Ex­treme set­tlers ban­ished

The Jewish Chronicle - - World News - BY ANSHEL PF­EF­FER

IS­RAEL’S SE­CU­RITY forces have be­gun ex­pelling ex­treme set­tlers from the West Bank in an ef­fort to cir­cum­vent vi­o­lent flare-ups next month, when the UN vote on a Pales­tinian state is ex­pected to take place.

Twelve res­i­dents of Yitzhar were last week is­sued with or­ders lim­it­ing their move­ments. Three of them were or­dered to re­main on the set­tle­ment and not leave it. Nine oth­ers were banned from be­ing in Yitzhar, with three of those ban­ished from the West Bank en­tirely.

The or­ders are for pe­ri­ods of up to a year and the Shin Bet ex­plained that they had been is­sued af­ter it was un­der­stood that there was no other legal means to pre­vent the 12 set­tlers from dis­rupt­ing se­cu­rity in the West Bank.

IDF of­fi­cers have said in re­cent months that they be­lieve that a num­ber of men liv­ing in Yitzhar have car­ried out vi­o­lent “price tag” at­tacks on Pales­tinian civil­ians in the area, in­clud­ing an ar­son at­tack on a house in the vil­lage of Hawara, from which a mother and three chil­dren only just es­caped with their lives.

The Shin Bet’s re­luc­tance to re­veal its in­tel­li­gence-gather­ing meth­ods meant that these sus­pects were not ar­rested. On Mon­day, two of the 12 who were served the re­strict­ing or­ders were ar­rested near Tel Aviv on al­le­ga­tions of van­dal­is­ing Pales­tinian prop­erty, but the po­lice and the Shin Bet would not say whether they were sus­pected of be­ing the ar­son­ists.

“My chief worry right now is that a at­tack by set­tlers will spark off a vi­o­lent Pales­tinian back­lash,” said a se­nior IDF gen­eral re­cently. “With the Pales­tini­ans, we have things un­der con­trol for now, but the set­tlers are the wild card that could change ev­ery­thing.”

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