The Jerusalem Post

Vowing to return, settlers leave Evyatar

Nine ways outpost impacts conflict


Residents of the West Bank Evyatar outpost kept to their deal with the government and voluntaril­y left their small hilltop community at 4 p.m. on Friday, some two months after they first arrived.

“We left the mountain, but our hearts remain there,” said Evyatar resident Amichai Ben-David. “The heart of the nation is with the Evyatar community – that is standing waiting, with homes, trees, gardens and paths,” he said, adding that, “with God’s help, we will soon return in a stately and legal manner.”

“The settlement of Evyatar is proof of the nation’s love for the land. Thanks to that love and devotion and with God’s help, there will still be many more ‘Evyatars,’” he said.

Based on the agreement brokered this past week, an army base will be placed on the rocky hilltop, which had only a dirt road and sandy lot when the 53 families and scores of activists entered.

By the time they left, they had managed to place small modular homes on the site, as well as a synagogue, a nursery school and a small playground.

The main small road was paved, as were some small side ones with street signs. On the last day, Friday, settlers erected

Hard to imagine that an isolated hilltop where mothers wheeled baby carriages and teenagers learned macramé and studied religious texts would impact the Israeli-Palestinia­n conflict.

But the settlement movement’s 53-year history is measured by the small victories that move the bar forward by centimeter­s and not kilometers.

The events of the last two months on the Evyatar hilltop – which were overshadow­ed by the May Gaza war, Jerusalem unrest and Jewish-Arab riots – mark one such turning point.

In rapid succession, 53 families and scores of teens moved

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