MKs try to prevent outpost eviction

Police issue 11 restraining orders against right-wing activists.

amir peretz 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
amir peretz 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
In response to the worsening security situation, MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism) on Tuesday called on Defense Minister Amir Peretz to reassess his plan to evacuate illegal outposts in the West Bank in another two weeks. Porush blasted the plans, saying "the rules of the game" between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have changed following the capture of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, and the possible kidnapping of Itamar teenager Eliyahu Asheri. "After hundreds of Kassam rockets, why should we dismantle the outposts and give [the Palestinians] a prize? Why should we take them down at all?" Porush asked during a Knesset discussion on the fate of evacuees from Gush Katif and northern Samaria. On Monday, police distributed 11 restraining orders against right-wing activists considered to present a threat to public order during the upcoming evacuation of the illegal outposts. Issued by OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh, the restraining orders were handed out by the Judea and Samaria District Police in the Samarian settlements of Yitzhar, Eilon Moreh and Karnei Shomron, forbidding them to stay anywhere in the West Bank except Ma'aleh Adumim in the coming months. The restraining orders said their presence in the West Bank constituted a "danger to security and to public order in the area." The 11 have four days in which they can appeal the orders. Hours after the restraining orders were issued security sources said that the eviction of outposts would be put on hold for at least a week due to the constraints of the current security situation. On May 17, Peretz signed eviction orders for 12 illegal outposts in the West Bank and ordered the IDF to prepare an evacuation plan. In advance of the planned evacuations, the Defense Ministry authorized issuing the restraining orders, citing a 1970 law for maintaining public security in the West Bank. Last week, police and IDF representatives held a meeting to plan the logistic and communications coordination in advance of the evacuations. In recent days, top-level police officers were also reviewing the findings from the internal police report examining the violence that erupted when security forces attempted to evacuate an illegal outpost in Amona. One of the conclusions drawn from the violence in Amona was that too few arrests were made. Police believe that had more arrests been made, the rioting would have been easier to control. Maon Farm, Scali Farm, Hill 725 outside Yitzhar and Givat Arusi top the list of outposts most likely to be slated for evacuation, due to their history of violent clashes with neighboring Palestinians and the IDF. One of the 11 activists to receive a restraining order, Yehoyariv Meguri, is a resident of Givat Arusi, and a second, Boaz Albert, lives at Hill 725. Both have had previous run-ins with the law. In 2004, Albert was investigated by police after shooting and killing a 17-year-old Palestinian, Salman Safadi, whom Yitzhar residents said had entered Albert's home to carry out a terror attack. Palestinians said that Safadi, who was found to be unarmed, was shot by Albert, and that the settlers staged the terror attack in order to cover up the murder. The incident was initially believed to have been an act of self-defense but the investigation was transferred to the Judea and Samaria Police, who found several discrepancies with the settlers' version of events. Meguri, 24, was arrested in 2003 by military police under suspicion of involvement in an alleged Jewish terror cell. Although one cell member claimed that Meguri, then in the middle of his mandatory IDF service in the Nahal Haredi brigade, was involved in the plans, Meguri was later released, after police and the Shin Bet failed to find enough evidence to indict him for involvement in the group. The cell - known as the Bat Ayin gang - allegedly had planned to bomb an Arab girls' school. Of the remaining nine, six were issued their restraining orders in the settlement of Yitzhar, known for its volatile relationship with security forces. Haim Meir, a Mevo Horon resident, was issued his order in the Samaria lockup, after being arrested on Friday under suspicion of arson. Kibbutz Shalabim resident Hanan Herbest was handed his restraining order Sunday in the Old City of Jerusalem, near one of the approaches to the Temple Mount. Albert told The Jerusalem Post he had not received such a restraining order but had heard that his name was on the list. He accused the Israeli government of going after area residents like himself because they are easier targets than the Palestinian terrorists. "Instead of looking for and attacking its enemies the state is turning on those who are most faithful to it," said Albert. Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report