Jahalin Bedouin fear new Israeli transfer plan


Id Khamis Jahalin sits in his sparsely furnished, illegally-built shack, and worries about his future. A father of seven, he was born in this community of tents and shacks about ten miles east of Jerusalem.

Sitting on a thin mattress that substitutes for a couch during the day and a bed at night, Id Khamis told The Media Line that a new Israeli plan to relocate the Jahalin Bedouin community, “is the worst one yet. It is not appropriate for us at all. The place they want to move us to is surrounded on all four sides and it is very crowded. I am a Bedouin and I want to live like my parents.”

Id Khamis says he used to have more than 100 goats, but as grazing land became more limited, he ate or sold most of them. He also used to work in nearby Jewish communities built on post-1967 land such as Kfar Adumim, less than a mile away. But in 2009, when residents illegally built a new school out of mud and tires, He says all of the Bedouin here lost their jobs.

Since all of the homes are built without the approval of government authorities, there is no access to water or electricity. Id Khamis has installed solar panels outside which produce enough power to run a television and lights. He has no refrigerator.

“My wife has to work very hard preparing all of the food fresh,” he says with a smile.

Several years ago, Israel tried to move these Jahalin Bedouin, along with 22 other communities — a total of 2300 people — to another location near a garbage dump. Israeli lawyers hired by human rights organizations appealed to Israel’s Supreme Court to thwart that plan. Id Khamis says the new plan is even worse.

“This is private land. It is not appropriate for Bedouin. It’s like a prison. It is surrounded on all four sides. I am a Bedouin…but this is not acceptable to me. Israelis wouldn’t want to live like this, either.”

Id Khamis says Israel is trying to remove all Palestinians from Area C, the 60 percent of land Israel acquired in the 1967 war over which it continues to hold both security and administrative control pursuant to the 1994 Oslo Accords. He sees it as proof that Israel is not interested in a long-term peace with the Palestinians.

“Once they have removed all the people, they will say that the land belongs to them,” Id Khamis argues. “This is like the last bullet in the head of the peace process.”

Israeli officials say the plan has not been finalized and they are not sure why the Jahalin are launching their objections now.

“They are living there illegally and we are looking at a series of options,” Guy Inbar, spokesman for the Civil Administration, the Israeli body which administers the post-1967 areas, told The Media Line. “One option is to relocate them to the Jordan Valley. We are working with the Palestinian Authority on a proposal for 800 building units, but it has not been decided.”

Inbar said the plan is being drafted by a Palestinian company was awarded the project in a bidding process, and that Israel is simply trying to improve the Jahalins’ quality of life.

“We are trying to improve the living standards of both Palestinians and Israelis,” he said. “We want the Bedouin to live in an area where they get all the infrastructure they need, like water and electricity, instead of living in tents that could be demolished.”

All of the structures in this village, including the school, have outstanding Israeli demolition orders against them.

Inbar said he was not sure why the plan’s detractors were coming forward now but insisted that nothing has been finalized.

But attorney Shlomo Lecker, who showed The Media Line a copy of the plan, said he had information that it will be presented in the next 2-3 weeks.

“The homes will be built on the outskirts of Jericho in Area A (which is under complete Palestinian control),” he explained. “Then Israel will use it as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the Palestinians. They will offer to give the Palestinians this area in exchange for annexing part of Area C — [where there are Israeli communities built on post-1967 lands].”

Lecker also says that temperatures in the Jordan Valley reach 120 degrees during the summer and most Bedouin will not be able to afford air conditioning.

Speaking to The Media Line, Stephen Wilkinson of the non-profit organization Dikania explained the position of those who accuse Israel of violating international law, a charge it denies. “According to the Geneva Convention, Israel, as the occupying power, has very clear obligations when it comes to the occupied people, in this case the Bedouin. Forcible transfer of protected populations is prohibited. International law can be very complicated, but on this issue it’s very clear that it is illegal,” he charged.

New outposts built in West Bank


Two new settler outposts have been erected in the West Bank, with the approval of municipal authorities, Peace Now says.

The two outposts include mobile homes, infrastructure, electricity, water and roads, and even air conditioning, the Israeli organization said Wednesday in a report published on its website.

It is the first time since 2005 that new unauthorized outposts have been established with municipal support, according to Peace Now.

The new outposts are “Nahalei Tal,” northwest of Ramallah, and “Tzofim North,” adjacent to the Tzofim settlement north of the Palestinian city of Qalqilya.

Both outposts are built on state lands and are located within the municipal boundaries of existing settlements. The Tzofim North outpost is located in the path of a court-mandated rerouting of the security fence, however.

“After the government rewarded the lawbreakers that built on private Palestinian lands in Migron and the Ulpana with alternative homes and other benefits, the government continues to make a mockery of the rule of law and to allow a radical minority to establish new outposts, which create facts on the ground that harm the possibility of an agreement with the Palestinians,” Peace Now said in a statement.

Migron must be evacuated in a week, Israel’s high court rules


Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that the West Bank outpost of Migron must be evacuated by Sept. 4.

All 50 families must leave the outpost, the court ruled Wednesday in response to a petition filed by the families requesting a delay in the eviction until the modular homes being built for the evacuees are completed. They reportedly will not be habitable for several weeks.

The outpost’s homes must be razed by Sept. 11, with the exception of the 17 families who claimed in a petition to the court that they have purchased or repurchased the plots on which their homes are located.

Those families also had asked the court to allow them to remain in their homes—a request that essentially was denied by Wednesday’s ruling.

In March, the Supreme Court ruled against an attempt by the government to postpone to 2015 the demolition of Migron, which the Palestinians say is built on their land. Deferrals against the demolition stretch back to 2006.

The settlers, who deny that Migron is built on private Palestinian land, had signed a deal with the Netanyahu government agreeing to relocate to a nearby hill.

On the eve of evacuation, Migron projecting tranquility


Off a rough, paved road atop a mountain, on the thin stucco wall of a trailer home, black graffiti proclaims “Private Jewish land.” And underneath, in red, “Migron.”

The trailer home is among dozens in Israel’s largest settlement outpost, deep in the central West Bank and not far from the Palestinian metropolis of Ramallah. To reach Migron, cars must exit a main highway and ascend a twisting road that barely has room for two lanes.

Founded more than a decade ago, Migron remains unrecognized by Israel’s government. Security forces plan to evacuate most of its 50 families on Tuesday based on an Israeli Supreme Court decision that they are living on private Palestinian land.

But as bulldozers dig at the bottom of the mountain, installing new government-approved trailers for the soon-to-be evacuees, Migron persists in tranquility. Children crowd around a plastic airplane. A pregnant mother loads her car. Workers rest in front of a warehouse. 

A woman leaves the trailer emblazoned with graffiti and walks through a yard of gravel, dirt, litter and toys. About an hour later, the black and red writing is covered by a whitewashed square incongruous with the trailer’s off-white and brown exterior.

The sense of calm, and the whitewashing, are intentional. Even as they are locked in a fight with the government to maintain a settlement far from Israel’s recognized borders, Migron’s residents do not speak of ideology or biblical promises. Rather they portray themselves as nothing more than a coalition of citizens, loyal to the country, that is fighting to preserve its democratic rights through legal means. Graffiti is not part of that strategy.

“We try to work only with democratic tools in a good, just system,” said Elisheva Razvag, a 27-year-old mother of two and one of the only residents authorized to speak to the media. “The state broke the rules in acting like this.”

Razvag hopes that the Supreme Court will approve a petition on Tuesday allowing some of Migron’s families to stay, and that in fact the entire evacuation will be delayed. But should the residents have to leave, Razvag said “it’s possible that part of the settlement will move” to the newly built trailers.

Asked about possible violent settler opposition to an evacuation—as has happened elsewhere—she would say only that the community is waiting on the court’s decision.

“We are also the state,” she said. “I have no other place.”

Although only a fragment of an Israeli flag remains flying on a lamppost above the main road, Razvag said it was not torn down in protest. Rather, she said, Migron raised many flags for Israeli Independence Day and Jerusalem Day in the spring, and some have since been damaged naturally. A full flag flies on a post down the road.

But beyond the end of Migron’s main road and across a rocky field, loyalty ends and open ideology begins. A shack built of thin wood panels and a corrugated tin roof stands in defiance not just of the state but also of Migron’s residents. On one of the walls, green and red grafitti quotes Rabbi Hillel of the Mishna: “If I am not for myself, who is for me? And when I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, when?”

There will be no whitewashing here.

This cabin is the latest iteration of Ramat Migron, an outpost that the government has evacuated and demolished multiple times. Both Migron’s residents and a young man from Ramat Migron stress that despite being adjacent to each other, the two have no connection. Razvag and Itai Chemo, Migron’s spokesperson, say they haven’t been to Ramat Migron in at least a year, and do not communicate with its residents.

Nor do they share common cause. Unlike Migron, whose continued existence depends on government recognition, Ramat Migron is a project of the Hilltop Youth, a group of young, ideological settlers who build outposts in spite of Israeli law.

With thick payos hanging from his light brown hair and a black velvet kippah perched askew on his head, the man wore dark green pants, sandals and a gray t-shirt that said “Jews buy from Jews.”

“The most important thing is to build the Holy Temple,” he said. He added that he was not a Zionist.

“We’ll watch,” said the young man of how he would react to a government evacuation of Migron. And if the bulldozers come to his cabin? “War.” Ramat Migron’s lack of weapons did not seem to bother him.

“We’re two different places,” Razvag said, “definitely two different places.”

West Bank outpost is legalized


The West Bank outpost of Bruchin received its charter, making it a legal settlement.

The town, located near Ariel and home to more than 100 families, is now part of the Samaria Regional Council.

The head of the Israel Defense Forces Central Command, Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon, signed an order Sunday giving the outpost legal status, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The change comes nearly four months after the Israeli government decided to legalize Bruchin and two other outposts—Sansana and Rechalim—which were founded in the 1990s on state land and with millions of dollars in assistance from the country’s Construction and Housing Ministry.

The European Union, the United Nations and the United States, as well as several other governments, condemned the legalization when it was announced in April.

Bruchin was highlighted as an illegal outpost in Israel’s Sasson Report published in 2005, which showed that millions of dollars were diverted from Israeli government agencies to build illegal settlements and outposts.

Israeli government requests extension on outpost demolition


Israel’s government has asked the country’s Supreme Court to postpone the demolition of a West Bank outpost for several months.

The state requested the extension because it said it discovered new information that the Givat Assaf outpost near the Beit El settlement was not built on privately owned Palestinian land, as was alleged by Peace Now in the court case.

Givat Assaf is to be demolished by July 1. It is one of six illegal outposts that the court ordered to be dismantled.

Knesset votes down bill to retroactively legalize outposts


A bill to retroactively legalize West Bank outposts was voted down by the Knesset.

Wednesday afternoon’s vote on a preliminary reading of the bill was 69 lawmakers against the bill and 22 for it. The legislation would have retroactively legalized buildings built on contested land if the owner does not challenge the construction within four years.

No government ministers voted for the bill, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced Monday that any government minister who votes for the bill will lose his job.

Several Likud ministers and the head of the Jewish Home party had threatened to vote for the bill, but reportedly did not.

The bill would have saved from demolition five apartment buildings from the Ulpana neighborhood on the outskirts of the Beit El settlement.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein late Tuesday night approved a plan put forward by Netanyahu, which would move the five apartment buildings housing about 30 families to land that is not privately owned by Palestinians, instead of being razed as ordered by the Supreme Court. In addition, 10 new housing units would be constructed in the settlement for every building moved.

Israel’s Supreme Court ruled in September that the neighborhood should be razed, siding with a lawsuit filed by Palestinians who said they owned the land. A July 1 deadline has been set for the razing of the buildings.

Netanyahu reportedly presented Weinstein’s legal opinion on his plan before the vote. Weinstein also indicated, however, that the decision to allow the moving of Ulpana could not be used as a precedent for other contested outposts.

Dozens of demonstrators, mostly teens, blocked a road in Jerusalem next to the Supreme Court in Jerusalem on Wednesday protesting against the possible evacuation of Ulpana. The demonstration came after a nearly three day protest march from Ulpana to Jerusalem.

Israeli forces raze structures at two outposts


Israeli security forces razed several structures at two illegal West Bank outposts.

Israel Defense Forces troops, Border Guard forces and police razed a building late Wednesday night at the Ramat Migron outpost, and then razed other structures at the Oz Zion outpost located nearby, according to reports.

The Ramat Migron outpost, located next to the Migron outpost, has been demolished and rebuilt several times. Migron has been ordered razed and its residents relocated by August 1.

Five women reportedly were arrested during the operation.

Israeli court orders removal of settlement houses


Israel’s Supreme Court rejected on Monday a government request to delay the demolition of five apartment buildings in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, ruling the houses must be removed by July 1.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government agreed last year to remove the houses at Ulpana, on the edge of the Beit El settlement, after a court ruled they were built on private Palestinian land.

But Netanyahu came under intense pressure from within his own Likud party and from other pro-settler coalition allies to delay the demolition, and his government petitioned the court on April 27 for a three-month postponement.

The Supreme Court said in its decision on Monday that the government, which in part wanted more time to allow further checks into whether the land had been purchased legally by the current occupants, had not provided justifiable reason to “renew the discussion”.

About 30 families live in the buildings, officials say.

Israel distinguishes between settlements it has approved and outposts which were never granted official authorization.

Palestinians fear that settlements Israel has built in the territory it captured in a 1967 war will deny them a viable state.

About 310,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Alison Williams

Israeli minister: Legalization of outposts a ‘holiday gift’ from Netanyahu


Israeli Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar called Israel’s legalization of three West Bank settlement outposts a “holiday gift” for the nation’s Independence Day from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The remark came a day after a spokesman for the prime minister, Mark Regev, was quoted in The New York Times as saying that the recognition of the outposts of Bruchin, Sansana and Rechalim did not constitute legalization of unauthorized settlements but rather resolution of “procedural and technical” issues such as improper permits and mistakenly building on the wrong hill.

On Thursday, Sa’ar spoke at the annual International Bible Contest, held every Yom Ha’atzmaut.

“From this spot, we’ll send our recognition to the prime minister,” he said, according to Haaretz. “Because the Jewish settlement in the land of Israel is the realization of a right, a return to the right of our forefathers, on which will be intertwined with the Israeli people’s right for national security.”

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that he was “deeply troubled” by Israel’s announcement on the outposts.

“The Secretary-General reiterates that all settlement activity is illegal under international law,” the statement said. “It runs contrary to Israel’s obligations under the Road Map and repeated Quartet calls for the parties to refrain from provocations.”

The U.S. State Department added its concerns.

“We don’t think this is helpful to the [peace] process, and we don’t accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity,” said spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, according to The Jerusalem Post.

On Wednesday, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, condemned the move on the settlements and asked the Security Council to intervene.

Israel “continues directly to neglect and violate all international commitments,” Mansour said, according to the Ma’an Palestinian news service.

The outposts were legalized Monday by a special Israeli government committee. In a statement, the panel said, “These communities were founded in the 1990s based on the decisions of past governments.”

Also, the committee ordered the State Prosecutor’s Office to ask the Supreme Court to postpone the May 1 evacuation of the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El, a settlement that is built on privately owned Palestinian land.

Netanyahu has pledged to find a solution to the neighborhood that would not involve destroying the 30 homes there. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said the neighborhood should be razed and rebuilt in another area of Beit El.

Israeli government committee legalizes three outposts


A special Israeli government committee legalized three West Bank outposts and will seek a delay in the evacuation of a neighborhood in a Jewish settlement there.

In legalizing the outposts of Bruchin, Sansana and Rechalim on Monday, the outposts panel said in a statement that “These communities were founded in the 1990s based on the decisions of past governments.”

Also, the committee charged the State Prosecutor’s Office to ask the Supreme Court to postpone the May 1 evacuation of the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El, a settlement that is built on privately owned Palestinian land.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to find a solution to the neighborhood that would not involve destroying the 30 homes there. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said the neighborhood should be razed and rebuilt in another area of Beit El.

Observers say that Netanyahu’s ruling government coalition could break apart if the neighborhood is destroyed.

The Cabinet on Sunday authorized the committee to reach a final decision on the recognition of settlements and outposts built on state land or through aid from the government. Netanyahu and Barak were two members of the committee; other prominent members included Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon and government minister Benny Begin.

Migron residents agree to relocation


Residents of Migron have signed an agreement with the Israeli government on relocating the illegal West Bank outpost.

The agreement signed Sunday will allow the outpost’s approximately 50 families to move to a nearby hill over the next three years, meaning that they will not be evicted as ordered by Israel’s Supreme Court. The current site will be turned over to the Civil Administration, which has agreed to consider public uses.

Migron, which is approximately 14 miles north of Jerusalem, had been slated under an Israeli Supreme Court order in 2011 to be razed by the end of this month. The state will ask the court to cancel its order.

In a statement, the residents said they signed the agreement “with a heavy heart, but out of responsibility to the nation in fulfillment of the High Court’s order to vacate the current site, and out of a desire to avoid confrontations and difficult scenes.”

“We do this even though we do not believe it is necessary, since Arab ownership of the current site has not been proven, and even though the residents of Migron were not given sufficient opportunity to prove their rights in civil court,” the statement said.

Minister Benny Begin brokered the negotiations between the government and residents.

Settlers, officers hurt in outpost demolition


Six West Bank settlers and three police officers were hurt during the demolition of an illegal outpost near Jericho.

Settlers threw rocks at police early Thursday morning when they gathered at an outpost near Mitzpeh Jericho to raze six dwellings. Police responded with tear gas, Haaretz reported. Hundreds of security forces reportedly gathered at the outpost, as well as 200 outpost supporters.

The police and three settlers were injured when the roof of one of the buildings collapsed as a protester was being removed.

At least three settlers were arrested on suspicion of assaulting police officers.

A dwelling in a second outpost was removed earlier on Thursday morning, according to reports.

Israel demolishes third illegal outpost this week


Israeli security forces demolished an illegal West Bank outpost, the third this week.

Israel Defense Forces troops and Civil Administration inspectors early Thursday morning evacuated and demolished the Mitzpe Avichai outpost near Kiryat Arba. The outpost was home to nine families, including 20 children.

The forces evacuated the families from the outpost at about 3 a.m. and then razed 10 structures, nine living quarters and a synagogue, according to reports. The outpost was established in 2007, in memory of Avichai Levy, who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist; it is the third time that the outpost has been razed.

Earlier this week, security forces demolished the Givat Arye and Gal Yossef outposts, both near Shilo.

All of the evacuations occurred without clashes, according to reports. 

Residents of Mitzpe Avichai have vowed to rebuild the outpost.

Israel’s Supreme Court wants answers on outpost evacuations


Israel’s Supreme Court gave the government a week to report back on agreements reached on construction in outposts built on state land.

The Jan. 3 order came in response to the agreement struck between the state and the Ramat Gilad outpost in the northern West Bank. Under the agreement, the outpost would become part of the Karnei Shomron municipality, and five of its 10 caravans and several warehouses would be relocated to areas on the hill that are not considered private Palestinian property.

The parts of the outpost on private land had been scheduled to be razed by the end of 2011 by order of the Supreme Court.

The court granted the state’s request for an extension on razing several outposts, saying it wanted the issue to be resolved peacefully, according to Ynet. But the justices noted that the matter could not be put off indefinitely.

Meanwhile, a Knesset committee on Jan. 2 postponed debate on a bill that would require a Palestinian claiming ownership of land on which an outpost was to be built to prove his claim in court.

The bill had been dubbed the Migron bill, an effort to prevent the razing of the controversial Migron outpost. The Supreme Court has ordered the demolition of Migron by March.

The debate in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation has been postponed by three months, past the deadline for saving Migron.

Israel’s Supreme Court raps lack of outpost evacuations


Israel’s Supreme Court gave the government a week to report back on agreements reached on construction in outposts built on state land.

Tuesday’s order came in response to the agreement struck between the state and the Ramat Gilad outpost in the northern West Bank. Under the agreement, the outpost would become part of the Karnei Shomron municipality, and five of its 10 caravans and several warehouses would be relocated to areas on the hill that are not considered private Palestinian property.

The parts of the outpost on private land had been scheduled to be razed by the end of 2011 by order of the Supreme Court. The court granted the state’s request for an extension on razing several outposts, saying it wanted the issue to be resolved peacefully, according to Ynet. But the justices noted that the matter could not be put off indefinitely.

Meanwhile, a Knesset committee on Monday postponed debate on a bill that would require a Palestinian claiming ownership of land on which an outpost was to be built to prove his claim in court.

The bill had been dubbed the Migron bill, an effort to prevent the razing of the controversial Migron outpost. The Supreme Court has ordered the demolition of Migron by March.

The debate in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation has been postponed by three months, past the deadline for saving Migron.

Agreement will prevent outpost razing


The Israeli government and residents of the Ramat Gilad outpost in the West Bank reportedly have reached an agreement that will prevent the destruction of the illegal outpost.

Under the agreement, the outpost in the northern West Bank would become part of the Karnei Shomron municipality, and five of its 10 caravans and several warehouses will be relocated to areas on the hill that are not considered private Palestinian property, the settlers’ Yesha Council announced Wednesday.

“I’m definitely satisfied with the agreement, which has prevented unnecessary clashes and will strengthen Ramat Gilad and the settlement enterprise in general,” Yesha Council chairman Danny Dayan told Ynet.

The parts of the outpost on private land were scheduled to be razed by the end of the year by order of the Supreme Court.

Rioting broke out earlier this month after area settlers believed that an army and security convoy was on its way to raze the outpost. The riot included an attack on a nearby army base. At least five youths, including two from Karnei Shomron and three from Jerusalem, are currently being held in connection with the attack.

Ten families live on Ramat Gilad, which was established in 2001 in memory of Gilad Zar, who was killed by Palestinians in a drive-by shooting. Zar’s father, Moshe, claims to own the property on which the outpost is constructed.

Agreement could save illegal West Bank outpost


A pending agreement between the settlers’ council and the Israeli government will prevent the destruction of the Ramat Gilad outpost in the West Bank.

Under the agreement, the outpost in the northern West Bank would become part of the Karnei Shomron municipality and five of its 10 caravans would be moved from an area that is considered private Palestinian property to state land, The Jerusalem Post reported, citing Army Radio.

The agreement has not been finalized, according to the Israeli Defense Ministry.

Danny Dayan, the head of the settlers’ Yesha Council, told Army Radio that the agreement had been “95 percent ready” last week before the “provocation” of forces heading to Ramat Gilad and the settler attacks that followed.

The parts of the outpost on private land are scheduled to be razed by the end of the year by order of the Supreme Court.

Ten families live on Ramat Gilad, which was established in 2001 in memory of Gilad Zar, who was killed by Palestinians in a drive-by shooting. Zar’s father, Moshe, claims to own the property on which the outpost is constructed.

Outpost homes razed, mosque attacked in alleged retribution


Several hundred police officers arrived early Monday morning at the Migron outpost to raze three permanent homes.

Hours later, a mosque in the West Bank near Nablus was vandalized in what is believed to be a “price tag” attack. “Price tag” refers to the strategy extremist settlers have adopted to exact a price in attacks on Palestinians in retribution for settlement freezes and demolitions or for Palestinian attacks on Jews.

Unknown assailants broke windows on the first floor of the mosque and threw burning tires into the building on Monday morning before prayers, according to reports. The words “Alei Ayin and Migron – Social Justice” was spray painted in Hebrew outside the building.

Palestinian authorities claim settlers have attacked at least six mosques in the West Bank in the past two years.

Israeli forces arrived at the Migron outpost, located several miles north of Jerusalem, to begin razing the structures at 1 a.m. but were forced to halt the operation at 2:30 a.m. following an injunction by a Supreme Court justice. The injunction was canceled at 4:30 a.m.,  after the high court issued another order, sanctioning the demolition.

Six teens who threw stones at the police were arrested.

The three structures were home to several families, including one woman who had recently had a baby, according to the Jerusalem Post. They had been ordered razed by the Supreme Court following a lawsuit filed by the Yesh Din Israeli human rights group. The three homes were razed separately because they were built recently, following an agreement in 2008 between the Yesha settlers’ group and the state to relocate the entire outpost to a settlement nearby, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Last month, the Supreme Court issued a ruling ordering the state to dismantle the entire outpost, home to about 50 families, by April 2012, after determining that it was built on private Palestinian lands, following a petition by Peace Now.

Outpost evacuation handled appropriately, Israeli probe finds


Israeli police forces acted appropriately and proportionately in evacuating a West Bank outpost, a police investigation found.

The investigation released Sunday found that last week’s demolition of three illegal structures at the Gilad Farm outpost in the northern West Bank, which led to settler protests throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem, was carried out in a “proportional, restrained and professional” manner, according to reports.

Settlers said that police used unnecessary force, including rubber bullets and tear gas, in the evacuation; eight settlers were arrested and 15 wounded as the result of clashes with police.

Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch acknowledged later that police, fearing for their safety, had used plastic bullets—the first time they had been used against Israelis.

The investigation said the police used paintball guns.

Barak to Settler Leaders: Evacuate Outposts


Some 23 unauthorized outposts will be evacuated, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told settler leaders. Barak met with leaders of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria Monday at the main Israeli army base in Tel Aviv.

He said the outposts, which the governments of Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu have said should be evacuated, will be emptied.

“A law-abiding state cannot accept a situation in which every person does what he wants,” Barak told settler leaders during the 90-minute meeting, which he called. Asked by the leaders to end the de facto construction freeze in the West Bank, Barak said construction in the settlements had slowed, according to Ynet, which quoted settler leaders.