Settlers quietly remove outposts
Thursday, August 02, 2001
Two of 15 rogue outposts ordered removed still there
By Amos Harel
Only two of the 15 settlement outposts in the West Bank that Defense
Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer has ordered evacuated are still in place.
Over the last few weeks, the settlers have quietly relinquished several
outposts. The only two that are still in place are at the Jit intersection,
east of Kedumin (where Gilad Zar was murdered), and the Ofarim outpost at
intersection 90 near Beit El (where Zvi Hershkowitz and his son Assaf from
Ofra were killed in two separate incidents).
Negotiations are still underway for the removal of these remaining outposts.
The Israel Defense Forces has already issued an ultimatum, which was
extended two weeks ago. The defense establishment hopes, however, that a
peaceful arrangement can be reached.
The IDF has promised the settlers that the army will occupy one of the
outposts that they have left - the Bat-Ayin outpost in the Etzion Bloc. At
another outpost, Hill 777, east of Nablus and near Itamar, the IDF
eventually accepted the settlers' compromise: The outpost was moved to the
east to become a contiguous part of an existing block of buildings.
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