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Sabra Express | Unsettled Business

Tzvi Joffre, Jerusalem Post, April 10th, 2023


Recap:

Between 10,000 and 20,000 Israelis [1], including eight ministers and twenty MKs, participated in a march to Evyatar to demand its reinstatement as a Jewish settlement.


The Context:

· Evyatar is a West Bank settlement established in 2013 shortly after a terrorist killed yeshiva student Evyatar Borovsky nearby. What began as a tent encampment quickly gave way to more permanent structures.

· In July 2021, 53 families were evicted from Evyatar so the government could determine whether the land was privately owned. The Evyatar families have repeatedly accused the government of dragging its feet on conducting the land survey [2]. The West Bank is seen by Israelis as an integral part of Israel while Palestinians view it as an integral part of their future state.

· The rally sought to pressure Benjamin Netanyahu’s government into allowing Evyatar’s repopulation in accordance with the coalition agreements signed by Netanyahu’s Likud party. The march marked the first time that the Israeli army allowed Israelis to enter the area in two years [3].

· The event comes amid a wave of Palestinian terror attacks, riots on the Temple Mount, and rocket attacks from Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza. Over the past week, Palestinian terrorists murdered a mother and her two daughters in the Jordan Valley, an Italian national in Tel Aviv and attacked two IDF soldiers in Huwara. The Israeli army redistributed a battalion originally assigned to search for the suspects to the Evyatar march instead [4], a move Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman called a "pathetic joke [5]."


Conversation Points:

· Should national security interests suppress the settler’s rights to protest? What if their right to protest hinders the military’s ability to function at full capacity?

· Should Israelis be able to settle in any West Bank location they choose without government approval?

· Is the government dragging its feet on the Evyatar land survey to avoid stoking tensions with Palestinians?

· Would the MK’s have been less inclined to join the march if their judicial reform legislation was passed?


Notes:

4. Ibid.

5. Thousands, including 7 ministers, march to Samarian community of Evyatar, Daniella Weiss Nachala, Israel National News, April 10th, 2023.


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