Illegal settlement outpost

Israel’s military commander for the West Bank has received a death threat, apparently sent by Jewish extremist settlers, army radio reported on Thursday.

The threats against General Gady Shamni follow the dismantling of several unauthorised illegal settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks.

The letter calls Shamni "an anti-Semite who hates Jews" and a "son of Satan."

"We know where to find you" the letter says, also giving hints of a threat against Shamni’s children, referred to as "sons of Satan."

Radical Jewish settlers have expressed outrage over the government’s decision to tear down outposts, often just a few trailers, that lack Israeli permits. The international community considers all Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem illegal.

On Wednesday, police destroyed nine shacks in two West Bank outposts which had already been dismantled several times over the past few months, only to be re-erected within hours by zealous settlers.

Hardline Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he would be willing to dismantle settlement outposts — something Israel committed to doing under the 2003 international "roadmap" peace plan but never made good on — as a gesture to Washington.

This has incensed radical settlers living in outposts who are often violent. There are more then 280,000 Israelis living in the West Bank and who believe that the Jewish people have a God-given right to the land, and wish to ethnically cleanse the indigenous Palestinian population.

Earlier this week mobs of settlers went on the rampage in the north of the West Bank, hurling stones, cutting olive trees and setting fields ablaze, in protest at the government plans.