Peretz says plan for removing illegal outposts will be ready in two weeks

Israeli Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, instructed the Israel army on Thursday to conclude preparations for the evacuation of illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank within two weeks.

The first stage of evacuation of the illegal outposts will be carried is locations that are considered to have the greatest potential for violent confrontation. Settlers living in these outposts have in the past physically assaulted soldiers, policemen, along with Israeli and Palestinian civilians.

Peretz issued his instructions after a meeting with the Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Dan Halutz, Deputy Chief of Staff, Moshe Kaplinsky, the head of the civil administrations office in the territories, the Army coordinator for activities in the occupied territories, and legal officials, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.

According to Haaretz, the preparations for the evacuations include a plan to determine the boundaries of the illegal settlement outposts in an attempt to prevent extreme right wing activists from entering those outposts to obstruct the evacuation.  

The army seeks to avoid a repeat of the violent clashed at Amona outpost near Qalqilia, where illegal structures were razed following violent clashes between settlers and soldiers.

Yet, an aide to Peretz said that the orders do not mean setting a timetable for the evacuation of these outposts. The plan should be ready in two weeks but the actual evacuation time has not been determined.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, is also expected to hold a briefing on the matter, Haaretz added.

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