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IDF Postpones Shomron Eviction After Clashes Break Out

IDF forced to stop an eviction from the outpost of Oz Tzion, but promises to come back after Shabbat.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 12/28/2012, 8:28 PM

Oz Tzion eviction
Oz Tzion eviction
Arutz Sheva

The IDF was forced to stop an eviction from a Shomron outpost on Friday afternoon when locals resisted eviction. The soldiers had to retreat but the IDF has announced that the eviction will resume on Saturday night, after Shabbat.

Large forces arrived at the outpost of Oz Tzion, located near Beit El in the Binyamin region, shortly before Shabbat. Local residents reported that the officers used tear gas and stun grenades to evict the residents.

Violent clashes erupted between the two sides and one person was arrested. The IDF said its forces were attacked with rocks and that five officers were lightly wounded.

Ultimately the forces retreated but have promised to come back and finish the job after Shabbat.

Oz Tzion has been raided before, the last time being in April. Border Police officers and Yassam special operations personnel have carried out demolitions in the past. In one instance they forced their way into girls' homes and forcibly rounded them up into one building so bulldozers could destroy the other homes.

But each time the outpost has been destroyed, determined residents have returned to rebuild.

Meanwhile on Friday, leftist parties criticized the Israeli government for not completing the eviction and choosing to hold off until Saturday night.

Tzipi Livni, head of the Hatenua party, said, "The clashes of the extreme right with the soldiers, backed by political rabbis, and the fact that IDF soldiers and police forces are forced to maintain this calamity on Shabbat should wake up every mother and father in Israel and remind them of what the elections are about."

She added that "the extreme right that has taken over the Likud and the Jewish Home confronts soldiers, does whatever it wishes and forces the IDF and the police to deal with it rather than with issues of security."

Livni claimed, "These are the rabbis of Bennett, this is Netanyahu's surrender and we all pay the price of this bullying political blackmail. This has got to stop - we must stop Netanyahu and his extremist partners and create a united front against this violence."

The Labor party also attacked Netanyahu, saying, "The violent events in the illegal outpost of Oz Tzion are a direct result of Netanyahu's policy of winking towards settlers in outposts over the last four years."

The party's statement added, "We call on the Prime Minister, who declares that he is strong but when it comes to outposts becomes alarmingly weak, to ensure that the laws of the State of Israel are kept beyond the Green Line as they are kept inside it. Anything else would be a severe blow to Israeli democracy and to the power of the government to govern."

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)