Israel bars 12 “Jewish extremist” settlers from West Bank

January 5, 2012

(Burnt copies of the Koran are seen inside a mosque attacked by Jewish extremists in the Bedouin village of Tuba-Zangariya in northern Israel October 7, 2011. REUTERS/Ammar Awad )

Israel has barred a dozen Jewish settlers from the occupied West Bank for a period of up to a year, a step Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had pledged to take to rein in violence against Palestinians, officials and Israeli media reports said. A statement issued on Thursday by Israel’s military said police “delivered administrative restraining orders” to twelve people described as “Jewish extremists” from the territory.

It said these men were suspected of involvement in violence targeting Palestinians and Israeli forces, and described the orders issued as a “preventative measure to remove the threat by the activists in the area.”

One of the men has been barred from the territory for a year, the rest for periods of three to nine months, a military spokeswoman said, and declined to provide further details. Israeli media reports said the settlers named in the orders lived at four Jewish enclaves built in the territory Israel captured in a 1967 war which Palestinians seek for a state.

Netanyahu had said a month ago, in response to a string of arson attacks blamed on the so-called “Price Tag” group that has torched mosques and attacked Israeli forces , that a list of administrative measures was being considered to prevent further violence.

Israeli police have in the past arrested suspects in these attacks but none have been charged. Most of the vandalism has been blamed on extremists seeking to thwart Israeli plans to remove unauthorised enclaves in the West Bank.

Israel has built more than 100 settlements in the territory, which the World Court has ruled are illegal. Settlers have additionally built dozens of outposts which were never authorised by the Israeli government.

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