Yuval Azoulay, Nadav Shragai
September 16, 2008 - 8:00pm

The Israel Defense Forces backed off of a planned evacuation of an illegal West Bank outpost after a throng of settlers who learned of the plan gathered at the site before dawn on Wednesday.

The security forces had amassed a considerable number of personnel who were ready to evacuate the outpost of Yad Yair, west of the settlement of Binyamin.

Senior IDF officials have held contacts with settler leaders in an effort to coordinate an agreed upon relocation of the outpost closer to the settlement of Dolev.

Hundreds of settlers from nearby settlements, including Dolev, Talmon, Nahliel, Niryah, and Harsha, gathered late Tuesday night at the outpost after residents received information that the army and the police were about to launch an evacuation. Settlers say the security forces had deployed a significant number of personnel as well as equipment used for evacuation.

A settler leader from Dolev, Yanir Aldubi, who also serves as the head of the Binyamin settlements secretariat, told Haaretz shortly after arriving on the scene that he did not understand why large forces were concentrated in preparation for evacuation of Yad Yair (which was named after Yair Mendelson, a settler from Dolev who was killed by Palestinians during the first intifada) given that the settlers and the security forces reached an agreement on its relocation.


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