Erfat Weiss
July 10, 2009 - 12:00am,7340,L-3744471,00.html

Peace Now has declared war on Hilltop Youth – will the State join in? In an appeal to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, Peace Now demanded Friday that an investigation be opened against two prominent right-wing youth organizations that focus their energies on establishing illegal outposts in the West Bank and on fighting authorities seeking to evacuate them.

"These games of cat and mouse of the Hilltop Youth cost the taxpayer thousands of shekels," said Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer. "Without anyone claiming personal responsibility for these hooligans, the outpost phenomenon will only continue to get worse."

The two organizations being targeted – Land of Israel Faithful and Youth for the Land of Israel – deal with establishing new outposts and re-establishing dismantled outposts in the West Bank.

Most of the organizations' activists are youths. Among their leadership is former Kedumim Council Mayor Daniella Weiss, known as someone who needs only make one call, day or night, for hundreds of activists to take to the field.

These organizations are responsible for a series of outposts established recently, including Shvut Ami, Maoz Ester, Ramat Migron, Oz Yehonatan (also called Obama's Cabin because it was established in honor of the US president's speech), and Hill 18. The youth members are adamant and deeply ideological and return again and again to re-establish outposts that have been evacuated.

Peace Now is currently seeking an investigation into allegedly illegal activities undertaken by the organizations.

'Wearing down security forces'

In a letter sent by Oppenheimer, Peace Now outlined that "in recent years, the Civil Administration, Judea and Samaria District Police, and the IDF have dealt with dozens of youths establishing settlement points on hills in the territories illegally and without permits. According to a decree on city, village, and building planning, a license is required by law. He who builds without a license is subject to a fine and a two-year prison sentence.

Peace Now added, "It should be noted that the youths do not act spontaneously and that the illegal activity is funded and organized by various associations, allegedly including the Land of Israel Faithful and the Youth for the Land of Israel…

"It should be noted that establishing outposts on hills in the territories is not activity fitting for protest or for expressing a political position and does not withstand the test of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.

"In actuality, this is a series of activities meant to wear down the security forces and to establish new towns throughout the West Bank illegally. The hilltop activity of right-wing activists and the evacuation of outposts damages the work flow of the police and security forces and costs the Israeli taxpayer thousands of shekels," the Peace Now letter continued.

Therefore, Peace Now is appealing to Mazuz, asking him to exhaust all options against the outpost activity organizers and those supporting and organizing action in the field. "If no one takes personal responsibility and demands payment from the hooligans, the IDF forces and the police will continue to be occupied day and night with the evacuation of structures and huts illegally erected throughout the West Bank," Peace Now claimed.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017