Thursday, January 12, 2012

Israel's radical settlers: A fifth column?

Settlers try to stop security forces from dismantling illegal outposts by making the price too high to bear.

Oz Zion, West Bank - Heroic youth. Righteous Jews. Hill top kids. Crazy folks. Nationalist criminals. Vigilantes. Terrorists. The price tag movement.

Countless names exist for a group of settlers in the occupied West Bank that exact retribution against Palestinians and the Israeli army in response to policies targeting the settlement movement. The group has burned and desecrated mosques, destroyed olive groves on private Palestinian land, harassed people and property, and most recently confronted an Israeli army base. The last assault on December 13 forced Israel's government and the Israeli public to take note of this rogue element in their society.

Police arrested two of these young settlers on Wednesday evening in the illegally constructed outpost of Oz Zion. The reason for their arrest remains unknown.

Oz Zion, or "Zion's might", a newly built outpost erected on private Palestinian land, is east of Ramallah and neighbours the larger settlement of Givat Assaf in the occupied West Bank. The hilltop resembles a campsite with five makeshift wooden sheds, where a few dozen residents live. Read More