IDF to probe charges that outpost was evacuated on Shabbat

Settlers: Evacuation of Givat Ha'or outpost near Beit El continued after nightfall Friday.

February 26, 2006 01:13
1 minute read.
alone settler in wet haze 298 ap, sdeh boaz outpos

alone settler in wet haz. (photo credit: AP)

The IDF said Saturday night that it planned to run an internal investigation into allegations by settlers that troops backed up by policemen evacuated an illegal outpost after sundown on Friday. Settlers said the evacuation of the Givat Ha'or outpost near Beit El on Friday night was not "life-threatening" - an obligatory condition according to military regulations to run operations over Shabbat - and should not have been done. "It's wrong for the army to break Shabbat," said outpost spokesman Pini Root. "It's an occurrence that must not happen again." On Friday, dozens of right-wing activists set up tents at the site of the small outpost, which had been evacuated by the IDF on Tuesday. With hours to spare before sundown, the IDF and Border Police arrived at Givat Ha'or, the activists said, and began filming them. The soldiers, the activists said, continued filming into Shabbat and then confiscated the teens' equipment and asked them to leave. The teens agreed and then walked to Beit El, said Root. The outpost, which had been mostly manned by teens, was set up last Hannuka. Officers who participated in the non-violent evacuation said that the entire operation and the filming had been done while it was still light outside. But senior officials in the Central Command said the army planned to run an internal investigation to determine whether the troops violated army regulations and operated after sundown. According to the officers, troops stationed near the outpost spotted settlers returning there right before Shabbat. The troops then showed the settlers an IDF order that declared the area a closed military zone and asked them to leave. "According to our initial findings, it appears that everything was done while it was still light outside," one officer said, stressing that the army did not carry out such operations on Shabbat.

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