Border Police seize Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva (file)
Border Police seize Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva (file) IDF Spokesperson Unit

Israeli Security Agency (ISA) and police forces on Wednesday night raided the town of Yitzhar in Samaria and issued administrative distancing orders on two minors and two adults studying at Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the town, banning them from Judea and Samaria.

The two minors were distanced from Judea and Samaria for half-a-year, although one was allowed entry to the town he lives in located in Judea's Gush Etzion. One adult was distanced for four months, and the other for nine months.

All four are forbidden from contacting around 20 people, whose names were listed in the orders signed by IDF Central Commander Roni Numa and acting Homefront Commander Dadi Simchi.

The administrative orders are a relic of the British Mandate's regulations for times of emergency, and are issued without any evidence or trial - or even any charges.

On the orders it is written that the commander issued them after being convinced that doing so was "necessary to ensure the security of the state, the safety of the public and maintaining public order."

It also claims that "intelligence information" was referenced in the decision, indicating "involvement in illegal and violent activities endangering Palestinian residents and their property," although as noted no evidence or trial was required for the order.

One of the four hit by the distancing order just a month ago completed a period of half-a-year in which he was distanced from the region, and after the order was lifted he came to study at the yeshiva. However the ISA decided to issue yet another distancing order against him, as they have done in the cases of other youths who recently completely their distancing orders.

In addition a young resident of Samaria's Binyamin region who studies at Yitzhar was detained for investigation, at the end of which he is expected to be released, and two residents of Yitzhar were summoned to a police investigation - for as yet unclear reasons.

"A slippery slope"

The Honenu legal aid organization, which is helping those who were issued distancing orders, sharply condemned the orders.

"There is an impression that the Defense Minister (Moshe Ya'alon) disengaged and lost connection with his own values, and doesn't understand how a proper establishment of rule works," said Honenu.

Honenu referenced Ya'alon's support for IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan after he compared Israel to Nazi Germany at a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony, and in particular demonized the "hilltop youths" of Judea and Samaria.

"Yesterday he tells IDF officers to say what they think even if it opposes the position of the elected establishment, and in effect he is advocating a military coup, and today he adds more administrative orders as if Israel has no more need of evidence, proof and trials."

"Who will stop this slippery slope?," posed the group, even as Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman apparently is poised to replace Ya'alon in a coalition deal.

Yitzhar has long been targeted by the security establishment, including in allegedly violent crackdowns.

In June 2015 the Border Police ended a year-long military occupation of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva that was imposed after cyclical clashes. The occupation was based on the whims of Ya'alon, with no clear justification given other than vague charges of "extremism."