Palestinian Teen Killed by Israeli Fire While Protesting Against New West Bank Outpost

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The new illegal Evyatar outpost in the West Bank.
The new illegal Evyatar outpost in the West Bank. Credit: Moti Milrod
Jack Khoury

A 15-year-old Palestinian was killed in clashes with the Israeli army near Nablus in the West Bank, the Palestinian Red Crescent said on Friday.

The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed the death of Muhammad Said Hamail, adding that six other Palestinians were wounded by Israeli live fire and were taken to a Nablus hospital.   

The clashes erupted as Palestinians were protesting the establishment of the new unauthorized outpost of Evyatar near Nablus.

Muhammad Said Hamail.

Two weeks ago, a relative of Hamail was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers during clashes that erupted also while protesting against the outpost.  

The outpost, built on the site of an army base on land owned by the Palestinian villages of Beita, Qabalan and Yatma, was established in response to the shooting attack at the junction at the beginning of May, in which a yeshiva student, Yehuda Guetta, was murdered.

A dispute over the outpost erupted this week between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz after Netanyahu demanded that Gantz delay the evacuation of the outpost. 

In response to the prime minister's letter on Wednesday claiming that the order to dismantle Evyatar was improper, Gantz’s office issued a statement on Thursday, saying, “There is no provision in the law stating that an evacuation order in the Judea and Samaria area requires the approval of the prime minister.”

The illegal Evyatar outpost last week.Credit: Moti Milrod

Gantz's statement said that "the very establishment of the outpost is illegal” and that the decision was made to evacuate Evyatar only “after consultation with all relevant security and legal bodies.”

Wednesday's letter, sent by Netanyahu's chief of staff, Asher Hayoun, to Gantz's chief of staff, said that the special demarcation order, which prevents further building at the site and required the evacuation of the outpost, was issued without the proper authority.

Hayoun claimed that such an order requires the approval of the prime minister, and asked that the Defense Ministry “refrain from enforcement” until the status of the land be clarified.

The outpost is named after Evyatar Borovsky, a resident of the settlement of Yitzhar who was murdered in an attack in May 2013. Following his murder there were three attempts to build an outpost at the site – in 2013, 2016 and 2018 – but the mobile homes and other structures erected there were quickly evacuated.

According to Daniella Weiss, the general secretary of the Nahala settlement movement, the outpost currently covers several dozen dunams, but has the potential to expand to 600 dunams (about 150 acres). She said that 42 families are already living there, with another 75 hoping to join them.

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