Skip to comments.Peretz to Yesha Residents: Leave Outposts Peacefully – or Else
Posted on 10/16/2006 8:28:11 PM PDT by Esther Ruth
Peretz to Yesha Residents: Leave Outposts Peacefully or Else 23:32 Oct 16, '06 / 24 Tishrei 5767 by Hana Levi Julian
Defense Minister Amir Peretz announced Monday afternoon that residents of unauthorized outposts in Judea and Samaria would be forced out of their homes, one way or the other.
Peretz told members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that he has given the Yesha Council leadership two weeks to convince outpost residents to leave their homes voluntarily. After two weeks, he said, the IDF would forcibly expel Jewish residents from their homes in unauthorized communities.
During Sundays cabinet meeting, the Defense Minister told the ministers he hoped meeting with Yesha leaders would bring an understanding in which they would agree to voluntary evacuation of the outposts.
Peretz noted that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had raised the issue with him during her most recent visit to Jerusalem. The matter of evacuating illegal outposts has not lost importance on the publics agenda, Peretz assured the committee members, but was given a long rest during the war in Lebanon.
In response to Peretz' remarks, Yesha officials state, "It takes two to tango. We were not invited to any meetings. Does the minister wish to attempt a dialogue? If so, with whom? Himself?"
During the committee meeting, the Defense Minister was accused by Meretz party Knesset Member Ran Cohen of dragging his feet on the issue. Each year an evacuation plan is made and not implemented. Dont tell us that you are planning to evacuate, he said. Just start evacuating.
The order to complete plans for the expulsions were was issued last week during a meeting with Defense Ministry, IDF and other officials, during which Peretz asked the IDF for immediate operational plans.
Yesha officials told reporters they are working responsibly to avoid a split in the nation such as the one which manifested itself at Amona in February 2006. Hundreds were injured during the incident in which the police became violent during the course of their duties.
Uniformed security personnel in riot gear on horses galloped through the crowd that had gathered to protest the destruction of the new neighborhood in Amona. Several people were trampled by the mounted officer, including at least one protestor who was deliberately attacked.
The bloody scene was caught on video tape and broadcast throughout the world as an example of Israeli police brutality toward Jewish residents of communities in Judea and Samaria (Yesha). The incident was followed by an investigation and court action against the officer in question.
Published: 21:30 October 16, 2006 Last Update: 23:32 October 16, 2006
Oct. 17, 2006 0:29 | Updated Oct. 17, 2006 2:46
Peretz: 2 weeks to outpost evacuation
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Monday he intends to move against a number of unauthorized outposts within two weeks, following talks he plans to hold with settler leaders, according to MK Ran Cohen (Meretz).
Settler leaders said they had heard nothing about such discussions except for reports regarding Peretz's comment to the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministry on Monday.
"It takes two to tango," said Emily Amrusi, the spokeswoman for the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
She said the council hoped that such talks would take place so that settler leaders would have a chance to dissuade the government from moving against the outposts.
Last week, sources close to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he would not act against the outposts at this time and accused Peretz of bringing up the issue to stop Israel Beiteinu from joining the coalition.
Israel Beiteinu has said it would not enter the government if it moved to dismantle unauthorized outposts.
However early this month, before any talk of expanding the coalition, Peretz spoke with The Jerusalem Post about removing outposts. He was apparently speaking about the 12 (out of a total of 105) outposts that were earmarked for destruction prior to the start of the war with Lebanon.
Peretz spoke out against about the outposts on Monday when quizzed by Cohen at the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee regarding the government's failure to move against them.
"He [Peretz] said he is working on a plan to dismantle the outposts," said Cohen. "I said, 'When?' He replied that he had set aside these two weeks to negotiate with the settlers and after that, 'We will do it,'" Cohen reported.
Also speaking to the panel, Peretz said the IDF was stepping up its anti-terror activity in the Gaza Strip. "Gaza will not become like southern Lebanon," said Peretz.
A high ranking intelligence officer who also briefed the committee said that 17 to 20 terrorists were killed over the weekend .
"We are attacking every terrorist no matter which organization they belong to," said Peretz, who added that the IDF "was not stopping to check the addresses on the missiles to see who had launched them."
The intelligence officer told the panel that Hamas was arming itself and preparing for a different form of combat. For example, the officer said said, Hamas was building an underground military area in Gaza.
Arms are continuing to be smuggled into Gaza from the Rafah border with Egypt and from the sea, including weaponry from Syria, said the officer. Hamas was also receiving military assistance from Iran and Hizbullah, he said.
Some of the Syrian weapons are also making their way to Palestinian areas in Judea and Samaria, and terrorists are traveling to Syria and Iran for training and then returning to Gaza.
Terrorists in the Strip, mostly associated with Hamas, were working to increase the range of Kassam rockets.
Despite the arms buildup by Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza, Peretz said he was not interested in conducting a ground operation in the Strip. He said he hoped that a diplomatic solution would be found to the violence.
Knesset members were also briefed on issues relating to Syria and southern Lebanon.
Syria came out of the war believing there were tactics to that could be used to fight the IDF even though they understand that this came at a great risk, the intelligence offer said, adding that Syria was preparing to fight Israel. Its long-range rockets could reach the north of Israel, he said, and Syria had not closed its border with Iraq.
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this schmuck is tougher on the "settlers" (read Jews) than he is on the Hezbos...this is sickening...