Last updated: 15 May, 2014

Israeli soldiers fired for opposing settler evictions

Two Israeli soldiers have been dismissed from their unit for campaigning on Facebook against orders to evict Jewish settlers on the West Bank, the army said Thursday.

“Two soldiers who have confessed to having posted photographs of themselves calling for a refusal to obey orders have been dismissed from their unit,” the army said in a statement.

“Use of the social media for protest is not acceptable in view of the values of the Tsahal” or Israeli army, it said.

The two soldiers had posted a photo with their faces concealed behind a poster reading: “Soldiers of Battalion 50… do not evacuate Jews.”

The battalion could be called upon to take part in the eviction of Jews from “illegal” settlements on the West Bank.

On Wednesday, Israeli military forces demolished structures in a settler outpost southeast of the Palestinian town of Bethlehem after attempts at a voluntary evacuation failed, the army said.

Israeli media said the army was also to raze more than a dozen structures in two other outposts, Ramat Gilad and Givat Assaf, by the weekend.

Israel considers settlement outposts built without government approval to be illegal. They usually consist of little more than a few trailer homes.

But the international community regards all settlements built on Palestinian land in the West Bank — including east Jerusalem — as illegal.