Police Try, in Vain, to Stop Yesha Outpost March
The arrest of dozens of marchers during an ideologically-motivated three-day march from Shechem (Nablus) to Jericho via Jewish start-up neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria has not stopped the event.Detectives of the Shomron-Judea Police District arrested dozens of young marchers, who began their trek at the start-up outpost of Shvut Ami this morning, just west of one of the most veteran Jewish towns in Samaria, Kedumim.
The march began as planned, but the police stepped up very soon afterwards and arrested the main organizer, outpost veteran Meir Bertler, as well as several of his friends. The police then blocked several roads so that the Land of Israel solidarity hike could not continue. Bertler and most of the others were later released.
The marchers then took to the open fields and wadis to continue their trek, and the police followed them and arrested several dozens of them. Others who were not arrested are continuing the hike on their own.
MK Ben-Ari: Bad enough that they have frozen our construction; now they want to freeze our mobility as well? We must refuse to accept this!
After word of the police action was disseminated, the police denied that anyone had been arrested – and 25 of the “detained” teenage girls were taken to the Oranit checkpoint, in western Samaria, and “dumped” there. March organizers say the police will be held responsible if any of the girls comes to harm trying to return home from that unfamiliar place.
MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) met the marchers at the Gilad Farm, east of Kedumim, and was appalled at what he saw: “It appeared that the police didn’t even know why they were arresting the youths. After all, no law was being broken; they didn’t actually enter Shechem [which is off-limits to Israelis without army approval]. First the police said the young marchers were endangering themselves [and were therefore arrested]. I asked them how such a thing is measured, etc., so then they said they were endangering a public route… It appears that there is no law and no justice, and the police just do what they feel like.”
“The march is continuing as planned, however, and I call upon the public to come and take part in the second leg, tomorrow [in the Shilo area]. It’s bad enough that they have frozen our construction; now they want to freeze our mobility as well? We must refuse to accept this!”
The goal of the march is to raise awareness regarding Shechem, Jericho, and the new start-up neighborhoods – widely known as outposts – that have sprung up throughout Judea and Samaria. The plan is to march southwards from Shiloh past Ofra, Givat Assaf, Maaleh Michmas, and Ramat Migron.
“It is a shame and a disgrace that the Cabinet minister who is responsible for the police [Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch], from the Israel Our Home party, negates freedom of movement for Jews in Judea and Samaria,” Ben-Ari said. “It cannot be when so many routes are being opened for travel by Arabs in Judea and Samaria, that Jews are prevented from walking in those same areas.”