ISRAELI MILITARY EXPELS THREE JEWS FROM WEST BANK HOMES
JERUSALEM -- Israel's military has served administrative expulsion orders to three Jewish residents of the West Bank community of Yitzhar.
Israeli Army Central District Commander Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni signed administrative orders to evict three Jews from their homes in the northern Samarian community of Yitzhar and to distance them from Judea and Samaria for six months.
The three, Akiva HaCohen, 25, Ariel Groner, 24 and Eliav Eliyahu, 19, haven't been charged with any crime.
Army officials said the administrative orders were issued after "information was received of their involvement in violent and illegal activity and in light of the genuine danger foreseen from them to security and the public order.
"This is not connected to the olive harvest," HaCohen said. "They [the police] said this is connected to confrontations between Jews and Arabs and the eviction from and destruction of outposts."
HaCohen, a father of four together with his wife, Ayelet Hashachar, who is in her ninth month, said that he had not yet decided how he was going to respond to the order.
HaCohen said he drove to the central Israeli city of Petah Tikva on the morning of October 11 to purchase building materials. As he got out of his car to pay the parking, he was surrounded by four police officers who served him the administrative expulsion order. Another eight police officers remained in the police vehicles.
The order allows three days for HaCohen to appeal and one week to leave his home for six months or face imprisonment.
"This is anti-democratic and is discrimination against Jews," HaCohen said. "What about the left-wing and the Arabs?"
HaCohen and Groner, also a father of four with a newborn, are not newcomers to this scenario. HaCohen was expelled from his home in Yitzhar in October 2006 for over three months after sitting in jail for attempting to enter the now destroyed Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip in August 2005.
In August 2007, Groner was jailed for two months for breaking an administrative expulsion order from Yitzhar and was then ordered to live under house arrest in a mobile home in the scorching Beit Shean valley without air conditioning for three months. He was then forbidden from returning to Judea and Samaria for another three months.
In previous years, security forces said they served the administrative orders during the Palestinian olive harvest to prevent confrontations between Jews and Arabs but by October, the harvest is almost complete.
"It's not connected to the olives," Daniella Weiss, one of the leaders of the Land of Israel Faithful Movement said. "It's connected to the eviction of outposts and to [Defense Minister Ehud Barak] who wants to destroy them."
The Land of Israel Faithful Movement issued a statement criticizing the government for its use of undemocratic tools and for failing to tell HaCohen, Groner or Eliyahu why they were expelled from their homes.
"We sharply and unambiguously condemn these expulsion orders," the statement said. "We demand that the Government of Israel, a nationalist government, immediately stop the erroneous use of these undemocratic tools that are reminiscent of dark periods in our history."
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