Activists to leave Bnei Adam outpost

Right-wing activists withdraw as residents agree to voluntary removal of three modular homes from site.

bnei adam 248.88 (photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)
bnei adam 248.88
(photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)
Activists from the right-wing Land of Israel Faithful group withdrew Friday from the unauthorized Bnei Adam outpost after the community's residents agreed to allow the removal of three modular homes from the site, one of the group's leaders, former Kedumim mayor Daniella Weiss, told The Jerusalem Post. Members of the Land of Israel Faithful left after being advised to do so by Rabbi Moshe Levinger of Kiryat Arba, who is the group's spiritual mentor, said Weiss. Dozens of teenagers and young adults had rallied last week to the small outpost of about a dozen structures, built in 2004, and located off a dirt road a short distance away from the Adam settlement in the Binyamin region. They had intended to help the outpost residents, - eight families and four single adults - protect three modular homes at the outpost from demolition by the IDF. But by Friday, it had become clear that they were at odds with the Bnei Adam residents over what to do about the homes. The conflict between the two groups arose out of an incident last Monday in which security forces, along with the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, made a surprise raid on the outpost to demolish the three homes, which the civil administration said had been placed there illegally three months ago. At the last moment, Binyamin Regional Council Chairman Avi Ro'eh staved off the demolition of the homes, worth NIS 100,000 each, by striking a deal with the IDF under which the council would voluntarily remove them. Amana, Gush Emunim's settlement arm, owns the homes and now plans to place them in a different West Bank settlement. They are likely to remove them early this week. Initially, the outpost residents said they had no intention of honoring the deal. But by Thursday they had changed their mind after seeking rabbinical counsel from former Sephardic chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, who in turn advised them to speak with Rabbi Haim Meir Druckman, chairman of the Bnei Akiva yeshivot. Druckman told them they should honor the deal, and as of Saturday night, outpost residents said they planned to abide by his ruling. Land of Israel Faithful activists who disagreed with Druckman turned instead to Levinger. He told them that while he disagreed with Druckman's ruling, the group should not be at odds with the Bnei Adam residents, Weiss said. "He didn't think we should fight this alone," Weiss said. But she wanted it to be clear that the Land of Israel Faithful did not support or respect the decision reached by the Bnei Adam residents. Should they change their mind and decide to oppose the removal of the homes, her group would return immediately to the site, Weiss said. Ro'eh, who brokered the deal, said he believes that what is important here is that the three families who live in the homes can stay in the outpost, while the structures themselves will be saved and used elsewhere. On Thursday the three families, who lacked legal counsel, appeared on their own before the High Court of Justice in hopes that the court would prevent the removal of the homes. Upon the court's advice, the families withdrew their petition after the hearing. The court ordered the IDF not to move against the homes for five days. During the hearing, the judges verbally hinted to the families that they should obtain legal counsel if they wanted to resubmit their petition. The families have yet to decide if they plan any further legal action. The Bnei Adam outpost is one of 26 outposts, built after March 2001, which Israel has promised the Americans it would evacuate.