for the government by attorney Talia Sasson in her 2005 report. Nor is it listed by Peace Now. Zangi said the site had been an army base until it was abandoned three years ago. Settlers from the area had since turned one of the buildings into a synagogue. A monument also existed there to Dolev resident Yair Mendelson, who was killed by Palestinians in the first intifada and for whom Yad Yair was named. The IDF destroyed both the monument and the synagogue, Zangi said. They had been rebuilt since they were destroyed by Palestinians in 2007, she said. Ro'eh, who has been working with the Defense Ministry on a number of deals to voluntarily relocate outposts, including Migron, which is often seen as the flagship of the outpost movement, said Thursday's actions were a blow to the process. "It harms the trust that has been built up between us," he said. He said he believed the move was an act of "revenge" for the outbreak of settler violence in the Samaria Regional Council to the north. Zangri said the moment they were notified of the impending evacuation Wednesday they tried to speak with the IDF, which ignored their requests. They even tried to turn to High Court of Justice, but the army moved in anyway, she said. According to the IDF, around noon, hundreds of border policemen and officials from the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria arrived to evacuate Yad Yair. Following the evacuation, a group of settlers from northern Samaria set fire to olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers in nearby fields. Two settlers were arrested. Palestinians from Madama said about 200 trees were set on fire. The village is in the northern West Bank, between Nablus and the Yitzhar settlement. Violence between settlers and Palestinians in Samaria has been on the upswing recently. Last weekend, settlers went on a rampage in a Asira el-Kibliyeh, throwing stones and shooting in the streets, after a Palestinian infiltrated Yitzhar and stabbed nine-year-old Tuvia Shtatman.

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