Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, June 14, 2021.

The last thing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, formerly the head of Yesha Council—the umbrella organization of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria—needs is the evacuation of an outpost on his record. Especially an emotionally-packed outpost such as Evyatar, near Tapuah Junction in Samaria, which is named after two young Jews who were murdered there, decades apart.

This is probably why the bitter man of the Lapid Bennett, Benny (“I could have been a contender”) Gantz is pushing the forced eviction of Evyatar like it was the heart transplant for his dying grandmother. From the defense minister’s point of view, “this is not about evacuating an orderly settlement and decrying the fates of families. This was breaking into the area, made under the cover of Operation Guardians of the Wall, not legally, and without any approval from the authorities, and the place must be vacated.”


If he only evacuated the Arab squatters from the Jewish-owned homes in Sheikh Jarrah with the same zeal and dedication…

Gantz added that the issue is under his authority as defense minister, and cautioned everyone else, including Shas chairman MK Aryeh Deri, who has been galvanizing support for Evyatar, to lay off.

The DM has already instructed about 2,000 policemen, Border Guard officers, and IDF soldiers to prepare for the evacuation of the outpost. He calls it Operation Urim V’Tumim – named after the breastplate worn by the High Priest. Those operation names are supposedly spewed out by an IDF computer which picks them randomly off a long list of literal references. Basically, just the way the Urim and Tumim worked…

In recent days, senior government officials have been promoting an outline to prevent the evacuation of Evyatar, which has more than forty families and a group of youths in 40 well-constructed homes, Kan 11’s Carmel Dangor reported Sunday.

According to government sources, the outline will include an examination of the status of the land in Evyatar, which has been in consideration to become state-owned land from survey land, and the future legalization of the outpost. Meanwhile, a military post or an educational institution will be established there. Should it be an educational institution, the staff and their families would continue to live in those homes. Same for the students. At the same time, according to the proposed outline, the recent residents of Evyatar—at least their majority—would leave peacefully.

And so the major players here are Defense Minister Gantz who wants his prime minister to suffer an embarrassment as his own government’s troops beat the living daylights out of Jewish men, women, and children, versus Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who is determined to use all his political capital to prevent such a nightmare scenario. And of course we can’t ignore the neighboring Arabs who have been deploying ecological terror against the community every evening, though the IDF has finally been begun to successfully reduce those attacks significantly.

This is where things stand on Monday morning, and from this point on, anything, but absolutely anything is possible.


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