Shmulik Grossman
May 26, 2010 - 12:00am,7340,L-3894280,00.html

In an unprecedented move, the administrative order against settler Neriah Ofen, keeping him away from the West Bank, was extended to also include the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Pisgat Zeev and Neve Yaakov.

The order was signed by GOC Home Front Command Major General Yair Golan.

Ofen, a right-wing activist, is well known to the security services from the days of the Gaza disengagement, when he was suspected of planning attacks against Arabs. He was also under administrative detention.

Last year he was ordered to keep away from the West Bank after vengeance attacks against Palestinians were attributed to him. As a result, he moved to the Pisgat Zeev neighborhood in Jerusalem where he began working to "preserve the Jewish character" of the neighborhood.

His activities included "keeping Arabs away," and preventing the sale of property to Arabs. The Shin Bet monitored his activities and again it was decided to keep him away from the area.

The IDF said that the order to keep him away from these areas was issued for the sake of national security, public safety and the maintenance of public order. The ban was issued in light of information presented by security officials and in accordance with their recommendations.

The order is valid for three months, during which Ofen is entitled to submit an objection.

Sources close to Ofen were angry about the decision, noting that the only other Jew who had such an order issued against him was nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. They explained his activities in Pisgat Zeev and Neve Yaakov by saying he had worked against Arabs who harassed women and girls, and pushed Jewish girls into prostitution.

In Yitzhar, residents complained that the last order against Ofen was more severe than all the other administrative orders issued against him.

"It seems that acting to preserve Jewish character in Israel is equal to seriously harming national security," one resident said.

Residents also hinted at what may have led to the order. Last Monday Naomi Ofen, Neriah's wife, was arrested as she distributed leaflets in the Maale Adumim area which included the declaration, "Dad is not a terrorist."

The leaflets, which her seven children helped distribute, were handed out near the home of a senior Shin Bet officer who is responsible, they claim, for having the order issued against Ofen.


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