JERUSALEM (JTA) — Naftali Bennett, the head of Israel’s pro-settler Jewish Home party, is being provided extra security in the wake of threats as the evacuation of the Amona outpost nears.
Threatening text messages republished by Hebrew-language Israeli news website Walla accuse Bennett of “betrayal” and “selling out the settlers” with the evacuation set to occur by Dec. 25, as ordered by the Supreme Court. Far-right activists also threaten to violently resist security forces attempts to evacuate the West Bank outpost.
The decision to add extra security was first reported by Walla and confirmed to the news website by Bennett’s office. The extra security for the education minister includes more guards and a bulletproof vehicle.
A clause that would have prevented the evacuation of Amona was removed from a controversial bill that would legalize West Bank outposts built on Palestinian land. A new compromise brokered by Bennett and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would see the 40 families moved to a nearby plot of land on the same hilltop.
Some residents and their supporters reportedly have begun to plan for a violent resistance to a forced evacuation, and Israeli forces have drilled for the evacuation.