Acting PM Olmert: War Against Unauthorized Jewish Communities

Israel's acting prime minister, MK Ehud Olmert, has declared war - against unauthorized Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Ezra HaLevi , | updated: 6:47 PM

Olmert, at a meeting Wednesday afternoon with security officials, ordered the IDF to draw up clear plans to prevent the creation of new outposts and to destroy existing ones.

Nearly every community in Judea and Samaria engaged in building projects that were unauthorized at some stage, and many of them began in an unauthorized fashion. Israel's ambiguous policies with regard to the future of Judea and Samaria have been blamed for this trend, as various government coalition members and heads of government ministries worked for and against Jewish resettlement of Judea, Samaria and Gaza following the Six Day War.

Olmert told the officials that until now the government has not acted with the necessary strength against the phenomenon "of illegal Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria." Olmert said that the time has come to use overwhelming strength against the communities. He instructed the Defense Minister to compile plans for uprooting outposts and declared that nine homes in the significantly developed outpost of Amona near Ofra would be destroyed in the coming days.

Olmert angrily called for the immediate expulsion of Jews from the Shalhevet marketplace area in Hevron.

He also called for the punishment of various government agencies, local municipality members and civil servants involved in the founding of the outposts. Olmert termed the government's crackdown against the outposts "a struggle for the law in Israel."

Olmert said that "undermining the law" has become "a way of life" in Judea and Samaria.

Olmert was investigated by police for his role in the Sharon government's Greek Island Corruption scandal, and several of Olmert's party members are being probed for various corruption and fraud charges as well.

IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz also spoke at the meeting, saying that Israel's "forgiving attitude" toward the residents of Judea and Samaria in the past is what has inflamed the current situation.

Justice Minister Tzippy Livni said that she sees the onslaught against the outposts as "a conflict between settlers and the government in a struggle for supremacy."

The Yesha Council (of Judea, Samaria and Gaza communities) dismissed the statement, saying they are of the type in Israeli politics that are spoken for the sole purpose of creating strife within the nation. They also said they would "not enable Olmert to carry out his plans easily."

Land of Israel activists say they won't allow Olmert to carry out his plans to destroy Jewish communities at all. "The days of the Yesha Council making deals on our behalf and enlisting the public for symbolic struggles are over," a leading activist told Arutz-7. "Despite the enlistment of 99 percent of the media in trying to portray us as Arab rioters in recent days, we will not back down. They call us youth, but we are students, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers who do not intend to go into exile from any part of the Land of Israel."

MK Aryeh Eldad, head of the National Union's current-events team, said in reaction to Olmert's statements: "Olmert is inciting towards a civil war as part of his election campaign. The issue [in Hevron] could be resolved through a legal compromise, but Olmert prefers to ignore this option in order to become the leader of the Left in the next elections."