Soldiers told to bar non-Jews from settlement

Maan News Agency | Sept 19, 2012


BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli soldiers stationed at a settlement in the West Bank were instructed not to allow any non-Jews to enter the community, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Wednesday.

The military security coordinator of Bat Ayin settlement, near Bethlehem, instructed that not even Israeli non-Jews could enter, a soldier stationed at the settlement told Haaretz.

“It was specific — only to allow entry to Jews with blue [Israeli] identity cards. Let’s say a Druze or a Bedouin with a blue ID [would try to enter], someone coming to clean the bathrooms — no,” the soldier explained.

He added: “It felt just like apartheid, or things that recall dark times and the Holocaust — that you allow someone entry to a specific place based only on his religion.”

The Israeli army confirmed the instruction had been given. The military said it had clarified to the security coordinator that the order to ban non-Jews was illegal.

However, the army said it ordered soldiers to notify the settlement coordinators if any non-Jews entered so they could be accompanied while in the settlement.

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