Leader of Main Israeli Settler Outfit Resigns

For his group’s failure to keep away from Jewish hardliners, a leader of the main Israeli settler outfit in the occupied West Bank has tendered his resignation, said reports.

AFP reported that Pinchas Wallerstein, 61, secretary general of the Yesha Council, flayed his organization in his resignation for failing to speak out against the ‘price tag’ policy under which ultra right-wingers attack Palestinian villages when the government takes action against Jewish settlements.

“Our silence will turn against us,” Wallerstein wrote, the report said.

Also, he condemned Yesha for its failure to categorically dismiss protests by soldiers who promise not to execute government orders to vacate wildcat settlements.

“It is our duty to ensure that the IDF (military) is not involved in the political activities of evacuations and demolitions, but we must not allow soldiers in uniform to carry out actions that may violate the IDF’s sacredness,” he was quoted as saying.

It should be mentioned that many Israeli soldiers staged a demonstration protesting against evacuation of settlements during a military swearing-in ceremony at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall.

The Israeli government has long vowed to pull down settlement outposts erected without authorisation.

The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in October a 10-month moratorium on new housing projects in the West Bank, angering both settlers and Palestinians. Settlers resent any such restrictions while Palestinians demand a total freeze on settlement construction.

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