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Who’d Have Thought the Evyatar Settlers Would Go Quietly?

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By the time you read this column, the last Israeli civilians will be leaving the settler outpost of Evyatar. This will have followed their acceptance of the government’s proposal that they leave peacefully in return for the makeshift buildings they erected there over the past six weeks, while a military unit remains, along with the promise that pending the defense ministry’s legal review, a number of them will be allowed to return to set up a yeshiva there. I must admit, I was originally surprised with how meekly the settlers accepted the government’s proposal.

I had expected that the settlers would want to make this a major test of wills against the new government. That they wouldn’t go quietly just to make a point and it would escalate to something like the extremely violent eviction of the Amona outpost in 2006, when hundreds of young settlers pelted police and soldiers with rocks, in revenge for the disengagement from Gaza that had taken place six months earlier.

I was wrong. Early in the week, it became clear that the settlers were going to accept any compromise with the government that allowed some Israeli presence to remain on the hilltop south of Nablus, even if it was just a military one. Just how wrong I was only became to clear to me when I visited Evyatar on Tuesday, and was bowled over by the cheerful atmosphere there.

Reporting in the past from illegal outposts, especially those facing eviction, I would........

© Haaretz

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