B'Tselem backs right-wing activists

12:00 Aug 2 2011 Yitzhar settlement, south of Nablus

B'Tselem backs right-wing activists

Human rights organization issues statement denouncing administrative restraining orders issued against 12 settlers. 'State should use legal means, not confidential information to curb settler violence'

by Akiva Novick
Published: 08.03.11, 09:51 / Israel News

Unlikely advocate? B'Tselem Human Rights organization on Tuesday strongly denounced the IDF for issuing administrative restraining orders against 12 West Bank settlers, barring them from the area.

The organization, usually viewed as advocating for the rights of Palestinian, issued a statement, saying: "Undoubtedly, the State should act determinedly against settlers who harm Palestinians and their property, but the way to achieve this is via criminal proceedings and not administrative orders that are based on confidential information."

GOC Central Command Major-General Avi Mizrahi signed off on the orders, following a Shin Bet recommendation to the effect.

The restraining orders were issued following an investigation suggesting the 12 men in question – all known right-wing activists – were involved in devising and executing violent acts against Palestinians, mainly vandalizing mosques, vehicles and buildings, over the past two years.

The act stirred a storm among settlement leaders, Yitzhar Spokesperson Avraham Binyamin calling it "a cruel expulsion without trial."

Attorney Yitzhak Bam from the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel said he will appeal the restraining orders with the High Court of Justice.

"If the police or the Shin Bet have evidence – they must present them in court. Using draconian regulations from the mandate era is unbefitting a democratic state," he said.

Roni Shaked contributed to this report
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