The Israelis who squatted in an abandoned military base in the northern Jordan Valley on February 21 left it Thursday afternoon, the mayor of a nearby Palestinian village reported. Sami Sadeq of Aqaba told Haaretz that the settlers took with them their herd of cows, a water tanker truck and personal possessions.
In response to a complaint from Sadeq, last week Israel’s Civil Administration promised to evict the squatters, but did not give a date. On Sunday morning Palestinians and Israelis staged a protest at the site and were dispersed by soldiers who used tear gas.
Palestinian shepherds from the area said they feared the new outpost would develop as two similar outposts did in the area over the past two years, becoming well-established and expanding despite stop-work orders from the Civil Administration. Residents of the first two outposts, using force and sometimes with the aid of the army, have prevented shepherds from grazing their flocks on pasture the Palestinians have used for decades.