The community of Yitzhar served as the venue for another outpost defense course, intended for outpost activists from Yehuda and Shomron. The three-day course was completed on Tuesday, 13 Tishrei. The course included hand-to-hand combat, as well as teaching participants’ self-defense tactics against a baton and a knife.
One of the course organizers is quoted anonymously by Kol HaYehudi as explaining that residents of outposts and yishuvim alike are sensing a deteriorating in security, and there is a growing feeling that security forces simply at not there to protect the residents of the communities. This is evident by the increase in attacks on roadways, followed by a minimal response if at all, he adds.
The course were prompted by the PA (Palestinian Authority) move to unilaterally seek statehood, but in light of current realities, organizers feel there is a purpose in continuing them, towards enabling residents to empower themselves should they encounter a situation demanding the self-defense skills.
The first course was given about six weeks ago and combat instructors were recruited for the job, seeking to maintain a professional level of training. The training focused on using the self-defense skills in an outpost setting.
Organizers of the course have been banished from Yitzhar by IDF administrative orders along with other community activists. This includes Akiva HaCohen, who was recently given an order driving him and his family out of their home for a year, apparently for organizing the course. The order simply says that he is a “security risk”. He was not given a trial or even charged with a crime, simply expelled from his home. In his case, a right-wing settler, ACRI (Association for Civil Rights in Israel) is not running to defend the gross violation of basic civil rights.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)