"War on Outposts" Update

Residents of two endangered Jewish locations, Hevron and Amona, feel they are pawns in Olmert's election campaign. They expect an attempted expulsion a week from now, and promise it won't be easy.

Hillel Fendel , | updated: 1:33 PM

In Hevron, "things are much quieter today," spokesman David Wilder told Arutz-7. "Policemen are not walking around, and the children don't feel threatened that they will be arrested for just taking out the garbage, as has happened. However, I did see one or two police horses here again..."

"The problem is [Acting Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert," Wilder says. "Everyone else, from Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz and on down, would like to see a simple solution, such as renting us the property and allowing the Jews to stay. But Olmert is turning it into a political issue. It would be better if he would deal with terrorists, but that doesn't seem to be his priority."

At issue is Jewish-owned land that once served as an Arab marketplace but where 11 Jewish families now live. The army has been ordered to throw them out, following a Supreme Court hearing on the matter. Contrary to what had been widely understood, the Court did not order the eviction, but merely declared the case closed when the army announced its intention to do so. The land was actually purchased by the Sephardic Jewish community of Hevron 200 years ago, and has been transferred to the present-day Jewish community.

One of the threatened families, that of Rabbi Yisrael and Tzippy Shlissel and their ten children, turned this week to the Beit Shemesh Magistrates Court. The court ruled yesterday that it does not have jurisdiction in the case, however. Atty. Yoram Sheftel, representing the family, is considering whether or not to now turn to the Supreme Court.

Honenu reports that 11 youths are currently in prison following the events in Hevron this week - seven boys and four girls. "Four of them have been ordered released," said Ariel Vangrover of Honenu, "but the State hurried to say that it wants to appeal, meaning that they will be likely in prison over the Sabbath as well. This is characteristic of the approach in general; they are trying to keep all the youths in prison until the end of the proceedings against them. And for what? For things like scratching a policeman while being arrested. The proportions are simply absurd."

Yesterday afternoon, a Jerusalem court rejected a police request to hold 14-year-old Hevron resident Yiska Federman in jail for an indefinite period. Police claim the Hevron girl pushed a policeman, and that in any event she must appear in court for another case in two months' time - but the judge ordered her immediate and unconditional release.

Another Hevron arrestee of this week, Deli Landau, mother of 11, is now out of jail - but she is being kept in house arrest in her parents' home in Jerusalem. A final decision on her case is expected next week.

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has called upon the IDF to get ready to be more liberal in its use of administrative detention orders against "Israeli lawbreakers in Judea and Samaria." Though the time has not yet arrived to employ such orders, Mazuz feels, "they should be used against anyone about whom intelligence is received that he represents a genuine danger to public welfare and regional security."

Administrative detention, a holdover from British Mandatory law, allows the security services to detain a citizen for up to six months at a time without presenting the charges or evidence against him. The measure was traditionally used against Arab terrorists.

In Amona, a young neighborhood towering above Ofrah in the Binyamin area, the army is similarly preparing action against the settlement enterprise - not by evicting families, as in Hevron, but by destroying their homes. Nine permanent buildings are set to be torn down, possibly at the end of next week.

A court order initiated by a Peace Now suit claims that the land is privately-owned by Arabs. The land was in the process of being purchased, however, and residents say that the law is not the problem, but rather politics. Just as in Hevron, they maintain that an agreed-upon solution could easily be reached - if not for the political ambitions of Ehud Olmert and others. The location of Amona has long been used as a security point, and the building of the neighborhood was tacitly approved by the government and army for years.

Amona residents are preparing what they call "non-peaceful" measures to resist the destruction.