On the Israeli occupied West Bank, hard line Jewish Gush Emunim settlers cut through fences surrounding their villages on Thursday (4 October) and moved into the surrounding Arab lands.
GV: Bulldozer near settlement at Ofra.
GV AND SVs: Settlers working at site, carrying in timber and building materials. (3 shots)
SV: People carrying water at settlement.
GV: Army helicopter lands.
GV AND SV: People setting up large tent (2 shots)
SV PAN: Settlers clapping and singing.
GVS AND SVS: Israeli troops marching up to settlement. (3 shots)
GVS AND SVS: People pulling down tent and moving off. (3 shots)
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Background: On the Israeli occupied West Bank, hard line Jewish Gush Emunim settlers cut through fences surrounding their villages on Thursday (4 October) and moved into the surrounding Arab lands. Settlers at Ofra said the move was a protest against government delays on the controversial settlements. They told Israeli soldiers they would only obey orders to dismantle the new settlement if they came from senior officials.
SYNOPSIS: The Gush Emunim protest action was a carbon copy of earlier attempts by this group to expand settlements into Arab lands. Settlers broke down fences carrying with them building materials and supplies. Members of the Gush Emunim believe in their 'right' to all of the lands of biblical Israel, which includes the West Bank of the river Jordan.
As in earlier conflicts the army was called in to halt the operation. But the settlers were undeterred. Previous incidents have led to scuffles and the military had to forcibly remove some settlers.
This time the Ofra settlers were not interested in a confrontation. After negotiations between soldiers and settlers, the Gush Emunim agreed to leave peacefully. Troops then dismantled the tents and a make-shift hut. A group of settlers went to Tel Aviv where they met with Defence Minister Ezer Weizman. He told them the settlements issue was being debated in the Cabinet and a decision would be reached within the week.
Other members of the Gush Emunim however weren't satisfied. By nightfall they were back on the hilltop trying to regain the land.