Settlers attack IDF base and rule of law
Some 50 right-wing activists throw rocks, burn tires, and vandalize military vehicles; no one arrested in incident; earlier, right-wing activists arrested on Jordan border.
By Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz
Some 50 settlers and right-wing activists entered a key West Bank military base early Tuesday morning and threw rocks, burned tires, and vandalized military vehicles.
The settlers were acting in response to a rumor that the IDF would act to evict a West Bank settlement in accordance with an August Supreme Court ruling.
In the attack on the Efraim Regional Brigade’s base near the West Bank city of Qalqilya, right-wing activists threw stones at region’s brigade commander and his deputy after forcefully opening the door to their jeep. The brigade commander was lightly wounded after a stone hit his head.
In addition to the attack on the IDF base, right-wing activists blocked a main West Bank road and threw stones at passing Palestinian vehicles and IDF soldiers in the area.
Around 100 right-wing activists and settlers came to the area of the base before 50 of them entered the base, according to the IDF spokesman.
The youths were repelled by security forces. No arrests were made.
Earlier during the night, the IDF and police rushed to the otherwise quiet border with Jordan after a group of 17 right-wing activists, three of them minors, occupied structures near the border. The activists said the action was intended as a message to Jordanian authorities to keep out of Temple Mount affairs.
The IDF and police surrounded the activists, who were hilltop youth, and prepared to evacuate. Four other activists were arrested before joining the group on the border.
The activists seized abandoned churches near the Qasr al-Yahud holy site, which is the believed site of Jesus’ baptism.
The activists, accompanied by television crews, cut their way through a fence that used to protect a minefield surrounding the area, before it was cleared by Israeli security forces. The activists danced near the structures, entered one of the churches and chanted songs. They were all arrested.
In another incident overnight Tuesday, a group of five Breslov entered Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank to pray without permission. Palestinian security forces opened fire, but no one was hurt.
A similar incident took place in September, when unknown perpetrators infiltrated a base in the Binyamin region and snuck their way to a mechanics workshop on site, where they slashed the tires and cut the cables of twelve army vehicles.
The settlers were galvanized into action by rumors that the eviction of several West Bank settlements was imminent. The Supreme Court ruled in September that the state must destroy Migron, the largest outpost in the West Bank. Forty-five families live in Migron, which has a total population of 280 people.
Supreme Court rules Migron outpost must be razed by March 2012
Forty-five families live in Migron, which has a total population of 280 people.
By Chaim Levinson, Haaretz
The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the state must destroy Migron, the largest outpost in the West Bank. Forty-five families live in Migron, which has a total population of 280 people.
The case at the Supreme Court had been pending since 2006. Peace Now – along with Palestinian owners of private property in the settlement where homes were built – filed a petition with the court asking that an order to raze the structures be enforced.
This marks the first ruling by the Supreme Court on dozens of petitions demanding the razing of outposts in the territories. Until now, the court’s policy has been to allow the state to take the lead on resolving the issue. Justices generally have agreed to the state’s requests to delay the razing of outposts, and also to granting time so that policy can be formulated with a solution in mind.
The petition to have the homes razed has gone through a number of stages during the past five years. Initially, the state argued that “the outpost was built several years ago on private Palestinian land and its existence over a long time cannot be legally accepted. No one had the authority to authorize construction of the outpost on this location.”
The state decided that the outpost must be evacuated by August 2008, but the Yesha Council of settlements negotiated with the state and reached a compromise on Migron: The razing of the outpost would be delayed until the state built a new neighborhood in the nearby settlement of Adam for the Migron settlers.
The process was delayed, and more homes were built at Migron. During the deliberations held at the Supreme Court last week, it was noted that what was intended as a two-year delay turned out to be indefinite.
In its ruling, a panel of three justices – headed by Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch – explained that the case of Migron was one of the most difficult and unusual ones to decide.
“This was about an outpost illegally constructed on private land, which the state too agreed should be evacuated,” Beinisch wrote. “There is no dispute between the petitioners and the state that the outpost sits on private and recognized Palestinian land, and that the outpost was built without permission. Moreover, the work for establishing the outpost and expanding it was done with disregard to the orders to raze it.”
The court ruled that by March 31, 2012, the state must complete the evacuation of Migron. While recognizing the difficulties involved in the evacuation of such a large outpost, the court called on the state “not to drag its feet in enforcing the law, especially when it [the state] does not dispute this obligation.”