JERUSALEM (Sep. 28)
The Israel Defense Force is facing down militant Jewish settlers in the West Bank.
It also prevented Rabbi Meir Kahane’s extremist Kach party from holding its convention Wednesday in Hebron, a largely Arab town in the West Bank.
Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin warned the mayors of Jewish townships and settlements in the territory Tuesday that the army would continue to block attempts to establish unauthorized settlements.
Four such attempts were thwarted Sunday and Monday near Jericho and Ramallah. Soldiers physically removed would-be settlers. But the settlers insisted they would continue their efforts.
The IDF declared Hebron a closed military zone and prevented outsiders from entering the town Wednesday. The Kach party had hired a private hall in downtown Hebron.
Baruch Mazel, a Kach spokesman, contended there was no need for the army’s permission to hold a rally in private premises. But Rabin insisted a special permit was required.
Defense Ministry policy in recent years has been to withhold permission for political demonstrations in the territories. There have been a few exceptions, most recently the Peace Now rally held near Nablus last May.