Israel Arrests 18 Right-wing Activists While Evacuating Illegal West Bank Outpost

Maoz Esther, built on private Palestinian land, is alternately built and demolished on a monthly basis

Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger
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Israel Border Police at the entrance to Maoz Esther, April 30, 2019.
Israel Border Police at the entrance to Maoz Esther, April 30, 2019.Credit: Attorney Nati Rom
Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger

Israeli security forces arrested 18 right-wing activists Tuesday morning while evacuating temporary homes at an illegal outpost in the central West Bank.

According the Israeli Border Police, the activists were arrested in Maoz Esther while they "resisted and attacked security forces."

Large forces of Border Police and the Israel Civil Administration arrived Tuesday morning to the entrance of nearby settlement of Kokhav Hashahar, through which the entrance to the outpost lies. At first, the road was obstructed at the gate, however in the end the security forces were able to enter and evacuate the temporary homes that had been erected at the outpost.

The Civil Administration confirmed that four of the structures were evacuated as they were built on private Palestinian land.

The outpost at Maoz Esther is alternately built and demolished on a monthly basis as wooden shacks are erected there, and cleared out repeatedly by the Civil Administration. There are no permanent residents; however, it is often populated intermittently by extreme right-wing activists.

Honenu, a right-wing legal aid organization that represents the arrestees, said that hundreds of Border Police officers and several units of "heavy machinery" arrived at the site to demolish the shacks. Attorney Nati Rom, who works for the organization, was present at the scene and said that the security forces "used intense violence" against the settlers.

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