'Extremist right-wing activists' banned from West Bank

Settlement spokesman blasts orders as 'wicked expulsions without trial', says guilt should be proven through evidence in a court of law.

Clashes settlers Palestinians IDF soldiers 311 R (photo credit: Reuters/Nayef Hashlamoun)
Clashes settlers Palestinians IDF soldiers 311 R
(photo credit: Reuters/Nayef Hashlamoun)
In a joint police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) operation, 12 right-wing activists residing in Yitzhar received administrative restraining orders banning them from the area for varying periods of time.
Six people were banned from a number of West Bank settlements, while three were banned from the West Bank in general. Three more were banned from Yitzhar. One person has also been detained on suspicion of insulting a public servant.
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The orders were signed by the IDF's Central Command.
"The bans were issued following intelligence gathered recently by the Shin Bet regarding a group of extremist activists who live in the Yitzhar area, and who have been involved in leading and carrying out violent, widespread, secret actions in the West Bank against Palestinians," a police statement said.
The activists are suspected of carrying out arson attacks on a number of mosques, cars, and buildings owned by Palestinians, "causing real danger to human lives and disturbing public order," police said.
A spokesman for Yitzhar, Avraham Binyamin, slammed the restraining orders, describing them as "wicked expulsions without trial for four families from Yitzhar."
He added that it was "inconceivable that settlers will be a convenient punching bag for (Defense Minister Ehud) Barak and (Prime Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu, who are trying to rid themselves of the pressures of the housing protests. The ongoing use of restraining orders, which are left over from the British mandate period, proves that there are those who think that it is permissible to persecute settlers in illegal, immoral ways."
"Is Israel the only democracy in the Middle East?" asked Binyamin.
Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan said the decrees were "a forbidden means in democratic society," adding that they should not serve as an alternative to proving one's guilt through evidence in a court of law.