Israeli Army Fires West Bank Official Who Assisted Far-right Activists

The security coordinator for the outposts surrounding the central West Bank settlement of Shiloh is accused of leaking information on army activity to Israeli settlers

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Hagar Shezaf
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Israeli Jewish settlers scuffle with Palestinian demonstrators in Asira al-Qibliya near the West Bank city of Nablus in 2020.
Israeli Jewish settlers scuffle with Palestinian demonstrators in Asira al-Qibliya near the West Bank city of Nablus in 2020.Credit: Majdi Mohammed/AP
הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf

The Israeli army fired the security coordinator of the central West Bank settlement of Shiloh outposts on the grounds that he cooperated with far-right activists and disrupted the work of the Shin Bet security service and the central police unit.

Meir Ayash was the security coordinator responsible for various outposts surrounding the central West Bank settlement of Shiloh. His removal centers on leaking sensitive army information to far-right activists over the course of the last several months, according to sources in the army. The sources added that the information on which the decision to remove Ayash was predicated on came mostly from the Shin Bet.

The decision to fire Ayash was made by Judea and Samaria Division commander Brig. Gen. Avi Blut and Binyamin Brigade commander, Col. Eliav Elbaz, as first reported by Kan News. Israel Gantz, head of the Binyamin Regional Council where the outposts are located, opposed the army’s decision and said it was “not acceptable.” Ayash declined to respond to an inquiry from Haaretz on the matter.

Security coordinators are responsible for securing settlements and outposts in the West Bank and work in coordination with the IDF. In the last several years cases have arisen where security coordinators have assisted right-wing activists who wanted to harm Palestinians.

Last month, the security coordinator of the Har Bracha settlement in the northern West Bank was suspended from his post after he participated in clashes between settlers and Palestinians. According to a statement published by the army at the time, a preliminary investigation found that the security coordinator provided one of the settlers with a gas grenade and authorized its use.

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