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Rabbis urge soldiers to disobey orders

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — A group of rabbis called on Israeli soldiers and police to refuse orders to evacuate West Bank outposts.

The rabbis met Wednesday evening in the synagogue at the Givat Asaf outpost near Beit El, which is slated for evacuation, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak signed a plan that would end in the evacuation of 26 outposts by the end of June.

"We call on the government to call off its intention to raze communities in the country in violation of the Torah, while abusing the pioneers who are laying their lives on the line," the rabbis said in a statement released after the meeting. "It’s inconceivable that a soldier or police officer would take part in the immoral and impossible act of razing any of these communities."

According to Ha’aretz, rabbis attending the meeting included Hebron-Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi Dov Lior, Beit El Chief Rabbi Zalman Melamed, Yitzhar Rabbi David Dudkevitch, Rabbi Haim Steiner of Yeshivat Mercaz Harav and Rabbi Ya’acov Yosef, the son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

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