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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hundreds of right-wingers attack IDF post near Ofra

With Hamas 'elected' to run the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli political level is concerned with more important things - like expelling Jews from the Amona 'outpost' and razing the nine structures that are sitting there (for the record, my wife has a sister in Ofra, but I have not discussed this with my sister-in-law):

Hundreds of right-wingers attack IDF post near Ofra

Around 300 right-wing activists clashed with soldiers on Tuesday morning at an IDF post in Ofra, near Amona, which is scheduled to be evacuated on Wednesday. The group broke through the fence and climbed on the heavy machinery and equipment located on the scene.

Some of the equipment was sabotaged in the attack.

The unit that was attacked is not scheduled to take part in the Amona evacuation on Wednesday, rather, it is in charge of protecting the Ofra residents and ensuring security in the area. The machinery, however, is slated for removing the stone structures from the West Bank oupost.

Police were alerted to the scene.

The settlers left the area after talks with the Ofra local leadership, and soldiers were checking the extent of the damage.

Just a few hours later, youths were moving boulders onto the access roads leading to the Amona outpost.

The dozens of activists, mostly young, were also putting barbed wire on the roofs of the permanent structures slated for demolition on Wednesday.

The IDF condemned the attack, saying it views any attack on soldiers or IDF property very seriously.


Special Forces, including a SWAT team, will be on standby along the evacuation's outer perimeter to deal with extreme scenarios such as settlers opening fire on the evacuating forces.

Forces will be divided into three circles: 1,600 unarmed policemen in the inner circle charged with physical evacuation; 1,000 border policemen in the second circle to deal with public disturbances; and four infantry regiments of close to 3,000 soldiers to secure the area surrounding the outpost.

An officer said the evacuation would be carried out in a similar format to this past summer's evacuation from the Gaza Strip, with the only difference being that "in Gaza the evacuation was carried out 'firmly and sensitively,' and in Amona we will only operate firmly."


The settlers claim they bought the land on which the houses were built in an under-the-table deal from Palestinians. The state contends that the homes were illegally constructed because the land belongs to Palestinians. [Have any 'Palestinians' petitioned the courts claiming that the land belongs to them? Do the 'settlers' have documents proving a transfer of ownership? Notice how no one deals with these basic issues. CiJ] Short of one wooden home and a playroom for children, the homes mark the first permanent construction on the site, which sits on a hilltop opposite Ofra.


Yehuda Baruchi, one of the first families to move to the outpost 10 years ago, spent the afternoon organizing activists. He said despite the media's attempt to portray them as violent, the intention was passive but determined resistance. [Ten years ago???? And NOW it's being declared 'illegal'? To me that indicates that the government's/'Palestinians'' claim is less than honest. CiJ]

"The homes shouldn't be destroyed quietly and easily," Baruchi said. He was bothered also by the characterization of their activity as illegal.

See that hilltop opposite Amona, he said, holding a cellphone in one hand and a paper and pen in the other, "Avraham stood there when God promised this land to him." Now, Baruchi said, Olmert wants to give it up so he can gain some extra mandates for Kadima.

Olmert told settler leaders he had no intention of postponing the evacuation, adding that it was his intention to carry out the High Court of Justice decision, which on Sunday rejected a petition by the settlers to halt the demolitions.


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