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Demolition Showdown Not Averted in Gush Etzion

Two other communities, in Samaria, still face demolitions this week.
Demolition in the Samaria Jewish town of Yitzhar, April 2014.

Demolition in the Samaria Jewish town of Yitzhar, April 2014.
Photo Credit: Flash 90

UPDATE: 11 buildings in Maaleh Rahavam were destroyed.

Settlers in Gush Etzion were preparing to face down government forces over demolitions of homes in their area; a Supreme Court order allegedly stopped them Wednesday morning

But a reporters from the Tazpit news agency tells The Jewish Press tractors are still on site at Ma’aleh Rehavam at this hour. Some 250 security forces are still evacuating people from their homes, while Arab contractors pack up their belongings.

Soldiers lined up to destroy Jewish homes in Maaleh Rehavam.

Soldiers lined up to destroy Jewish homes in Maaleh Rehavam.

By Tuesday night, settler youths had already gathered around Ma’aleh Rehavam in anticipation of a confrontation with IDF and other security forces over the impending demolitions.

A High Court of Justice order to demolish 28 buildings in Judea and Samaria by May 18 that were said not to be constructed according to code or built “on private Palestinian land” was stayed in the case of Ma’aleh Rehavam, according to a post on the Arutz Sheva website.

“To our great joy, at this stage the forces have received instructions backed by a Supreme Court ruling to cancel the evacuation due to a claim by residents and presentation of the concrete evidence that they have purchased the land,” said David Perl, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council.

However, two other Samaria communities still are at risk, with structures in Ramat Gilad near Shechem (Nablus) and in Givat Asaf in the Binyamin region both on the agenda for demolition.

The leftist Peace Now organization, which in the past received funds from the European Union, has been the driving force behind court orders to evacuate and demolish Jewish homes and community structures in Judea and Samaria.

Similar demolition orders are rarely issued, let alone carried out against the thousands of illegally-constructed Bedouin and Arab structures dotting the Israeli landscape within the 1949 Armistice lines (known as the “pre-1967 lines.) They are never carried out against the hundreds of thousands carpeting the hillsides in the  territory of Area C.

About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.


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