ISRAEL IMPLEMENTS STIFF PENALTIES AGAINST JEWISH ACTIVISTS
ISRAEL IMPLEMENTS STIFF PENALTIES AGAINST JEWISH ACTIVISTS
JERUSALEM -- In a move intended to quash anti-government dissent in West Bank Jewish communities, police have served another administrative expulsion order to a Jewish activist.
Police have served an administrative expulsion order to Yaron Kilav, a resident of what has been termed the "Peace House" in Hebron. This is the fifth administrative expulsion order to have been authorized by Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak in as many months. Four others have been served to residents of the Jewish communities of Adei Ad and Yitzhar in the northern West Bank.
The administrative orders, which are signed by Maj. -Gen. Gadi Shamni, head of the central command, order the immediate expulsion from the West Bank for a period of three to six months. The military cooperates with Israel's secret security services [ISS] or "Shin Bet," on the expulsion order but the person is never informed as to the reason for the order and has no right to appeal. The first expulsion orders were issued in August, ostensibly to prevent interference with the Palestinian olive harvest, but the harvest, replete with clashes between Jews and Palestinians, only began in October.
"If there is no choice, we will consider implementing emergency defensive measures...which allow the arrest of people that usually takes half a year and it's doubtful that it happens at all," Barak said. "These are administrative expulsion orders and other methods. These [laws] are remnants from the British mandate, but if there won't be any other choice, then this is what must be done to ensure state control over its citizens."
Barak outlined the special law enforcement plan after the government's destruction of two10 year-old homes on a farm in the vicinity of the Jewish community of Kiryat Arba on the outskirts of Hebron.
More than 100 security forces including special police forces arrived at farm, belonging to Noam and Elisheva Federman and their nine children, at 1.00 on the morning of Oct. 26. The second home belonged to the Tor family. Federman said security forces pounced on him, shoved him to the ground, beat him and cuffed him after he stepped out of his home when the dogs started barking. Federman said that special police clad in black uniforms then shattered all the windows of the home whilst the children slept. After forcefully evicting the children, they arrested the entire family but separated the mother from her young children. During the violent eviction, Federman said that police broke several fingers on his oldest daughter, 16 year-old Y's hand. Police held the family in separate police stations until the early hours of the morning while security forces bulldozed the homes with all their belongings inside of them. Both Noam and Elisheva have since been indicted for assaulting police officers.
"Ten days after they destroyed my house and threw me and my family out while beating us, they decided they must justify what they did by accusing me of attacking a police officer," Elisheva Federman said after she was rearrested and tested for DNA. Ms. Federman protested against the test but police forcibly removed her head covering, a sign of modesty for a Jewish married woman, and plucked 10 hairs from her head.
Several days later, a Jerusalem magistrate rejected the prosecution's demand to expel Noam Federman from the West Bank citing faulty police procedure. During a second court hearing, Judge Shulamit Dotan again refused to ban Federman, faulting the police for lack of evidence.
"If Federman is currently violating the law by living in an illegal outpost, then he should be arrested for that offense," Dotan said on Nov. 9.
Earlier, during a cabinet meeting in which the government voted to cut off all funding to Jewish outposts, ISS Chief Yuval Diskin warned that the destruction of more outposts could lead to a large-scale violent conflict with the residents, including the use of weapons.
"The scope of the conflict will be much larger than it is today and than it was during the Disengagement [from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank]," Diskin said on Nov. 3. "Our investigation found a very high willingness among this public to use violence, not just stones, but live weapons, in order to prevent or halt a diplomatic process. Their approach began with the slogan "Through love, we will win" during the  Disengagement, but has now become, "Through war, we will win."
The Council for Jewish Settlement in Judea and Samaria criticized the government's decision to cut off funding to the disputed outposts, which, it said, were established by the government.
"The decision constitutes collective punishment and denies essential services to loyal citizens whose only sin is living in communities that the State of Israel built and sold apartments in, but has not yet finished the process of approving," the council said.
Later, Barak, addressing a gathering to commemorate the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, assassinated in 1995, again said that right-wing activists were a threat to state security.
"We used to call them weeds, today they are no less than cancerous growth," Barak said on Nov. 8. "There was writing on the wall then that we weren’t wise enough to see. This is not just writing on the wall, this is a sharp undermining of democracy, the rule of law, the IDF, police and all the authorities serving a normal society. We promise you Yitzhak, we will remove this evil from us."
Police arrested at least 10 right-wing activists who attended the memorial holding signs which said, "End the incitement against Peace Now." Members of Peace Now, a left-wing organization, held signs which read," Come to the [Rabin] Square to stop the settler violence."
Right-wing protesters from the "Im Tirzu" or "If you will it," movement said that seconds after they lifted up their banners, they were arrested.
"We waved them [the banners] but even before we had time to take up our places, special police forces arrived and tore up the signs, dragged us away violently, despite the fact that we agreed to accompany them and then they arrested us," group member Erez Tadmor said. "It appears that you can wave banners criticizing the settlers and the right but it is forbidden to wave one sign against Peace Now."
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