A7News: The Morning After: IDF, Police Evacuate 5 Activists’ Outposts

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The Morning After: IDF, Police Evacuate 5 Activists’ Outposts

IDF soldiers and police officers evicted dozens of activists Monday after they spent the night at sites for 5 new outposts in Judea and Samaria.

  1. The Morning After: IDF, Police Evacuate 5 Activists’ Outposts
  2. 87 Terrorists Being Released Today
  3. Bolton, Podhoretz Say: Bomb Iranian Nuclear Plants
  4. Regev: Why Does Olmert Offer Good Will to Arabs and not Jews?
  5. Thousands to Celebrate Simchat Beit HaSho’evah in Hevron
  6. Sukkot Atop Ma’alot Halhul

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1. The Morning After: IDF, Police Evacuate 5 Activists’ Outposts

by Hana Levi Julian

After a chilly night in the hills of Judea and Samaria, dozens of activists awoke to find themselves being evicted from the sites where they hope to build five new Jewish communities in the near future.

Hundreds of Jews had spent Sunday night celebrating the holiday of Sukkot on the breezy hilltops, where sparks of light twinkling in the inky darkness were the only signs of other Jewish communities already well-established in the areas.

Although determined to stay, activists at two of the sites were removed by IDF soldiers and police in the early morning light. However, some of the activists fled to nearby vineyards to escape evacuation.

Police swooped down on the dozens of people who camped out in Judea at Maalot Halhul in the Judean Hills south of Hevron, evicting them by 8:00 a.m.

One young woman activist said that five black-suited police officers tried to force them off the site Sunday night, but that the activists far outnumbered them. The police later returned with reinforcements and wrecked two sukkot that had been erected, but no serious violence took place. One soldier told IsraelNN.com, “Most of us support you.”

Those who stayed overnight at another site – Nofei Hashmonaim, in the Binyamin district – were taken out of the area by police in two groups. One was dropped off at the nearby community of Gamzu and the other was taken to roads leading to Jerusalem.

Activists at three other sites – Harhivi near Elon Moreh, Shvut Ami near Kedumim, and Givat HaEitam on the outskirts of Efrat – were joined by supporters from nearby communities as they prayed the morning service. IDF soldiers and police officers were making preparations to carry out evictions there as well.

The ascent to the sites of the five hoped-for communities was carried out Sunday with smiles and song as activists celebrated Sukkot, when holiday booths are built as a reminder of the clouds of glory that protected the Jews in the desert on their way to the Promised Land.

Efrat’s Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin led hundreds of local residents to the site of Givat Eitam (Eitam Hill), earmarked to become the city’s newest neighborhood. The site is located within the city limits at the northern edge of Efrat and is intended to connect the eastern and western parts of Gush Etzion.

Another group of activists marched to Shvut Ami (lit., “the return of my people”), to be built in western Samaria, and more hiked their way to to the hilltop of Harhivi (meaning “expand”, based on the passage in Isaiah 54: “Expand the place of thy tent… for thou shalt break forth both right and left”), in eastern Samaria.

Those who marched to the sites included dozens of children under age 12 and hundreds of teens. “But there were many adults in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s,” said one activist. “Some were in their 70’s.”

Plans are still on for Tuesday’s march to Homesh, one of the four northern Samarian towns destroyed during the Disengagement of 2005. The organizers have made no secret of their plans to rebuild the town, and have made dozens of ascents to the area over the past several months. MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) called on the Defense and Public Security Ministers to instruct the police and army to permit and protect the marchers.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu and Hillel Fendel contributed to this story.

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2. 87 Terrorists Being Released Today

by Hillel Fendel

Delayed by a few hours, Olmert’s gesture to Abbas – the release of 87 terrorist would-be murderers from Israeli prisons – has begun.

The 87 terrorists, none of whom actually succeeded in their attempts to murder Jews, are being released in keeping with a good-will “propping-up” gesture on the part of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his government towards Fatah/Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). Olmert wishes to strengthen Abbas and Fatah, at the expense of Hamas, with the understanding that Hamas is a worse enemy. Hamas refuses to recognize Israel at all, while Fatah recognizes Israel, even as its members continue to take part in terrorist attacks against the Jewish state.

The Cabinet approved the release last week, over the objections of the Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) and Shas (Sephardic religious) parties, as well as that of Transportation Minister Sha’ul Mofaz (Kadima).

On Sunday, Supreme Court Justice Miriam Naor turned down a request by the Almagor Terror Victims Association to delay the release. Almagor termed the freeing of the terrorists a “grave danger to the citizens of Israel,” but Judge Naor was not convinced that this warranted judicial intervention in the government’s policies.

The Release
The release was to have been effected early this morning (Monday), but for reasons described as “technical,” the first busload of prisoners set out from Ketziot Prison only at 11:20 AM.

Nearly 30 terrorists are to be taken to the Erez Crossing leading into Gaza, and another 58 will be brought to Ramallah. Official welcoming ceremonies will be held in Ramallah, but are not expected in Hamas-run Gaza; none of the freed terrorists are Hamas members.

Each of the prisoners is required to sign a commitment not to engage in terrorism in the future. Two months ago, when some 250 terrorists were released in another good-will gesture, one terrorist refused to sign, and was returned to jail. The Almagor organization has documented dozens of cases in which terrorists freed by Israel have returned to active terrorism.

Some of the prisoners had been sentenced to remain in jail until as late as 2012; one of them was arrested as early as 2002.

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3. Bolton, Podhoretz Say: Bomb Iranian Nuclear Plants

by Gil Ronen

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told Conservative Party delegates in Britain on Sunday that UN efforts to negotiate with Iran had failed and that he saw no alternative to a pre-emptive strike on suspected nuclear facilities in the country. Influential conservative thinker Norman Podhoretz told a British paper that he has advised U.S. President George W. Bush to do just that.

“This is not an attractive option, but after four-plus frustrating years watching European diplomacy fail time and time again and watching our options more and more constrained, I do not know what the alternative is,” Bolton told delegates at the Conservative Party’s annual conference in the northern British holiday town of Blackpool. “Because life is about choices,” he said, “I think we have to consider the use of military force. I think we have to look at a limited strike against their nuclear facilities.”

Bolton said that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was “pushing out” and “is not receiving adequate push-back” from the West. He added that any strike should be followed by an attempt to remove “the source of the problem,” namely, Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

“If we were to strike Iran,” Bolton said, “it should be accompanied by an effort at regime change as well, because I think that really sends the signal that we are not attacking the people, [but rather] the nuclear weapons program. The US once had the capability to engineer the clandestine overthrow of governments. I wish we could get it back.” His words were met with applause and cheers.

Bolton said the fact that only partial intelligence about Iran’s nuclear activity is available is not an excuse for inaction: “Intelligence can be wrong in more than one direction.” He asked how the British government would respond if terrorists exploded a nuclear device at home. “‘It’s only Manchester?’… Responding after [nuclear devices] are used is unacceptable.”

Bolton also said the UN’s involvement with Iran was “fundamentally irrelevant.”

Podhoretz: I told Bush ‘Strike Iran’
Norman Podhoretz, an intellectual leader of the neoconservative movement in the US who has joined Republican Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign as a senior foreign policy advisor, told London’s Sunday Times he urged US President George W. Bush to bomb Iran. Podhoretz said he met Bush in an unpublicized meeting late last spring at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.

“I urged Bush to take action against the Iranian nuclear facilities and explained why I thought ther
Bolton: “how the British would respond if terrorists exploded a nuclear device at home? ‘It’s only Manchester?’
e was no alternative,” said Podhoretz. “I laid out the worst-case scenario – bombing Iran – versus the worst-case consequences of allowing the Iranians to get the bomb.”

He said he also told Bush: “You have the awesome responsibility to prevent another Holocaust. You’re the only one with the guts to do it.” The president looked very solemn, Podhoretz said.

For the most part Bush simply listened, although he and then-advisor Karl Rove both laughed when Podhoretz mentioned giving “futility its chance”, a phrase used by another neoconservative, Robert Kagan, regarding pursuing United Nations sanctions against Iran.

“He gave not the slightest indication of whether he agreed with me, but he listened very intently,” Podhoretz said.

‘No need for using nuclear weapons’
Podhoretz is convinced, however, that “George Bush will not leave office with Iran having acquired a nuclear weapon or having passed the point of no return” – a reference to the Iranians’ acquisition
Podhoretz told Bush: “You have the awesome responsibility to prevent another Holocaust. You’re the only one with the guts to do it.”
of sufficient technical capability to produce a nuclear weapon.

“The president has said several times that he will be in the historical dock if he allows Iran to get the bomb. He believes that if we wait for threats to fully materialize, we’ll have waited too long – something I agree with 100%,” Podhoretz said

Podhoretz told Bush that he thought America could strike Iran militarily without nuclear weaponry. “I’m against using nuclear weapons and I don’t think they are necessary,” he said. He believes the tepid British response to Iran’s seizure of Royal Navy hostages last spring strengthened Iran’s determination to acquire nuclear weapons.

John Bolton, too, mentioned the naval incident: “They [Iran] got no response from the UK or the US,” he said. “If you were the Iranian leader, what conclusion do you draw?”

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4. Regev: Why Does Olmert Offer Good Will to Arabs and not Jews?

by Hana Levi Julian

Benny Regev, brother of kidnapped IDF reservist Eldad Regev, urged Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday to make goodwill gestures to Israeli citizens as well as to Arab terrorists whom he ordered released in order to prop up the government of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Speaking to approximately 3,000 people at the eastern Gush Etzion community of Nokdim, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the re-establishment of Jewish communities in Gush Etzion, Regev called on the Prime Minister to raise the bar on his efforts to rescue the soldiers kidnapped in 2006.

Regev’s brother Eldad and fellow reservist Ehud Goldwasser were kidnapped on July 12, 2006 by Hizbullah terrorists in a cross-border raid from southern Lebanon. Neither has been seen or heard from since. Just two weeks earlier, IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in a cross-border raid from Gaza. With the exception of an undated audio tape featuring Gilad’s voice, he also has not been seen or heard from since his abduction.

“Ehud Olmert, demand a sign of life of the captives before the peace conference in November, and make this demand a condition for your attendance,” urged Regev. He added that the government is equally obligated to build trust among its own people as it does with the PA.
Ehud Olmert, demand a sign of life of the captives before the peace conference in November, and make this demand a condition for your attendance.

“We must also demand trust-building steps from the Arab states and the Palestinians,” he asserted. “They must prove to us that their way is a way of peace and concessions, respect for human rights and international law.”

The issue of trust, emphasized so often by politicians from the PA and elsewhere in their efforts to persuade Israel to buckle on security measures, must also apply at home, said Regev.

“We must build up the trust of citizens called for reserves or compulsory service, full trust, because all of us – and especially the representatives of the people – stand behind them and beside them during their service and in the event of, G-d forbid, injury or captivity,” he said.

“This is a meeting of Arab states, the United States and other countries that are committed to the release of the captives according to U.N. Resolution 1701 and if he does not [demand a sign of life], we have missed another chance,” he reminded.

The U.S.-sponsored Mideast summit, slated to be held November in Annapolis, Maryland, is expected to focus on the issue of territorial and other concessions by Israel to the PA and the formation of yet another Arab state, in Judea and Samaria.

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5. Thousands to Celebrate Simchat Beit HaSho’evah in Hevron

by Hana Levi Julian


The sounds of music will boom from mammoth speakers Sunday and Monday at the Cave of the Patriarchs, as top singing stars from the Chassidic world offer their very best to celebrants in Hevron, one of the four holy cities in the Land of Israel.

Art exhibits, special activities for children and tours of sacred sites are just a few of the holiday events in store for visitors to the city whose name has spread to the beautiful hills within which it is nestled.

Organizers of the Simchat Beit HaShoevah celebrations said security forces have extended themselves to ensure the safety of those attending the concert. Possibly 20,000 people or more are expected to participate, visiting the Cave of the Patriarchs and dropping in at other sites in the city.

Simchat Beit HaSho’evah (Water-Drawing Celebrations) events echo the nightly evening-to-dawn festivities that were held in the Holy Temple in preparation for the drawing of water for use in the festival service.

Modern-day celebrations are held in Jewish communities throughout the world until the wee hours on each night during the intermediate days of the holiday, but nowhere are they more joyous than in Hevron.

Join Arutz-7 as we broadcast live from the heart of the action both Monday and Tuesday, bringing our readership together with Jews in Israel as they celebrate the holiday of Sukkot in Hevron.

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6. Sukkot Atop Ma’alot Halhul

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu and Hana Levi Julian

Activists erected two sukkot (holiday booths) Sunday afternoon at the top of a hill where they hope to build the new community of Ma’a lot Halhul.

As soon as the green branches were set in place on the first, forming the roof – which, according to Jewish law, must allow the occupants to see the clouds and stars in the sky – builders began to assemble another.

More than 200 activists made the two-kilometer trek up a green, rocky hillside Sunday to the site located adjacent to the burgeoning Judean city of Kiryat Arba, near Hevron in the south Hevron Hills.

The hilltop is more than 1,000 meters above sea level and is considered the highest point in Israel south of Mount Meron in the north of the country.

DF soldiers maintained a low-key presence throughout the afternoon, using loudspeakers to remind the marchers they were entering a closed military zone and that they were breaking the law by continuing to climb the hill to the site.

Once the sukkot were erected, an IDF officer announced to the crowd, “They will be taken down today,” but avoided setting a specific time for the event.

Relations between the soldiers and activists were peaceful, with no provocation seen on either side. Israel Police officers appeared briefly but did not stay.

One marcher, Sarah Dayan, underscored the need to continue to build Jewish communities throughout the Land of Israel.

Dayan, whose son died in a terrorist attack in Kiryat Arba while guarding a site for the Israel Electric Company “two weeks and nine years ago” was determined to make it all the way up the hill, regardless of how long the climb would take. “If we don’t settle this land, who’s going to do it?” she asked. “The leftists? People from Tel Aviv?”

Attorney and former Knesset Member Elyakim Haetzni offered a similar observation during a speech to the activists in which he urged them to fight to keep every inch of Judea and Samaria.

“If we go back to the Green Line we won’t have anything at all,” he asserted, “because [the Arabs] will eventually take everything back,” referring to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s plan to donate large parts of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian Authority.

“This is not a democracy,” he said. “The tools of the media are not in our hands. The only nationalist [broadcast outlet] was Arutz-7, and they shut it down.”

The Kiryat Arba resident added, “The only answer that we can give is here. If I can’t talk, at least I can do something. Our actions will talk.”

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Monday, Oct. 01 ’07
19 Tishrei 5768

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