The Jerusalem Post
Palestinians declare victory after settlers leave Evyatar outpost
Palestinians celebrated over the weekend the departure of settlers from the Evyatar outpost south of Nablus by calling it a victory and pledging to continue the fight against all settlements.
The settlers voluntarily left the hilltop outpost on Friday, some two months after they first arrived. The move came in accordance with an agreement they reached with the government.
The deputy mayor of the nearby village of Beita, Musa Hamayel, pointed out that five Palestinians were killed and many others injured during protests against the outpost.
“Today, the residents of Beita feel victorious,” he said. “But this is just the beginning, and not the end of our activities.”
Hamayel said the villagers do not care about the agreement reached between the settlers and the government.
“This is not a dispute over the rental of the land,” he added. “We are opposed to the presence of the settlers on our lands, whether through a religious school or an army base or a settlement. We will continue to resist until the restoration of our land.”
Ahmed al-Haj Ali, a senior Hamas official from Nablus, said the evacuation of the Evyatar outpost was a victory for the Beita residents and the Palestinian “resistance.” The settlers were forced to leave the outpost because of the “resistance,” he added.
“The settlers’ feeling that the people of Beita are ready to sacrifice blood in order to defend their land pushed them to withdraw from the area,” Ali said.
He called on all Palestinians to “activate the resistance by all means, and to remove fear from their hearts” and warned that the settlers could return to the hilltop.
Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem said the Palestinians “scored a new and important achievement” by “forcing” the settlers to leave.
“The evacuation of the outpost at Jabal Sabih confirms once again the ability of the resistance to impose the will of our people and push the occupation to retreat,” Qassem said. He urged Palestinians to continue the fight “until the end of any Zionist presence” in the area and to prevent the settlers from returning.
Tarek Silmi, a spokesperson for Palestinian Islamic Jihad, said the “victory of the rebellious youth in Beita is an extension of the victory of the Sword of Jerusalem,” the name Hamas used for the 11-day war with Israel in May.
“The Palestinian people, through the resistance, are advancing and accumulating victories,” Silmi said. “This is a process that will not end until the restoration and liberation of every single part of the land of Palestine.”
Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy chairman of the ruling Fatah faction, congratulated the residents for their “success in forcing the settlers to withdraw” from Evyatar. Aloul called on Palestinians to continue the “popular resistance until the expulsion of the occupation from all our lands.”