The West Bank

-The illegal Shvut Ami outpost, built in part on privately owned Palestinian land, has been evacuated nine times, and now settlers have again returned, overwhelming the Border Police stationed there. Says a settler leader in the area, “it doesn’t matter what the army and the Civil Administration say.â€? (Haaretz)

-Rimonim checkpoint is one of 50 roadblocks within the West Bank that Defense Minister Ehud Barak promised to open. For a Palestinian, the removal of the checkpoint — which sometimes stays closed for days at a time — “means no longer having to wonder whether soldiers will decide whether he can visit his aunt in Hizme.â€? Settlers believe that the price will be paid in their blood. (The Jewish Week)

-Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin criticized the commitment for removing 50 unmanned West Bank saying it would be harmful to Israel’s security. But Nomi Lalo of Machsom Watch says terrorists skirt around the barriers and instead enter Israel through gaps in the security barrier. (The Jerusalem Post)

-Vice Premier Haim Ramon has stated that all 450 homes in Ofra, the first settlement in Samaria, were built on privately owned Palestinian land. (Haaretz)

-The IDF has been collecting army-issued weapons held by Israelis living in the West Bank, as well as caches of weapons held in storage in the settlements. Settlers can apply for gun permits and purchase weapons, but settlers don’t like the process at all. (The Jerusalem Post)

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West Bank Update

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