IDF expels 12 Jewish extremists from West Bank

A right-wing Jewish protester is arrested during a demonstration in front of Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, held to demand the release of their comrades. (Flash 90)

JERUSALEM  (JWN and agencies)– The Israel Defense Forces expelled and issued restraining orders to 12 Jewish extremists it detained in a Wednesday night raid of four settlements.

The 12 were from the settlements Yitzhar, Havat Gilad, Elon Moreh, and Ramat Migron. It had been decided to expel them over suspicions they planned and carried out violent attacks against Palestinians and their property.

The raid and restraining orders followed on the heels of Tuesday’s announcement  by the State Prosecutor’s Office that it intended to indict eight right-wing extremists for allegedly tracking IDF activities in the West bank.

On Thursday, OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi ordered the 12 right-wing extremists be notified of their temporary expulsion from the West Bank, for periods ranging from three to nine months. The IDF considers them to pose a real threat to human life and a disruption of public order and peace.

Those notified of their temporary expulsion from the West Bank were Zvi Sukkot, Eilieze Olami, Yehonatan Drori, Harel Libi, Yaniv Shabtai, Ariel Ben-Shushan, Yedidya Zelig, Oded Shapira, David Hass, and Yehuda Yair Melter.

Two others served with restraining orders were minors, one of whom is the son of a known right-wing extremist.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office said that the orders were issued out of a “distinct security need and after all other alternatives were considered,” adding they were meant to preemptively neutralize the security threat these activists posed to the region’s residents.

Honenu, an NGO that provides right-wing activists and soldiers with legal representation, and which is aiding the expelled extremists, said that Israel had  “reached a new low in human rights in the West Bank.”

“If there’s a case against these youths then an indictment should be submitted, not out of court measures taken without proof or evidence,” Honenu said, adding that action through warrants was a step “worthy of military regimes in totalitarian countries.

The expulsion of the extremists did not prevent  another price tag attack from occurring in Jerusalem Wednesday night. Two cars were torched in the Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa. Next to the charred vehicles police found graffiti with the words “price tag” and “revenge.”

A bizarre attempt to make a “price tag” attack on the Knesset was thwarted by Knesset guards Wednesday afternoon. The suspect trying to enter the building had a warrant out for his arrest for his involvement in previous “price tag” attacks. The guards recognized him detained him, then handed him over to the police.