ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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Ramat Migron illegal settlement outpost demolished for third time this month

West Bank activists claim security forces evicted them violently, allege political motivation by Lapid and Gantz

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Security forces from the Civil Administration and the police demolish one of the homes in the illegal settlement outpost of Ramat Migron on August 30, 2022. (Courtesy Ramat Migron settlers)
Security forces from the Civil Administration and the police demolish one of the homes in the illegal settlement outpost of Ramat Migron on August 30, 2022. (Courtesy Ramat Migron settlers)

The illegal West Bank settlement outpost of Ramat Migron was demolished for the third time in less than three weeks on Tuesday.

Police and Civil Administration personnel arrived at the site, northeast of Jerusalem, in the early hours of Tuesday morning and removed the settlers from structures at the site before demolishing them.

Five residents of the outpost were arrested during the operation. The police stated that they were arrested for violating a military order and obstructing a police officer while performing his duties.

The Ramat Migron residents claimed the police used violence during the course of the evacuation and demolition and lightly injured several residents.

The police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The outpost was previously destroyed on August 11, and then again on August 15 after it had been rebuilt.

Efforts to establish a settlement at Ramat Migron were begun most recently in the autumn of 2021 by hardcore settler activists.

The outpost was demolished, rebuilt, and then demolished again in November 2021. After being rebuilt once again it was left untouched until August this year.

Ramat Migron was until Tuesday inhabited by three young families, two of which have children, and several youths.

The settlers are able to quickly and cheaply rebuild the outpost by use of prefabricated walls composed of insulation material between thin metal panels that are trucked to the site.

Footage posted on social media by the activists showed several residents passively resisting removal from the area.

“Within minutes we were expelled from our home. All our furniture and personal property was tossed outside and a tractor came and smashed the house to pieces,” said Hodaya Kehati, one of the outpost’s residents.

A statement on behalf of the Ramat Migron settlers alleged that the demolition Tuesday morning was politically motivated and that Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who has authority over enforcement against illegal building in the West Bank, as well as Prime Minister Yair Lapid, were seeking to bolster their prospects in the upcoming general election.

“It is impossible to ignore the fact that we are in an election period and it appears that Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Yair Lapid have decided to do their election campaign on the backs of hilltop residents, through the cynical use of their positions,” read the statement.

The site of Ramat Migron is located several hundred meters from the former settlement outpost of Migron, which was evacuated following a court order by the High Court of Justice in 2012. At the time, it was the largest illegal outpost in the West Bank with a population of over 300.

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