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Settlers at disputed Hebron house
Photo: AFP
Troops amidst settler riots
Photo: Reuters
Barak to meet with settler leaders
Defense minister scheduled to meet with Yesha Council in bid to curtail violence in Hebron following yet another day of clashes; former Kedumim mayor, Daniela Weiss, dismisses Council's authority. At least 28 settler youths detained for questioning Wednesday

With the court-sanctioned eviction of a disputed house still looming, tensions in Hebron refused to abate on Wednesday and another day of violence ended in the arrest of nearly 30 settler teenagers.

 

Defense Minister Ehud Barak's office confirmed he has been in contact with Yesha Council leaders since Tuesday night in an effort to dampen the increasingly heated tensions in the West Bank city.

 

Barak is expected to sit down with settler movement officials later this evening.

 

Earlier, Border Guard forces detained seven rioting youths who were trying to block the road leading to the disputed house. The teens were protesting the arrest of a 15-year-old girl on the suspicion she assaulted police officers.

 

The sounds of rocks being thrown and stun grenades going off reverberated through the area as the arrests were being made. The IDF has reinforced its troops at the scene, and units are being stationed at a distance from the house, so as not to instigate more riots.

 

But despite the seeming good intentions of the anticipated Barak-Yesha meeting, it appears doubtful much of its spirit will permeate the settler street.

 

'Yesha Council irrelevant'

Former Kedumim Mayor Daniela Weiss dismissed the Council's authority in a conversation with Ynet Wednesday evening. Earlier in the day Yesha Chairman Danny Dayan said Weiss must be removed from the premises of the disputed house.

 

"The public doesn't accept the leadership of the Yesha Council, and the statements Dayan made today are very regrettable," she said.

 

"The Yesha Council lost its right to lead ever since it collaborated with the government during the eviction from Gush Katif and northern Samaria. They've accumulated considerable financial power under the auspices of the government, and because of that they are afraid; they refuse to disengage from the teats of power."

 

Meanwhile, Weiss provided her prediction of what the eventual day of eviction would be like: "We have said several times

that the battle will be extremely fierce. We will fight not only for our right to be in this house, but for our right to live in Hebron and on each and every hilltop in the Land of Israel. We will model (the struggle) on Amona. But it will be Amona times a lot."

 

Also Wednesday, Central Control Unit officers cleared dozens of right-wing activist who had reentered the Shapira House, which had previously been evicted under a court order. Twenty youths were taken in for questioning.

 

Efrat Weiss contributed to this report

 

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