Settlement Movement Readies to Erect Series of New West Bank Outposts on Wednesday

Defense Minister Gantz has instructed security forces to prevent the establishment of the illegal outposts, and forces are apparently at the ready, after a months-long public push by the Nachala movement in preparation for the settlement push

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Hagar Shezaf
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A left-wing protest against the West Bank outpost of Homesh, in May.
A left-wing protest against the West Bank outpost of Homesh, in May.Credit: Moti Milrod
הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf

The Nachala settlement movement is planning to erect three unauthorized outposts throughout the West Bank on Wednesday, despite Defense Minister Benny Gantz's warning that security forces have been instructed to prevent their establishment.

The Nachala movement, which aims to increase Jewish settlement in the West Bank, has publicized and advertised the establishment of the three outposts in recent months, and asked its followers who aim to settle the sites to be prepared for an extended stay there.

Gantz issued a statement Tuesday in which he said that he had been shown the plans for the outposts, and that he requested that those involved be notified that such building would be illegal, and that security officials have been instructed to prevent the outposts from being established.

The Israeli army, police and border police have said that they are prepared to preserve law and order and would be deployed on roads, at checkpoints and at other locations in the territory. The police are to be deployed throughout the West Bank in open areas and on roads to head off the plans to set up the outposts, and officials from the Israeli army said they would limit motor traffic and declare areas closed military zones.

In a joint statement, police and army spokespeople said that “setting up outposts in Judea and Samaria without the necessary procedures and approvals required by law ... is illegal and forbidden.”

Nachala was continuing to prepare for Wednesday’s effort and instructed its followers to come equipped with sufficient food and water to last until Friday afternoon. In recent months, the organization has held conferences and parlor meetings to recruit people to settle the outpost sites on the designated day. It has also raised 5 million shekels ($1.4 million) for the effort. Nachala was responsible for the establishment of the unauthorized Evyatar outpost in the northern West Bank.

Along with other left-wing organizations, supporters of Peace Now, which opposes the West Bank settlement movement, said they would attempt to stop the establishment of the new outposts.

“The days in which a small, violent and messianic band of Kahanists hold Israel hostage are over,” Peace Now said in a statement. “The establishment of new terror outposts accompanied by an open campaign and with the backing of the right-wing messianic leadership is a well-planned attack on Israel’s interests.”

Knesset members from the left-wing Meretz party called on Gantz and Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev to stop “being afraid of the settlers and to stop this crime by the Nachala organization.”

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