Dozen Israeli Settlers Banned From West Bank

by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC*

HAVANA TIMES, Jan 8 — The Israeli Army and the Police decided to remove twelve fanatic Israeli settlers from the West Bank to Israel due to their escalating attacks against the Palestinians and against the Israeli army, the Maan News Agency, reported. The “deportation” period varies between 3 and 9 months; five settlers stand accused of gathering sensitive military info.

On Wednesday at night, the Israeli army handed deportation orders to twelve fanatic settlers from the illegal West Bank settlements of Yitzhar, Elon Moreh, Mahot Gilad, Ramat Migron, and Easter, Maan added.

Head of the Settlements File in the northern part of the West Bank, Ghassan Douglas, told Maan that the Israeli decision does not resolve the issue at hand but is only meant to tell the army that the state acts against those who attack the army.

Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that the Prosecutor’s Office in Jerusalem filed a severe indictment targeting five fanatic settlers who stand accused of monitoring the movements of the Israeli army in the West Bank, and of possession of classified military materials.

The settlers are also believed to be behind an attack against an Israeli military base in the West Bank.

In a report published by Haaretz last week, the agency said that the army was weighing the possibility of filing charges against right-wing settlers for planning to monitor the Israeli military and obstructing its actions.

The five extremist settlers are believed to have tried to form an intelligence gathering facility with the intent to disrupt Israeli military operations aimed at the removal of illegal outposts in the West Bank.

The extremist settlers even managed to obtain sensitive intelligence reports, and classified themselves as “watchers”, “surveyors”, and “scouts”, Haaretz said.

The orders were approved several days ago by the commander of the Central Command of the Israeli military in cooperation with the Israeli Shabak (Internal Security) after the recent wave of violence carried out by the settlers against the army and the Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Douglas stated that he doubts that Israel will actually enforce the deportation orders, especially since no mechanisms have been determined to prevent the settlers from just driving back to their settlements, especially since the settlers recently started guarding their own settlements, and also manned two roadblocks installed by the army in the northern part of the West Bank.

The Palestinian official further stated that the Israeli military is involved in some of the attack against the Palestinians, and also provided them with protection similar to what happened five months ago when fanatic armed settlers burnt Palestinian vehicles in the Nablus district, in the northern part of the West Bank.

Douglas said that if Israel was serious in stopping the settler attacks against the Palestinians, the army “will not be relocating the 12 settlers to five-star hotels in Israel”, adding that Israel is prosecuting Palestinians children as adults, imprisoning them and imposing high fines on their families under the claim that they hurled stones at the army, while at the same time, Israel is just temporarily relocating a few armed settlers who conducted more serious violations, and crimes.

In 2011, Israeli settlers killed three Palestinians, shot and injured more than 353 in the occupied territories. The settlers also attacked, damaged, and in many cases burnt, 23 mosques, and uprooted more than 15.000 Palestinian trees, including 10.000 Olive trees

Extremist settlers did not only conduct their assaults in the West Bank, but also attacked areas in Lod and Ramla in the 1948 territories, and burnt a mosque in a village in the Galilee, in addition to a historic mosques in occupied Jerusalem. The settlers also attacked and vandalized several churches.

Fanatic settlers also issued death threats to Israeli peace groups and activists, and attacked vehicles and property that belong to Peace Now activists in the country as part of the so-called Price Tag campaign.

The settlers blame the Palestinians and Israeli leftist groups, for any evacuation of illegal settlement outposts in the occupied territories.

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*This article was published originally by the International Middle East Media Center IMEMC.


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