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Soldiers use force on non-violent protest against illegal West Bank outposts

Palestinian and Israeli activists protesting against settler outposts in the Jordan Valley are met with a forceful response from IDF soldiers.

Israeli soldiers being hosted at an illegal outpost, Jordan Valley, West Bank, Jan 5, 2017. (Guy Hircefeld)

Israeli soldiers being hosted at an illegal outpost, Jordan Valley, West Bank, Jan 5, 2017. (Guy Hircefeld)

Dozens of Palestinian and Israeli activists gathered in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, on Thursday morning in order to protest the establishment of new illegal outposts in the area. The demonstrators, from joint Arab Jewish activist group Ta’ayush, were forcefully dispersed by Israeli soldiers, who fired tear gas at them. The outposts remained where they were.

The activists began by demonstrating next to an outpost that had been set up several weeks ago, near Mehola Junction in the northern Jordan Valley. The residents were hosting Israeli soldiers, serving them tea. The army and the Civil Administration — Israel’s military government in the West Bank — have taken no action to demolish the outpost, despite the structures being illegal.

The activists continued their demonstration at another new outpost, which settlers had established in the last few days next to an army base. The protesters, who were waving flags and chanting slogans against the waves of demolitions in the Jordan Valley over the last year, were met by soldiers, who shot tear gas and arrested one demonstrator. The soldiers made no attempt to dismantle the illegal outpost.

Palestinian activists tried, two months ago, to set up a protest camp in the same area. Their aim was to demonstrate against the so-called “formalization law” — which would retroactively legalize all illegal outposts in the West Bank — and against settler outposts in the Jordan Valley, as well as against home demolitions. This non-violent protest was also quickly dispersed by the army, and the Palestinian illegal outpost demolished.

The IDF Spokesperson had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication. Should a response be received, it will be added here.

Update, Jan 6: The IDF Spokesperson responded that the protest was “an illegal disturbance” [it’s worth remembering that every Palestinian protest is illegal under the military regime in the territories. – h.m.]. The response continued: “The disturbance included violent rioting against the security forces. In response to the riot, forces used crowd dispersal methods and one of the rioters was detained for questioning.” The detained individual is the photographer Guy Hircefeld, who documented the event. He was released shortly after.

The IDF Spokesperson’s statement also said that the evacuation of outposts is not the IDF’s responsibility, but that of the Civil Administration. 

This post was originally published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Ben

      A government sincerely interested in a peaceful agreement does not act this way. It does not allow settlers to do what they do and violently, ruthlessly protect those settlers and violently and ruthlessly shut down all protest about it. And its ministers do not say the things they say. Israel’s apologists have zero credibility at this point. No one anymore believes a thing about what they say they do in the West Bank and why they say they do it. 50 years on. The one’s that are believable are fascists like Hotovely and Bennett. I believe they mean what they say. I also believe Yehuda Shaul and Breaking the Silence. And +972 Magazine. But those who try to tell us Israel would actually like to come to a decent and fair arrangement? It insults the intelligence of anyone who knows what is going on.

      Reply to Comment
    2. carmen

      The GoI doesn’t want peace. It wants ‘quiet’. In other words, it has no patience for palestinian voices or jewish voices calling for an end to apartheid. There can be no dissent, no argument, no conversation at all. And it drives them absolutely crazy that palestinians haven’t given up their land, holding on with all their might. It makes the zionists crazy. I wonder if Herzl and his cronies would have to say about their abject failure?

      Reply to Comment
    3. AJew

      Well folks, here is a ready made solution to all future “illegal settlements”:

      The Palestinian Arabs should cut their losses. Compromise. Negotiate as good a peace deal as possible in terms of territories. Drop the so called right of return demand. Recognise Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people in order to enshrine the status of a Jewish majority in Israel.

      After that, the borders would be defined. Unlike NOW when all we have are out of date armistice lines because Jordan broke the armistice agreement by joining the war on the side of Egypt and attacking Israel, in 1967.

      The longer the Palestinian Arabs put off the above, the less they will end up with. Had they not pursued their zero sum game in 1947, they would have had more. Had they not pursued their zero sum game after 1947, they would have had more. Had they not pursued their zero sum game after 1967, they would have had more. Had they not pursued their zero sum game after 2000, they would have had more. When are the Arab’s going to learn that their solution is to cut their losses instead of compounding their past mistakes and thereby increasing their losses? So long as the Palestinian Arabs continue playing their zero some game, Netanyahu too will play his own games and there is nothing illegal about it despite the biased UN resolutions. Unwise? Maybe. Maybe not.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        “Ready made” indeed. Certainly this “ready made solution” needs to bear the stamp, “Made in the Occupied West Bank by the Yesha Council.” If it is to be legally imported into the US and Europe. Unlike some of the labels Yesha has been caught fabricating. But legality never interested Yesha. The settlers are the zero sum gamers par excellence. The apotheosis of zero sum. And the longer Israel puts off reckoning with its settlers the less it will end up with. The Israelis should cut their losses. As we know, any number of sane Israelis and Americans alike are saying the same thing, loud and clear, but are being ignored by the mass of Israelis. Who are busy screaming about what a fine hero is Azaria and “Gadi be careful, Rabin is looking for a friend.” Israelis will not later be able to say they didn’t know and were not warned by their true friends.

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          “Israelis will not later be able to say they didn’t know and were not warned by their true friends.”

          Who is our true friend, Benny? Don’t tell me you are 😳

          Reply to Comment
          • Ray

            You don’t need friends, you need a parent or teacher standing over you, ready to smack you upside the head head when you do or say something wrong.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “you need a parent or teacher standing over you, ready to smack you upside the head head”

            Some parent/teacher you are, Ray. Your poor kids. Oh but maybe you have no kids. And I do hope you are not a teacher. Child abuse ain’t pretty. It is a police matter.

            Oh and we don’t have two heads around here. You however seem to come somewhere from the hills who is a product of inbreeding. That’s why you think that everyone else has two heads.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ray

            Oh typos, they’re so funny!

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            You are right Ray, I wasn’t fair to you. But was your comment in good taste?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Only you could pompously and self-righteously lecture others with mindless claptrap on abuse on the same pages that documents your army’s and your settlers’ abusive cruelty, on the same site that documents 700 olive trees and farmers’ livelihood being ripped out for “access roads” for pampered settlers. 700 olive trees and farmers’ lives but Ray’s the cruel one. And I especially love the “it’s a police matter,” since Yossi Gurvitz and +972’s License to kill series has shown that the Israeli police are worse than useless in investigating settler crimes, but are excellent at covering them up. And then to top it all off, while pulling off this feat of hypocrisy and pettiness you pompously waltz around giving lectures on who you hold in “esteem” or not and who you accord “credibility” to and folks are supposed to say “oh gee, AJew holds this person at such and such a level of esteem, a weighty decision there, let us take notes.” LoL.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Did you say lecture? Yea from Mr one eyed biased little old obsessed self, right Benny?

            You just can’t help yourself can you Benny? Why do you pretend that your Palestinian Arabs are just pure innocents who haven’t ever even hurt a fly and that the dastardly evil Israeli Jews just pick on them for no reason? Why do you keep on pretending that Benny? How many real people do you think you can convince that your BS is reality?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Of course they don’t pick on them for no reason. They pick on them to push them off their land and build settlements. That’s the whole point! You have your head so far up your posterior it’s hard to believe. Everything you have ever written depends on you missing this point.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “Of course they don’t pick on them for no reason. They pick on them to push them off their land and build settlements”

            As opposed to the Arabs who refused any compromise deal for a two state solution since before 1947, right Benny? Of course right.

            And because the Arabs chose to resolve this conflict by means of violence and they aimed to have a winner take all approach, (they hoped and still hope to be the winners), we too take their approach and take as much of what is our ancestral homeland as possible.

            But that suddenly pisses your lot Benny. You are not pissed by the Arab approach but when we too play by their rules, you just can’t stand that, right, Benny? Guess, what, we no longer care what people like you think. We used to. But no more. You over played your cards with us. Now that we know your true colors, if anything, we will do things just to piss you off.

            Reply to Comment
    4. carmen

      Who is the friend of the zionist state? The u.s. senate, congress, AIPAC, Barack Obama, etc.

      Who can call the zionist state a friend?
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re72di5phM0

      Reply to Comment