Barak Takes Aim at Yesha Jews, Rights Group Charges Incitement

Barak ordered the IDF to distance Yesha Jews from their homes if they do not behave properly. Attorneys charged him with incitement.

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Gil Ronen , | updated: 16:30

Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak

Defense Minister Ehud Barak the IDF Wednesday to make increased use of its power to order Jews in Judea and Samaria to leave their homes if army officers consider them to be a threat. He also told the heads of the police department, the IDF and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), along with Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, to establish a committee to check on active nationalists in Judea and Samaria.

The Defense Minister based his moves on his view that a small group of nationalists "attempt to challenge government authority [and that] the security establishment must counter and eradicate this phenomenon."

Police last week arrested 29 people who protested outside the home of the head of the Central Command because of orders he issued several weeks ago that evicted three residents of Samaria from their homes and prohibited them from remaining in Judea and Samaria until Arabs complete
"Barak's statements are part of a 'well-orchestrated campaign of incitement.'"
the olive picking season. 
 
The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel said it will appeal to the High Court against any order that the IDF issues forcing Jews out of their homes. The Forum was supported by 14 Knesset Members who wrote Barak in advance of Wednesday's meeting.

"If harsh steps are taken, the same measures should be applied towards anarchists and leftist activists, who assault IDF soldiers and policemen at Bil'in and Na'alin, demonstrate outside the Binyamin Brigade Commander's home, create provocations and set the area afire," the legislators wrote.

The Legal Forum wrote Attorney General Mazuz Tuesday that Barak's statements are part of a "well-orchestrated campaign of incitement." It demanded that Mazuz inform Barak of the problematic nature of using administrative detention orders and of "the duty of administrative authorities to treat all citizens fairly and equally."

The Forum adds that "Israeli lawbreaking in Judea and Samaria may be bothersome to the army, but it is not a serious threat to regional peace."