Photo: Gil Yochanan
Mazuz: No deal
Photo: Gil Yochanan
Mazuz: No deal on Hebron
Attorney general denies compromise deal has been reached with settlers on voluntary evacuation of Hebron market, says State made no concession, did not commit to repopulating market with Jews at later date

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz issued a statement Monday denying a deal has been reached between the State and setters on a voluntary evacuation of the Hebron market.


Mazuz said the settlers' voluntary departure is not conditioned on a compromise deal or a concession on the part of the State and that no commitment was made to repopulate the market with Jews at a later date.


"There is no compromise or compromise offer on the part of the State for evacuating structures in the Hebron marketplace," the statement read. "If those residing in the market wish to leave voluntarily, the attorney general lauds this."


Mazuz' comments contradict a pledge made by security officials to Hebron community leaders, with the approval of political officials. According to that compromise, once the market is cleared, legal procedures for renting the homes in question for the benefit of Jewish residents will be pushed forward.


However, Hebron community spokesman Noam Arnon rejected Mazuz' statement and said "we do have an agreement. We intend to follow it and we expect and are certain the other side will also deliver."


Beilin: Compromise shameful


Hebron settler official Orit Struck told Ynet that "in the State's response to the High Court they said they intend to rent the homes to Jews. In all the contacts with the defense establishment and IDF officers, they made a clear promise this was the intention."


Meanwhile, security officials said the defense establishment pledged to speed up the legal process but did not necessarily commit to making sure evacuated families return later.


Earlier, Meretz-Yahad Chairman Yossi Beilin said the compromise deal reached between the security establishment and the Hebron settlers is “shameful” and constitutes “a complete surrender to the violent and extremist settlers in the city.”


Fellow Meretz member Ran Cohen also slammed the deal and called on Mazuz to annul it.


"The evacuation is supposed to go ahead in accordance with the pledge made to the High Court of Justice by the State," Cohen said. "The IDF has no authority to make promises and intervene in matters that are none of its business. The evacuation should go ahead on schedule and with no conditions or compromise.


'You'll be equipped with bats and helmets'


Meanwhile, IDF Central Command Head Yair Naveh and Police Chief Moshe Karadi visited the base where troops train ahead of the evacuation of the illegal West Bank outpost of Amona.


Naveh, who spoke to the soldiers and police officers at the base, told them the IDF is preparing for extreme scenarios.


"The evacuation of Amona will take place on Wednesday. If there's a need to go back and clear the Hebron marketplace, it will happen on Thursday or Friday," he said. "We're not dealing with disengagement. This is a law enforcement mission we've been tasked with."

Naveh also told security forces: "You'll be equipped with bats and helmets, and (tear) gas will be used with the approval of a brigade commander or a higher ranking officer."


"We must make plenty of arrests and be determined," he said. "A masked person should be detained at once. If we face even the smallest problem in evacuating women – male troops will also take part."

Police Chief Karadi said: "Our mission is to finish the evacuation successfully and without casualties, and to that end we have 1,600 police officers from the best units in the Israel Police."


Efrat Weiss contributed to the story


First published: 30.01.06, 16:48
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