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Israel bans 12 'Jewish extremists' from West Bank

The Israeli military said it banned 12 Jewish extremists from entering the West Bank for up to 12 months because they are suspected in violence against Palestinians, Israeli soldiers.
Palestinians inspect cars they say were torched by Jewish extremists, in the West Bank village of Bitin near Ramallah, Monday, Dec. 19, 2011.Majdi Mohammed / AP
/ Source: news services

The Israeli military said Thursday it has banned 12 "Jewish extremists" from entering the West Bank for three to 12 months because they are suspected in violence against Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.

The military said it was acting pre-emptively, but did not have enough information to launch criminal proceedings against the radicals.

The extremists were not identified in the military's statement Thursday.

The statement said the ban was a "preventative measure to remove the threat by the activists in the area."

It added that police had "delivered administrative restraining orders" to the 12, describing them as "Jewish extremists."

One of the 12 has been barred from the territory for a year, the rest for periods of three to nine months, a military spokeswoman said, and declined to provide further details.

Lived in Jewish enclaves
Jewish radicals opposed to government actions against West Bank settlements have carried out a long line of attacks in recent months on Israeli military bases and Palestinian mosques, cemeteries, farmland and cars.

Critics have faulted Israeli officials for not cracking down on Jewish extremists.

Israeli media reports said the settlers named in the orders lived at four Jewish enclaves built in the territory — captured by Israel in the Six Day War between Arab countries and Israel in 1967 — that Palestinians seek for a state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said a month ago — in response to a string of arson attacks blamed on the so-called "Price Tag" group — that a list of administrative measures was being considered to prevent further violence.

Israeli police have in the past arrested suspects in these attacks, but none have been charged.

Israel has built more than 100 settlements in the territory, which the World Court has ruled are illegal.

Settlers have additionally built dozens of outposts that were never authorized by the Israeli government.