International Middle East Media Center: Expanding settlers' Outpost Slated for Dismantling
January 3 2004:
The Israeli Military Commander of the middle region in the West Bank Moshe Kiblanski signed an order to dismantle a settlers' outpost known as Ginot Arieh, near Ofra settlement north of the West Bank. The outpost accomodates 15 families. This order is based on the government's intention to remove four settlements outposts the government regards as "illegal".
Israeli source revealed information that this site is being expand not removed. According to ArabYnet, their correspondent was flying over the region on a trip organized by the Israeli Peace Movement "Peace Now" saw the preparation for more mobile houses and maybe for permanent ones. She also revealed information about a road being built to link this outpost with Ofra settlement.
The Yesha Council of Settlements on Thursday denied that the outpost was illegal, saying that the government had approved it five years ago, yet the Israeli defense minister said he will send around 3500 soldiers to execute the evacuation order that is expected to last for three days.
According to Tommy Labid, Israeli Minister of Justice, the $1 million road is paid by the state. Labid to raise this matter at Sunday's weekly cabinet's meeting.
The road was paved after a seminary dedicated to the teachings of the former leader of the extremist Kach party, Rabbi Meir Kahane, was built at the site.
Sharon was quoted by the Ma'ariv daily as telling lawmakers from his Likud Party on Monday that "there is no other choice ... to painful concessions." "We must not keep 31/2 million Arabs under us. Let it be clear: We will not be in all the places we are now. That is the situation. We have to understand it," Sharon reportedly said.
A spokesman for Kach said that, "At a time when [Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon talks about the expulsion of the Jews from their homes, we continue and grow stronger. Sharon, [Defense Minister Shaul] Mofaz and [Vice Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert can talk to the media, but we will do the talking on the ground."
In a press release issued by Peace Now in January 2003, it says that equivalent of over half of US economic aid to Israel spent on settlements movement.
Meanwhile, David Haivri, a settler interviewed by Channel Two next to the new building, scoffed at the government's stated intention of removing all the unauthorized outposts. "We are the law here," he said.
There are around 261 Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The Israeli government considers 145 of them as illegal.
The seriousness and the ability of the Israeli government is doubted. Sharon's government is not the first to talk about dismantling settlements. For some Jewish groups, Sharon has betrayed his people in this move.