Settler Leader Gets Police Protection in Wake of Far-right Threats Over Illegal Outpost

Activists threatened and cursed Yossi Dagan over an agreement to evacuate the Evyatar settlement outpost

Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner
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Head of the Shomron Regional Council, Yossi Dagan.
Head of the Shomron Regional Council, Yossi Dagan.Credit: Moti Milrod
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

Police are providing security for the head of the Shomron Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, after he received threats from right-wing activists – because of the approval of the compromise enabling the evacuation of the unauthorized outpost Evyatar.

Police declared Dagan a public figure under threat – at the very highest level – and have assigned him personal security. Dagan said he was told by a senior police official that the security was assigned to him because of information received that Palestinians planned to harm him.

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In addition to the security guards assigned to him, police have increased patrols around his house in Shavei Shomron. The decision on additional security was based on intelligence, alongside incidents in which Dagan was threatened and cursed by right-wing activists because of their disappointment with the evacuation agreement.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz approved the evacuation agreement Wednesday night. According to it, Evyatar will be evacuated by the end of the week, and all the residents will have to leave by 4 P.M. on Friday – but the houses there will remain, and the government will reexamine the status of the ownership of the land there.

If it turns out that it is possible to legalize the outpost, then the government will allow the residents to return to their homes “as soon as possible,” says the agreement.

Settlers building in Evyatar, this week.Credit: Hadas Parush

The deal also requires the contents of the houses at Evyatar to be removed, and the Shomron Regional Council is responsible for locking up the houses by Friday. At the end of the examination of the status of the land, “the land that is found that it is possible to declare as state-owned land will be declared as such, and the land that is not included in this declaration will be evacuated.

The order on boundaries and the order on removing new structures will not be implemented at this time,” states the agreement. For now, a military presence will remain at the site.

A previous version of the deal, which the residents agreed to on Monday, also seemingly included a commitment by the government to establish an army-affiliated yeshiva at the site in August, unrelated to the results of the examination of the status of the land.

But the final agreement says a yeshiva will be established only after the land is declared to be state-owned – and according to the completion of the necessary planning process. This change seems to have stemmed from legal difficulties over the issue of building the yeshiva.

Dagan rushed to celebrate the previous version of the agreement, even though he was aware of the legal problems involved, and was subjected to criticism by the more militant factions among the settlers.

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