Source Pravda.Ru

Rebellion is Brewing in Israel

Rabbi Melamed placed a religious veto on the removal of illegal Jewish settlements

The Israel has split into two. One part of it supports the liquidation of the illegal Jewish settlements, while the other part wants even more Jewish settlement to be built on Palestinian territory.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon criticized the peace plan that Washington proposed last week. Sharon stated during a conversation with a group of American Jews in Jerusalem that it is impossible for Israel to take make peaceful actions, since Palestine releases only statements and nothing more.

The plan proposes the start of thorough political and security reforms in Palestine. These reforms might lead to the establishment of the Palestinian state by the end of the year 2003. Permanent status would be granted to Palestine by the end of 2005. The plan particularly calls upon Israel to return to the positios the country held before the intifada started, to liquidate illegal Jewish settlements, and to stop military actions in Palestine.

As far as the elimination of illegal Jewish settlements is concerned, it is a very moot question indeed. It does not seem that the parties are going to come to consent or compromise. Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer threatened to resign if someone tries to stop him from demolishing the settlements.

Religious figures are also participating in the dispute. Rabbi Zalman Melamed placed a religious veto on the liquidation of illegal Israeli settlements, the Haaretz reports. The rabbi said in his address to Jewish settlers and to the soldiers of the Israeli Army: “Just as a person is obligated to refuse to fulfil an order to desecrate the Sabbath, thus must he also refuse to fulfil an order to evacuate a settlement outpost, even if he is punished as a result."

Last Saturday, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer's ruled to evacuate the Havat Gilad settlement on the West Bank. The Israeli soldiers who arrived to evacuate the settlement had to deal with strong resistance on the part of Havat Gilad residents. Forty-three police officers were slightly wounded as a result of the clash between the population and the soldiers. Fifteen people were arrested for showing resistance to the authorities.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov