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Israel Police establishes new West Bank settlement demolition task force (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Chaim Levinson 05/17/12)Source: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-police-establishes-new-west-bank-settlement-demolition-task-force.premium-1.430850 HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Israel Police has established a new task force ahead of a number of demolitions of West Bank settlements and outposts that are due to take place by the end of this year.

The move to create the task force, to be headed by a Brigadier General, comes in light of the high number of demolitions that are expected to take place by the end of 2012, and the complexity involved in operations to demolish and evacuate settlements and outposts.

In discussions held by senior police officials in recent months, a decision was made to establish an internal task force that will coordinate the demolitions, deployment of forces, means of action, and crowd control, among other things.

Israel Police’s new force will include special police units, Border Police and civilian contractors.

The busy demolition schedule that the IDF and Israel Police face requires large security forces. Last week, the High Court of Justice gave the government until July 1 to demolish five homes built on Palestinian-owned land in the Ulpana neighborhood, in the Beit El settlement near Ramallah in the West Bank. By August 1, the West Bank outpost of Migron is also set to be demolished. Migron residents intend to leave according to an agreement reached with the government, but the IDF is not taking any risks, and is preparing for an evacuation by force, as well as for protests around the country.

In addition, the state is meant to demolish the Givat Assaf outpost by July 1, and the Amona oupost by the end of the year. In both places, there has been no negotiation with the residents, and it is unclear what the state intends to do.

Brigadier-General Yoram Ohayon, commander of the Yarkon District, will head the new force. Ohayon has served as commander of the Yiftah District and has held several posts in the Jerusalem District. Ohayon was also responsible for handling the social protests that swept Israel in the summer of 2011. In light of the violence that his officers used against protesters in Tel Aviv, it is likely that settlers will face a painful summer.

Israel Police stated that it serves as a body to help in the evacuation and demolition of settlements and outposts, and that it is preparing itself as such. The issue is being dealt with by the IDF, and is under its authority, Israel Police said.

Danny Dayan, Chairman of the Yesha Council of West Bank settlements, responded to the establishment of the taskforce by suggesting that Israel’s police chief return Brigadier-General Ohayon to Tel Aviv´s Gan Hai´r parking garage to ensure the safety of citizens – a reference to a rape that took place there last week - instead of deploying him to “destroy Jewish homes.” (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 05/17/12)

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