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Haaretz: IDF asks police, Shin Bet for info on left-wing figures active in W. Bank

By Uri Blau

To view original article, published by Haaretz on the 7th November, click here

The Israel Defense Forces has asked the Shin Bet security service and the police to provide it with information on left-wing figures active in the West Bank so it will be easier to issue restraining orders against them, Haaretz has learned.

Since the IDF does not gather intelligence on Israeli citizens, the GOC Central Command depends on evaluations by the Shin Bet prior to signing restraining orders.

So far, such orders have only been issued against extreme right-wing activists suspected of subversive activities. This time, the army has focused on a number of activists protesting the security fence, those who help Palestinians harvest their olives, and others.

This is apparently the first time left-wing activists have been the possible target of such orders.

A document formulated by the IDF Central Command, entitled “Means of Operation Against Leftist Activists in the Area of Judea and Samaria” states, among other things, that the goal was to issue restraining orders against Israelis and foreigners “who disturb the peace” and “lead violent activity.”

To obtain the intelligence information it needs to back up the request for a restraining order, the Central Command approached the Shin Bet and the Judea and Samaria police districts requesting material that had been gathered on the activists.

The police were also asked to present all information they had on these individuals, including cases that had been closed.

The army further asked the police and the Shin Bet to keep their work on the matter secret.

Among the activists the intelligence services were asked to provide information about is Yonatan Pollack of Anarchists Against the Fence.

Pollack said he was not surprised the army was seeking a restraining order against him. “On Sunday two weeks ago the Shin Bet called and summoned me to the police station on Dizengoff Street. They said they had had enough of my activities and if I kept it up they would take steps, either criminal or administrative ones. I told them that all my activities were open and if there was anything illegal, they were a matter for the police.”

Pollack also said he presumed that “since there’s a lot of talk now about restraining orders against right-wingers, they would use that against us to show balance, although there has almost never been a case of a left-wing activists suspected of violence and certainly not of violence like that of the right-wing activists.”

The IDF spokesman’s office said it works with the police to enforce law and order in the West Bank and that “the law is enforced without reference to this or that political affiliation.” The police spokesman for the West Bank district, Danny Poleg, said the police were “cooperating fully with the Central Command to enforce the law in Judea and Samaria.”