Bennett Orders Israeli Army to Bar Some Left-wing Activists From Entering West Bank

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett ordered the Israeli army on Saturday to issue restraining orders that would bar Israeli left-wing activists from entering the West Bank. 

Bennett's decision targets specifically some 30 activists operating with the "Anarchists Against the Wall" organization, a direct action group whose members oppose the construction of the Israeli barrier along the Gaza Strip, and the Israeli West Bank separation barrier.

– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 56

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 56Haaretz

Among the members of the group sanctioned by Bennett is Haaretz employee Jonathan Pollak, who is currently under arrest for his participation in anti-occupation protests. 

According to a statement released by the defense minister, such warrants have so far only been issued against right-wing Jews who were suspected of carrying out hate crimes that had targeted Palestinians, but now they will also be "used against anarchist activists from the left." 

Administrative restraining orders are usually issued by the Israeli military, signed by the chief of an army command and are under judicial review. 

Bennett added in his statement that "forces on the field have been instructed to act firmly against this activity in order to disperse the protests and minimize the damage to Israeli soldiers." However, he did not detail what measures security forces will take. 

Left-wing activist Jonathan Pollak behind bars in a police vehicle, January 7, 2020. Oren Ben Hakoon‎

According to Bennett, members of Anarchists Against the Wall act "usually in coordination with Palestinian activists and other radical left-wing organizations to carry out violent provocations in the Judea and Samaria [West Bank] area, in four main centers of activity: Bil'in, Naalin, Kadum and Nabi Salah."