Photo: Rahamim Maimon
Evacuation of the Federman Farm
Photo: Rahamim Maimon

Gov't withdraws support from all settler outposts

Ministers vote to intensify measures being taken against illegal West Bank settlements; security forces will be beefed up and make more arrests while justice system to expedite proceedings against lawbreakers with administrative injunctions and restraining orders

Following a lengthy cabinet meeting Sunday morning, in which the Shin Bet warned another political assassination was possible, the government decided on new measures against the illegal Jewish outposts in the West Bank.


Ministers said the state would immediately eradicate any support of the outposts, be it any and all forms of funding or by the provision of infrastructure.


The meeting centered on the recent bout of violence directed by settlers against security forces near Hebron, sparked by the evacuation and demolition of the 'Federman Farm' outpost, a phenomenon ministers have warned pose a direct threat to the rule of law and order.


The government ruled that a serious plan of action would require special cooperation between law enforcement and judicial authorities in the West Bank, allowing for the arrest of lawbreakers and an expedited legal process that would include the use of administrative injunctions and restraining orders. Security forces stand to be reinforced and there will be an increase in the monitoring of settler activities.


It was further decided to continue taking action against the construction of illegal structures using all means at the state's disposal, while still providing adequate service to West Bank residents legitimately seeking building permits.


Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann will, in conjunction with the defense establishment, promote legislative amendments designed to identify and deal with ineffective existing laws.


Defense Minister Ehud Barak was tasked with concentrating efforts pertaining to the matter at hand shared by the Justice Ministry, Internal Security Ministry, the IDF, police, Shin Bet, vice premier and attorney general. Barak was also ordered to deliver a progress report and recommendations for the handling of the situation within a fortnight.


Legal measures may also be taken against civil servants involved in the incitement.


"It must be said that through the years there has been a degree of double-talk," Attorney General Menachem Mazuz said, adding that the state may have made various proclamations regarding the

outposts while studiously ignoring those statements on the ground.


Mazuz also addressed the lenience with which the state approached rioters arresting during the disengagement from Gaza, saying there was an unavoidable direct connection.


The Yesha Council slammed the government's announcement, calling it "an outrageous and demagogic decision made by the government during the election season. There is no connection between the phenomena discussed at the cabinet meeting today and the issue of the outposts. The decision constitutes a form of collective punishment, denying loyal citizens essential services, citizens whose only crime is that they reside in communities built by the State of Israel."


פרסום ראשון: 11.02.08, 17:37
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