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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gush Etzion’

A Zionist Response to the Murder of Our Boys

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Israelis heard the news early Monday morning, June 30. The search was over. Yes, the search was over, but the boys were dead.

The response throughout the land was palpable: the air of hope and unity was punctured, replaced by raw anguish.

But by 2:00 the following morning, some Israeli women responded by taking action. Their action was not one of vigilantism, nor was it to raise their fists at the intractable enemy.

Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, the indefatibable Women in Green, along with a group of supporters, went to a lovely little hill just off from the Gush Etzion Junction – the site of such despair – and began clearing the area.

Since July 1, Kassover and Matar have been joined by dozens and dozens of Israelis and of visitors. They are reclaiming a bit of land that has been set aside (the site has long had official approval for tourism development), and are developing it as a functioning and vibrant tourist site.

They also renamed the hill. Previously the site was known as Givat Oz (Hill of Strength). The new name incorporates the initials of the three boys who were kidnapped and murdered – Gilad, Eyal and Naftali – and the acronym created also happens to mean great wisdom. The site is now known as Givat Oz v’Gaon.

Nadia Matar, that steadfast soldier in the war to reclaim the land, spoke with The Jewish Press about the new site.

“This is a Zionist response of the Jewish people to the incomprehensible act of killing our boys,” Matar said. “Our enemies think they will scare us away with their acts of terrorism, but they are wrong. We cling to the land ever more strongly in response to their efforts.”

The area is being cleared by hand. People show up on a daily basis to help move the rocks, clean the lone remaining stone building, and set up picnic tables for meals and chairs for lectures and services.

people came to help clear the land at Givat Oz v'Gaon.

people came to help clear the land at Givat Oz v’Gaon.

“This will be a camping site,” Matar says. “This past weekend, the first of Givat Oz v’Gaon, we had already 70 or 80 people who brought tents to spend Shabbat here. The residents of the nearby kibbutz Migdal Oz came to join us for seudat shlishit (a meal before evening services) and swelled the crowd to between 200 and 300 people.”

The residents of Migdal Oz came by a road that connects the back of the kibbutz to the Gush Etzion junction. This is also significant, Matar explains, because for quite a long time the kibbutzniks did not use the road as there had been frequent attacks by Arabs from nearby towns.

“Now, with a strong Jewish presence between the kibbutz and the Gush junction, this road is also being ‘reclaimed’ as our response to terrorism,” Matar shared with a sense of satisfaction.

Ruthie Lieberman lives in nearby Alon Shvut. Her home was used by people who participated in the searches for the boys; she and her family lived through it with great intensity.

“The families got up from shiva yesterday,” Lieberman said. “And I found myself on this site today, helping to clear the land, to plant new trees – the ultimate act of positive Zionism.”

Lieberman and her daughter, Merav, planted one of the three trees planted in memory of the three boys.

 

Ruth Lieberman and her daughter, Merav, plant a tree in Eyal Yifrach's memory at the new site created to honor the boys, Givat Oz v'Gaon.

Ruth Lieberman and her daughter, Merav, plant a tree in Eyal Yifrach’s memory at the new site created to honor the boys, Givat Oz v’Gaon.

Gush Etzion Unites in Response to Kidnapping and Murder

Monday, July 7th, 2014

The residents of Gush Etzion are uniting to show their resilience in the face of terror with an initiative created in part by Israeli media mind Ari Abramowitz, ‘One Flag.”

Gush Etzion residents are blanketing their loose-knit cluster of communities with Israeli flags to show of solidarity with the families of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped and murdered there June 12 by Hamas terrorists.

“Rather than calling for hatred and revenge, since the very beginning of this nightmare each of the three bereaved families have been calling for national unity,” Abramowitz explained. “They have unified us, now it is our chance to stand united with them.

Each resident receives a message with their flag: “We, the Gush Etzion family are hanging flags from our windows. We are raising the flag in solidarity with the Sha’ar, Frenkel and Yifrach families who are mourning the murder of their beloved sons. Our nation was united in tears, prayer, and hope for their sons safe return. And now, as we mourn them, they continue to unite us.”

Gush Etzion resident Jeremy Gimpel, the other organizer of the campaign, added that Israelis, especially the youth in Gush Etzion, needed a positive way to harness both the grief of these devastating murders and the feelings of love, empathy, and support they all feel for the victims’ families.

“Jews have always made meaning out of pain and brought light out of the darkness of anti-Semitism and hatred. This united initiative is a truer reflection of the settlers. It’s peaceful, powerful, and regal. By the end of the Shloshim (30 day mourning period), it wouldn’t surprise me if this becomes a national campaign,” he said.

“The irony of this incredible campaign is that we were initially concerned with how the youth were dealing with the trauma of the murder in their neighborhood. As soon as we got the ball rolling, it was pushed forward almost entirely by the youth here who are mobilizing with impressive efficiency to distribute flags throughout their communities,” Abramowitz added.

Yitchak Nesh, a 17 year old activist, also noted, “We thought it was important to launch this campaign here in the Gush, where our friends were abducted. “Our enemies need to understand that while they have succeeded in murdering three innocent boys, they have failed at their greater goal of trying to scare us and weaken us.”

“So many people are confused by the violence and accusations in the media,” explained Mottle Wolfe of Tekoa. “Now is not the time for rifts and divisions, it is the time for healing and unity. That is what this ‘One Flag’ campaign is all about.”

The campaign has also engendered widespread support from the local community leadership and from mayor Davidi Perel, who strongly encouraged the initiative. The region’s “Orly Print,” agreed to print all materials at cost.

Nazi Flag Flying Over Arab Town – Again [video]

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Hundreds of Israeli Residents of Gush Etzion were disturbed to see once again see a Nazi Flag flying over the Arab town of Beit Ummar Yesterday (Jul. 6).

The large flag is visible from Route 60, the main routes in the area. Residents notified the IDF about the affront, but they have so far failed to act.

Beit Ummar, a town of 13,000, is located northwest of Hebron, close to where the bodies of three abducted Israeli teens were discovered in a shallow grave last Monday.

A resident of Carmei Tsur who saw the flag told Tazpit News Agency that this is reminiscent of what happened 75 years ago. “The Arabs are no longer fearful of hiding their intentions,” he said, “To kill, destroy and uproot the Jewish People.” This is not the first time a Swastika has been hoisted over Beir Ummar. Tazpit news Agency reported on May 20th, 2013, that a Nazi Flag was flying over the town, very close to one of their mosques. The IDF and Civil Administration at the time ordered the Palestinian Electrical Company to remove the Nazi flag that had been hung on one Beit Ummar’s electric wires. The offending flag was subsequently removed.

Forest Fires near Jerusalem Force Partial Closure of Tel Aviv Highway

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Dozens of firefighting crews and six helicopters are battling wind-whipped fires in the Greater Jerusalem area, and Highway 1, connecting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, has been closed to trucks and other heavy vehicles near the western entrance of the capital.

No injuries have been reported, but at least three homes have sustained damage.

One of the fires broke out in a plastics factory. Last week’s huge inferno that firefighters prevented from spreading to Yad VaShem broke out because of carelessness and was not an act of arson by Arabs.

Two  fires in the hills of Jerusalem, south and southwest of the city, threatens homes in the communities of Even Sapir, where the plastics factory is located, Moshe Oar and Amanda, near Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. All employees were evacuated form the factory.

The road to Hadassah Hospital also was closed.

A smaller fire broke out near Tzur Hadassah, located in western Gush Etzion and less than a mile from the Haredi city of Beitar Illit.

Fire officials said that firefighting crews are close to bringing the blazes under control.

Angela Merkel Adds Germany’s Voice to Condemnations

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has added her voice to the chorus of world leaders who have weighed in with condemnations following the discovery of the bodies of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16 and Gilad Sha’ar, 16, who were murdered by their terrorist captors.

Merkel said she was “shocked” by the murders, calling it a “detestable act for which there is no excuse,” according to her spokesperson Steffen Seibert. He added the chancellor’s thoughts were with the families and friends of the teens.

The boys were kidnapped on June 12 while hitchhiking home for the Sabbath from their studies at yeshiva in Gush Etzion.

Initial forensic examination of their bodies indicates they were murdered shortly after they were kidnapped.

Their bodies were found in a cave located in a field near the Palestinian Authority Arab village of Halhul, just north of Hevron, in Judea.

Local Arab residents spent the day in fierce clashes with IDF soldiers and other security forces searching for the teens – clearly aware of what they would eventually find in their midst.

The Arabs hurled rocks and white paint at the windshield and windows of the IDF humvee ambulance that came to carry the boys’ bodies out of the area.

The clashes were similar to lethal road terror attacks visited upon drivers who travel on Highway 60, the main artery running from southern Judea north through Jerusalem and into Samaria.

The attackers did not succeed in distracting the IDF soldier driving the ambulance from successfully transporting his precious passengers out of the area and straight to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute.

Settling and Sovereignty is the Zionist Answer – Hebron and Gush Etzion First

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

As a Zionist answer to the despicable murder of our three boys, a pioneering group of Jews headed by Women in Green went up to Givat Oz – a hilltop overlooking Tzomet HaGush – in order to create a new Jewish presence in the area.

As since the beginning of Zionism, the land of Israel is sometimes built with blood and tears. The hill is adjacent to the historical community of Migdal Eder, which was dismantled in 1927, in a forest near to Bet Fajjar, on approved State land.

The pioneers cleaned out an abandoned structure on the site and settled it, calling upon the government to immediately apply sovereignty, starting with Hevron and Gush Etzion. This call was made by the Women and Green, together with the Professors for a Strong Israel, headed by Aryeh Eldad and Matot Arim. Davidi Perl, mayor of Gush Etzion, together with his deputy, Moshe Savil, came to bless the new Givat Oz endeavor. The mayor said, “Our answer is clear and determined – we will continue to expand and build here and now. Here we will build a new community and many more in the near future. We will build and settle and hold strong to the land.”

The local police chief and army commanders came to visit and promised to safeguard the place.

This morning there will be Tefilat Shacharit at 6am. At 10am the public is invited to come and help refurbish the building (painting and cleaning).

Directions: Drive to Tzomet HaGush and turn toward Migdal Oz and Bet Fajjar. After a few hundred meters turn right onto the dirt path and continue up into the forest.

Update: Jewish Girl Rescued From Beit Jala Knew Kidnappers

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Update: Police report the girl knew the Arabs who took her, from previous encounters she had with them.

Police are now interrogating the girl under suspicion.

Police say that it appears the girl got into the car of her own free will, but then the two men drove her to Beit Jala and locked her up in a building against her will.

The police know the identity of the two men, and will be arresting them soon.

In what appears to have possibly been another kidnapping attempt on Monday night, police rescued a 21 year old girl from Beit Jala, an Arab village just south of Jerusalem. The girl was grabbed from near Beitar Ilit in Gush Etzion, according to the Judea and Samaria police spokesman.

Between 10 and 11 PM, police say they received a phone call about a girl who was just kidnapped by two Arabs in a white car.

The girl works in the cafe/mini-market in the Sonol gas station near Beitar Ilit. She had met with a girlfriend after work and afterwards, as she was on her way home, a white car stopped, forcibly grabbed her, and drove off.

A local Beitar blogger claims the girl managed to call her friend and said she was kidnapped.

Using the missing girl’s number which they had from the girlfriend, the police and army were able to triangulate the missing girl’s position from the cellphone she was carrying.

The army and police found and retrieved her from a building inside the village of Beit Jala.

Beit Jala is in Gush Etzion, just opposite the neighborhood of Gilo in Jerusalem. It is best known for the shootings they used to do from the village into Gilo.

The girl was taken to the Gush Etzion police station where she is with her mother, as police question her further as to the exact circumstances around the event, and to confirm that it was a kidnapping.

Police are searching for the two suspects.

We will update this story when we have more details.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-girl-rescued-from-beit-jala/2014/07/01/

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