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Soldiers Escalate War Against Expulsion

Soldiers in the Nachshon combat unit escalated the battle against expulsions of Jews and raised a banner at their base: ‘We don’t expel Jews.’
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/16/2009, 12:50 PM / Last Update: 11/16/2009, 1:00 PM

Israel news photo

Combat soldiers in the Nachshon battalion Monday morning raised an anti-expulsion banner on the roof of their base shortly after security forces destroyed two nearby Jewish homes and expelled the families living there.

“Nachshon also does not expel Jews,” read the banner, similar to the Shimshon banner, a protest action at a swearing-in ceremony last month at the Western Wall that resulted in two soldiers being sentenced to 20 days in a military jail and thrown out of combat service.

The unprecedented move by the soldiers in the Shimshon unit was aimed against repeated expulsions at the destroyed site of Homesh, where Jews were expelled by the government four summers ago.

Both battalions are in the Kfir division of the IDF. The Nachshon soldiers unfurled their banner Monday morning at their base in the southern Hevron Hills, less than a few miles from Negohot, where two families were expelled earlier in the morning. Police and soldiers carried out government orders at the community, escalating Civil Lands Administration policy by targeting sites where families have been living in their permanent homes for more than 18 months.

An American donor has provided money to the Shimshon soldiers' families for each night in jail, and a nationalist group in Israel has promised that a similar gesture would follow for any other soldiers who are punished for refusing to expel Jews from their homes.