5 policemen lightly wounded as IDF tries to evacuate West Bank outpost
200 youths prevent the evacuation of the Oz Tzion outpost situated between Jerusalem and Ramallah; IDF forces likely to return with reinforcements on Saturday evening.
Five Border Patrol policemen were lightly wounded on Friday at the outpost of Oz Tzion in the West Bank, as dozens of policemen and soldiers tried to evacuate it before the Sabbath.
Oz Tzion is a new outpost situated between Jerusalem and Ramallah, near the Givat Assaf outpost. Its founder is Daniela Weiss, the former head of the Kedumim Local Council, and it includes a few wooden structures.
The state has committed to evacuating the outpost twice in the past, yet has failed to do so.
Approximately 200 people came to the outpost to prevent its evacuation, supported by Kiryat Arba's rabbi Dov Lior and rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed. Both rabbis are associated with Naftali Bennet's Habayit Hayehudi party.
On Friday morning, West Bank commander Brig. Gen. Hagai Mordechai ordered the forceful evacuation of the outpost, yet the soldiers were outnumbered. Offers to negotiate with the settlers were turned down, and some youths hurled rocks at the policemen.
According to a report in ynet, which Haaretz has not yet verified, settler representatives said the evacuation was prevented after government ministers intervened.
The IDF is likely to return to the scene on Saturday, after the Sabbath, with a larger force.