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Yesha In Suspense

Four new points are reported to be up, parts of one was taken down, another one may be relocated - and several others are on alert for possibly imminent dismantling.
First Publish: 6/15/2003, 11:10 AM

The extremist left-wing organization Peace Now says that four outposts have been built or rebuilt in the past few days. The Yesha Council has not denied the reports. The four locations are: south of Rechelim (between Ariel and Shilo); east of Elon Moreh near Shechem; southeast of Ofrah; and south of Kokhav HaShachar. The latter two are in the eastern Binyamin region, north of Jerusalem. It is also claimed that a caravan has been restored to the Amonah neighborhood from where it was removed last week. Some 25 families live in Amonah, just outside Ofrah.

A Yesha Council spokesman said this morning, "We promised last week that for every outpost that is removed, we would either rebuild it or two others." He said, however, that the new outposts are actually not new and are "recognized by the Civil Administration."

Some 300 people took part in putting up another outpost last night, in response to the shooting of two Israeli women on Friday. The new settlement point is located between N'vei Tzuf and the Arab village Bitilu, not far from where the two women were shot (see previous story). Dozens of policemen and soldiers arrived to dismantle the makeshift site this afternoon, facing no resistance from the some 30 people who were there.

Contrary to some media reports, the Mitzpeh Asael outpost south of Hevron was not removed today. An old caravan that was recently introduced to the neighborhood was taken away, with no resistance from the residents. Arutz-7's Tamar Leshem reports that Mitzpeh Asael is 18 months old, and is not on the list of outposts to be dismantled.

Two families are now living in Beit El's Tel Chaim B location, which has also been mentioned as a possible candidate for destruction. Hundreds of people visited the site yesterday. The Gilad Farm and Mitzpeh Rehavam were to have hearings today on the legality of their demolition. Moshe Zar, owner of the Gilad Farm, said that he plans to voluntarily relocate the farm to another area close by, in order to avoid the damage and trauma the farm and its supporters experienced during the last dismantling seven months ago. Zar says he will relocate within 21 days.