Peace Now calls for outpost eviction

Petitions High Court to ask Peretz to destroy outposts slated for evacuation.

peace now 88 (photo credit: )
peace now 88
(photo credit: )
The High Court of Justice is to this week hear a petition by Peace Now which asking it to force Defense Minister Amir Peretz to destroy six outposts which have been slated for evacuation for the last two years. Last week Peretz reissued eviction orders for the six, as well as eviction orders for six others. The original eviction orders, signed by former defense minister Shaul Mofaz, would have expired if Peretz had not reissued them. Peace Now's Dror Etkes greeted Peretz's actions skeptically, accusing him of delaying the evictions. "They bought themselves more time and we are trying to limit that time by asking the court to set a date for the evictions," he said, adding that the petition, set for Wednesday, focused on the larger outposts among the six. But settler leaders said they were startled to hear that Peretz was signing eviction orders just when they were looking to open a dialogue with the government. Emily Amrusy, spokeswoman for the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, said that Peretz's actions proved that the government was looking for a repeat of the kind of violence that occurred when security forces demolished nine homes at the Amona outpost last February. "They want a second Amona," she said. "We are calling on the government to talk with us instead of using force against us." She added that the council has not yet embarked on any protest action with respect to the threatened eviction of the outposts. But grassroots settler groups are organizing protests, including one set for Tuesday at Ma'aleh Rehavam near Nokdim. They are also looking to start tours of the outposts to link the struggle to maintain them with the greater battle for Judea and Samaria. Ma'aleh Rehavam secretary Dror Bar-Levav said he has also been working to publicize the small outpost, built more than four years ago, which is home to a mixed secular and religious community of 21 people. The outpost was built legally within the boundaries of Nokdim and anyone who said it was illegal "is lying," he added. The other five outposts included in the Peace Now petition are: Givat Assaf, Mitzpe Lachish, Givat Haroeh, Mitzpe Yitzhar and Ramat Gilad.