A new Jewish neighborhood in Yesha was nipped in the bud last night (Monday), with the consent of residents who hope to thus save other Jewish towns.

The outpost in question, known as Merom Ayalon, is located just to the northeast of Mevo Horon and just to the east of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. It is located just over the Green Line; in the Six Day War, when it was liberated from Jordanian control, Jordanian military plans were found to capture and destroy nearby Kibbutz Shaalvim.

Twenty people who were living in 6-8 structures in the seven-year-old neighborhood left the site voluntarily late Monday night.  They explained that they were ashamed of having taken this action, "but we did it in order to save other sites for Jewish settlement."  The evacuation was carried out following an agreement with the Defense Ministry, in exchange for permission to build new housing in the neighborhood's well-established mother town of Mevo Horon, and more.

Over 1,000 people live in Mevo Horon, which was founded in 1970.  The Mevo Horon secretariat announced that it was not proud of the deal, but agreed to it "in order to help save several outposts deep in Jewish territory in the Shomron." The agreement includes permission to expand Mevo Horon by another 100 housing units.

MK Ariel: Nothing Gained

MK Uri Ariel (National Union) was not happy with the voluntary evacuation.  "It will not bring about any positive results," he said.  "Any agreement in which the 'reward' is that the government agrees to un-freeze [some] construction in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem is not worthy of trust."

Ariel took the opportunity to once again call on Shas to quit the coalition "even before Pesach, and topple this government."

Baruch Marzel of Hevron, head of the Jewish National Front organization, says that the Yesha Council has "not learned anything from previous agreements.  The last agreement they made regarding outposts brought about the Disengagement from northern Shomron and Gaza, and this one is likely to bring about an even large withdrawal from Judea and Samaria."

Two cranes arrived in Merom Ayalon on Monday night, and removed six caravans.  No Land of Israel supporters were on hand to protest, as the agreement had been kept secret since it was formulated two weeks ago.

"This was a desecration of G-d's Name," one resident told NRG-Maariv, "but it is important to emphasize that it is being done with great pain and sorrow, and only to save other settlement spots."