Far-right activists must be stopped, threatened Civil Administration says

"We know where you live," letter to officer reads.

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June 7, 2009 23:03
2 minute read.
Far-right activists must be stopped, threatened Civil Administration says

masked settlers riot hebron 248.88 aj. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

The IDF's Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria is feeling increasingly isolated in the face of death threats and violent intimidation from far-right activists. Over the past few weeks, two senior civil administration officers who cannot be named have been targeted. A source from the administration told The Jerusalem Post of his frustrations at the lack of measures being taken to tackle the radicals. "Our people are being threatened. Measures to stop the activists are insufficient. We wish Judea and Samaria police did more," the source said on Sunday. "We hope we don't end up dealing with the murder of an IDF figure," he added. In one recent incident, a senior officer received a letter from settler activists which read, "We know where you live, we will harm you and your family, and we'll know how to deal with you." In addition, activists held a protest outside the home of another officer while his family was at home, calling him a "criminal." The threats came shortly before Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni, OC Central Command, received a death threat in the form of a letter, apparently in response to recent IDF operations to clear illegal West Bank settlement outposts. "You are infected with anti-Semitism and hatred of real Jews," the letter read. "The Arabs are your beloved, the sons of Satan, and you, the son of Satan, support them. We'll know how to reach you, too," it continued. "We're not panicking, and we haven't yet assigned bodyguards to the threatened officers," the civil administration source said. "But lines are being crossed." A complaint had been submitted to police, he added. Activists have targeted the civil administration because of the key role it plays in identifying illegal structures in the West Bank. "Part of our job is to monitor the area, and we search for illegal structures on a daily basis. Once these are identified, we produce decrees to demolish the structures, or we produce orders that prohibit further construction," the source explained. The civil administration, which works closely with the Palestinian Authority's emergency services, has also been instrumental in helping Palestinian civilians deal with the activists' "price tag" policy. Price-tag is the term employed by a group of settler activists to describe attacks on Israeli security personnel and Palestinian targets, such as the torching of Palestinian-owned fields, in response to the removals of outposts. On June 3, hours after Border Police and civil administration officials demolished structures in two unauthorized outposts in the Binyamin region, two Palestinian fields in Samaria were set alight. "Palestinians contacted us, and we mobilized Palestinian firefighters to the scene to douse the blaze," the source said. "We are the people who first receive reports of these attacks." Judea and Samaria police spokesman Danny Poleg said the police was "doing the best that we can to deal with the price-tag policy." Emphasizing that the Judea and Samaria police was part of "an overall security response," Poleg said, "Together with the army and the Border Police, we are doing our utmost to deal with law breakers." The police increased daily patrols of areas where tensions between Jews and Arabs were high, and as soon as "something unusual happens," a situation analysis was held to find ways to prevent things from spiraling out of control, he said. "We are using all legal means to maintain balance in the area," Poleg said.


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