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Israeli army evacuates newly-established illegal outposts

Jerusalem24 – The Israeli military said today it has evacuated six illegal outposts erected yesterday by thousands of Israeli settlers in separate areas of the occupied West Bank with the help of the Israeli police and border police.

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, 11 settlers were detained during the evacuation and later released. Three light injuries were reported after a “scuffle” between Israeli forces and Israeli activists near the settlement of Barkan northwest of Salfit.

An outpost which was set up close to the settlement Kiryat Arba and immediately evacuated yesterday was rebuilt overnight by settlers who remained in the area.

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, the new leader of former prime minister Naftali Bennett’s right-wing Yamina party, took to Twitter to condemn the “violence” against the settlers. “The police should save their energy to eradicate real crime in the country,” Shaked wrote. “The wonderful youth who have mobilized to settle this country are a real inspiration.”

The Nachala settler movement announced yesterday evening that thousands of settlers had responded to its calls in recent days and successfully established six new illegal outposts in the West Bank.

According to the movement, two outposts were established near the settlements of Psagot and Talmonim near Ramallah, two outposts near the Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron, and two outposts near the settlements of Burkan and Rafafa near Salfit.

According to the Israeli Ynet news website, negotiations had been underway since dawn between the Israeli army and settlers to voluntarily evacuate the outposts to prevent the use of force.

The Nachala settler movement revealed in May their plans to build 10 new illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank on the same day on 20 July.

The Nachala Movement held a conference at the time at the offices of the Binyamin Regional Council in the West Bank in early May, attended by the head of the Binyamin Regional Council Yisrael Gantz, mayor of Kiryat Arba Eliyahu Liebman, and deputy mayor of Jerusalem Aryeh King. Nachala Movement leader Daniella Weiss, however, noted that this didn’t necessarily constitute sponsorship from the regional council.

The Nachala Movement, which young Israeli recruits can work with in lieu of doing their mandatory National Service, is the group behind the Evyatar illegal outpost established last year on land belonging to the Palestinian villages of Beita, Qabalan and Yatma.

Nadeen Alshaer

Alshaer is a Palestinian journalist, a Birzeit University graduate with a B.A. in TV and Radio Broadcasting Journalism. Alshaer has 6 years of experience in journalism. She currently works as a reporter, editor and presenter/producer for PBC-Palestine TV and Jerusalem24 radio. She’s a UN and Kelley School of Business alumna.

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