Right-wing Activist Expelled From Two Jerusalem Neighborhoods

IDF, under the powers of a seldom-used British Mandate ordinance, orders Neria Ofen not to enter Pisgat Ze'ev and Neve Ya'akov for three months.

Right-wing activist Neria Ofen was expelled on Tuesday from the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze'ev and Neve Ya'akov for the next three months. The expulsion order was signed by Major-General Yair Golan, head of the Home Front Command, under the powers of a seldom-used British Mandate emergency defense ordinance from 1945.

Ofen was expelled recently from his home in the Yitzhar settlement on the orders of IDF Central Command.  Ofen then moved into the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood in northern Jerusalem where he became involved in activities seeking to prevent Arabs from moving into the neighborhood.

Ofen and his associates organized a protest march in Pisgat Ze'ev and distributed shirts emblazoned with the words "Jewish Pisgat Ze'ev." After a number of cars of Arab residents of the neighborhood were recently lit on fire, the Shin Bet called Ofen in for a "warning" conversation.

On Monday, Ofen was arrested in Yad Binyamin, where he works. He was later issued an expulsion order from Pisgat Ze'ev and Neve Ya'akov signed by Golan. The use of this Mandate era ordinance to expel people from specific areas is extremely rare. The limitations placed on the movement of nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu are one of the few examples of the ordinance being used in the past.