Illegal Jewish settlers evicted from West Bank homes

Illegal Jewish settlers removed from homes they claimed to have purchased, frustrating Israeli lawmakers

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

An Israeli soldier aims his weapon at Palestinians as Israeli settlers take over their houses in the West Bank old city of Hebron January 21, 2016

Illegal Jewish settlers were forcibly removed from homes they claimed to have purchased from Palestinians in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Friday, frustrating right-wing politicians.

Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon’s refusal to sign off on Israeli settlers' occupation of homes in Hebron had frustrated members of parliament from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.

Although the settlers allege that the properties were obtained legally, Yaalon said the settlers had not compiled with the law.

Yaalon called on Israeli lawmakers to “restrain their remarks, support the rule of law and avoid encouraging to take law into their own hands.”

To take occupancy of the homes, a number of actions are required and none were carried out, which is why the trespassers were evicted, he said.

Two Likud party members and a member from the ultranationalist Jewish Home party said they would not attend parliamentary votes on Monday to protest the move.

"It is forbidden [religiously] to evict jews from their homes and there will be consequences, we demand the prime minister’s involvement in the matter," said Ayoub Kara, a member of Likud.

Hebron is a Palestinian city located in the southern West Bank consisting of majority Palestinians.

The illegal settlers overtook the homes on Thursday and were evicted by police on Friday morning as television footage showed police scuffling them out.

Illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories are highly controversial and recognised as illegal by most countries, playing a major role in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

Israel plans to seize a large tract of agricultural land in the occupied West Bank, a move that is almost certain to draw international criticism.

The plan has been condemned by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the United States.

Israel has occupied all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East War. Talks have been frozen between Palestine and Israel since April 2014.

Violence has largely shifted from the Gaza Strip into the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where over 151 Palestinians have been killed and some 20 Israelis died. Noting the high number of Palestinian deaths, Sweden’s Foreign Ministry has called for an independent investigation into whether Israel carried out "extrajudicial killings,"

According to some analysts, Israel’s continuing occupation has been the key reason for the increasing violence.

TRTWorld, Reuters