J Street applauds the decisive action by Defense Minister Gantz, Minister of Public Security Bar-Lev, the IDF and Israeli police to dismantle and remove several settlement outposts that radical settlers recently attempted to establish throughout the occupied West Bank.
The radical settler organization Nachala attempted to establish these outposts in several West Bank locations this week, in direct contravention of Israeli law – reportedly dispatching several thousand activists and families to attempt to illegally seize territory in Area C. Israeli authorities acted swiftly. Following a joint statement from the IDF and police making clear that they would prevent the outposts from taking root, authorities efficiently and peacefully evacuated all the outpost sites.
The attempt to establish more illegal outposts was just the latest clear evidence that the settlement movement sees itself as above the law and is willing to seize territory even without governmental authority or approval. Meanwhile, settler leaders and right-wing politicians continue to also work within the Israeli political and legal system to expand recognized settlements, seize Palestinian land, and displace Palestinian communities. Acting without any regard for the damage that they are doing to Israel’s security, international standing and democratic character, they continue to hold the entire country hostage to their own far-right ideology and goals.
It is good to see, and remains absolutely vital, for responsible Israel political and security leaders to act to confront the settlement movement, defend the rule of law, and promote a future of Israeli-Palestinian peace instead of permanent occupation. We will continue to urge the US government to do all it can to condemn and oppose settlement expansion – and to strengthen the hand of Israeli leaders who are responsible and courageous enough to stand up to the disastrous agenda of the far-right.