Jewish settlement braces for evacuation despite reports of possible compromise

In the absence of a compromise or any last-minute political or legal intervention, the community of Evyatar is expected to be demolished by the IDF in the coming days.

By World Israel News Staff

Residents of the Evyatar osettlement in northern Judea and Samaria are gearing up to be forcibly evacuated, even as reports say the Defense Ministry is examining a possible compromise.

First reported by Kan News, under the terms of the deal reportedly being offered by Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the approximately 50 families living on the town would voluntarily leave and an IDF or educational institution would be established on the hilltop. In the meantime, Israeli authorities would more closely examine the land’s legal status, leaving open the possibility of the residents returning in the future.

In the absence of a compromise or any last-minute political or legal intervention, the settlement is expected to be demolished by the IDF in the coming days.

Located near the Tapuach Junction in northern Samaria, the unauthorized settlement was first launched in 2013 following the murder of Evyatar Borovsky, a father of five. Since then, it has been demolished by the IDF several times only to be rebuilt by Jewish settlers.

Settler youth have been flocking to the hilltop, vowing to defend the small town from any forced evacuation. A tent city surrounding the community’s buildings has already sprung up. Spokesman Zvi Sukkot said he hoped more students would turn up as the school year comes to an end.

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Palestinians claim the land is privately owned, built on land belonging to three nearby villages. Palestinians in those neighboring communities vowed to “smoke out” the settlers by burning tires and filling the air with thick smoke, making it difficult for residents to breathe.

Evyatar puts an immediate strain on the new Israeli government. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is former director-general of the Yesha Council, an umbrella organization of the settler movement. The right-wing parties of Yemina, New Hope and Israel Beiteinu support settlements, while left-wing coalition partners Meretz, Labor and the Arab Ra’am party oppose them.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, has stated that the settlement was illegally built and must be razed.

In recent days, MKs from coalition parties have toured the hilltop and met with residents, while opposition MKs from the Religious Zionism and Shas parties made their own solidarity visits.