Residents of illegal West Bank outpost Yad Yair
filed a civil suit against three senior IDF officers for NIS 290,432 (about $74,600), charging that they revoked their right for a hearing during the evacuation of the outpost and unjustly destroyed their property.
The suit was filed with the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court under the council of Attn. Doron Nir-Zvi against Judea and Samaria Division Commander Brig. Gen. Noam Tivon, Civil Administration Chief Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, and Samaria Brigade Commander Colonel Aviv Reshef.
The complainants claim that the destruction of the outpost in September 2008 was carried out without any advance warning and through deceiving the settlers residing there. Also according to the complainants, the night prior to the evacuation, residents of nearby settlement, Dolev, noticed a buildup of the IDF and Border Guard in the area. In a phone call to Colonel Reshef to clarify the issue, the settlers were told they had nothing to be worried about and that the forces were operating to halt terrorist activity, and not to destroy the outpost.
Transcripts of the said phone conversation as well as others were also submitted along with the suit in which the IDF commanders can allegedly be heard making all efforts not to abide by the High Court order not to dismantle the outpost.
The decision to file the suit was made after Deputy Attorney General Shai Nitzan explained during a discussion in the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee that there are certain legally binding measures that must be taken if an outpost is to be dismantled.
According to the complainants, the events leading up to the evacuation of Yad Yair did not fit the description provided by Nitzan in the committee. Not only was the evacuation carried out by surprise thus violating their right to a hearing, but the authorities also turned a blind eye on the High Court decree on the issue.
The evacuated settlers claim in their suit that the evacuation caused damage to their buildings and property, trees were uprooted, and infrastructure was intentionally damaged.
The IDF Spokesman Unit has said in response: "The damages claim is unknown to the IDF. If it is received through accepted channels, the issue will be checked thoroughly. The IDF rejects all attempts to threaten commanders and deter them from carrying out their mission as charged upon them by the State of Israel. Dismantling the illegal building in Yad Yair was carried out with permission and authority, and no shortcomings were encountered in its evacuation. Law enforcement officials will continue carrying out their responsibility to protect law and order."