Settlers Took Over Abandoned Army Base – and IDF Provided Them With Electricity

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The abandoned Mevo Shilo base
The abandoned Mevo Shiloh base.Credit: Emil Salman

Settlers have taken over an abandoned part of an army base near Shilo in the West Bank in recent weeks.

The Mevo Shilo base is used by Israel Defense Forces stationed in the Shilo Valley for operational activities in the area. The IDF evacuated part of the base, leaving some buildings empty, even though it is still defined as a military area.

A number of settlers have moved in in recent weeks and built an unauthorized outpost there, which they call Malachei Shalom (Angels of Peace) in memory of Malachi Rosenfeld, who was murdered in a drive-by shooting near the settlement of Shvut Rahel nearby, and Shuli Har Melech, who was killed in a terrorist attack on the Alon Road in the eastern West Bank in 2003.

The IDF calls the situation an “illegal invasion of a military area,” but has nonetheless provided the settlers with water and electricity. Even after the security forces tried to remove them for the first time a month ago, they returned and reconnected to the electricity and water systems at the site – at the IDF’s expense.

Only after informing the IDF and investigating who who was paying for the water and electricity to the residents of the outpost, did it become clear the IDF was still paying. It was subsequently decided in the past few days to once again disconnect the water and electricity. On Sunday security forces arrived at the outpost and evacuated it once again. There were dozens of people at the outpost during the evacuation, but it was carried out without any violence, said an army source.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office called it an illegal invasion of a military area. “The settlers were removed in the past by security forces and the infrastructure at the site was also disconnected. After examining the claims, which turned out to be true, the electricity and water infrastructures were once again disconnected as part of the continuing handling of the incursion.”

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