The IDF renewed a number of standing administrative demarcation orders against several West Bank outposts, which would give the military the authority to immediately evacuate the fledgling hilltop communities.
Among the outposts that received the order, according to settlers, were: Ramat Migron, Oz Zion, Geulat Zion, Givat Assaf, Givat Tekuma and Shaked Farm.
The order gives the IDF wide latitude to act immediately against the outpost without any legal intervention on the part of the settlers, but does not necessarily indicate that any immediate action will be taken.
There are some 100 outposts in Judea and Samaria, most of which are similar to established settlements, but lack authorization. Others are small illegal protest encampments such as Kumi Ori. Security forces often demolish those encampments, which are quickly rebuilt.
“It seems that the Israeli government has declared war on the settlements, and is now acting in an open and shameless manner,” settlers representing the outposts said in a statement to the media.
They said they feared the move was more than procedural, particularly in light of the recent deletions and the meeting held last week between Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
“It appear that the orders are about to be a significant and central tool used against” those in Judea and Samaria, the settlers said.
“The defense establishment chose to use a draconian and administrative tool in which the [IDF] general marks an arbitrary line on the map and authorizes the destruction of dozens of houses in a swift procedure,” the settlers added.
Hagit Ofran, of the left-wing NGO Peace Now said the outposts were illegal and should have been removed.
“The renewal of the demarcation orders,” she said, “is the minimum required by law.”
Issuance of the orders comes in the aftermath of two demolitions of illegal structures at the Kumi Orit outpost on Friday and on the Homesh hilltop on Tuesday, the second such demolition in less than two weeks.
Border Police took down a number of huts and tents on the Homesh hilltop and cut the electricity to the illegal religious seminary that is located there.
“What is burning that they have to destroy family structures that protected children from the rain?” asked Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan.
“What is this obsession to destroy the yeshiva’s electrical system?” he asked.
The move comes less than a day after Defense Minister Benny Gantz said he wanted to act in “the most sensitive manner possible” with respect to the family of 25-year-old terrorism victim Yehuda Dimentman.
A student at the Homesh Yeshiva, Dimentman was killed as he left the school on December 16. His family has asked Bennett to authorize the yeshiva and to rebuild the Homesh settlement destroyed in 2005 in the aftermath of the Gaza pullout.
Gantz is expected to demolish the yeshiva, which opened in Homesh in 2002 and which was re-established illegally after its demolition in 2005.
The original settlement was built on private Palestinian property that belongs to the village of Burka. The High Court of Justice has upheld the right of the Palestinians in Burka to farm their land.
On Monday, the left-wing group Yesh Din reported that settlers and or Jewish extremists vandalized a number of homes in Burka and smashed tombstones in its cemetery.
On Sunday, Dagan and MK Yuli Edelstein inaugurated the Knesset Caucus Homesh First, designated to reestablish Homesh and the three other northern Samaria settlements destroyed during the 2005 Disengagement. The other three – Ganim, Kadim and Sa-Nur – were all built on state land.