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August 25, 2016 / 21 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Gush’

Israel Taking Concrete Steps to Stretch Gush Etzion Out to Bethlehem

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Israel is conducting a land survey intended to declare the area east of the community of Efrat in Judea a state-owned land, freeing it up for construction, according to a document submitted by the state to the Supreme Court last week and cited by Ha’aretz.

According to the document, the survey has been undertaken “in a manner that will create contiguity of state lands.” As Ha’aretz points out, Efrat is inside the Gush Etzion settlement bloc of Judea, and construction east of Efrat, in an area known as Givat Eitam, would expand Gush Etzion eastward, to the outskirts of the ethnically cleansed Bethlehem, which used to be majority Christian but since 1994 has seen a flight of its Christian population.

Jewish prisoners in Jordan, after the fall of Gush Etzion, May 1948 / Wikipedia commons

Jewish prisoners in Jordan, after the fall of Gush Etzion, May 1948 / Wikipedia commons

To remind you, Gush Etzion was founded not after the 1967 War, but back in 1940-1947. Its civilian population was overrun by an invading Jordanian army in 1948, some of them massacred and the rest taken prisoner. But as of 2011, Gush Etzion consists of 22 communities with a population of 70,000 Jews.

According to Ha’aretz, in 2009, 425 acres of land outside Efrat were declared state land, with a plan to build 2,500 housing units there. The state told the court that early in 2016 the Efrat Regional Council requested permission to start planning construction in the area, noting that the land of Givat Eitam is privately owned by Himanuta, a subsidiary of the Jewish National Fund.

The document the state submitted to the court reads: “The intention is to promote in the future development of Himanuta lands. To this end, infrastructure must be installed between Himanuta lands westward toward Efrat, including lands that have been declared [state lands] at Givat Eitam… The installation of this infrastructure will be possible if and when the land survey now underway is completed in the area between Efrat and Givat Eitam in a manner that creates contiguity of state lands.”

The document is co-signed by the supervisor of government and abandoned property in Judea and Samaria, Yossi Segal, and the defense minister’s aide for settlements, Kobi Eliraz.

The Efrat Regional Council released a statement Sunday replying to a challenge to the building plans by Peace Now, saying, “It is symbolic that precisely on the day marking the destruction of the Temple some are trying to sabotage the building of the Land of Israel (referring to the fast day of Tisha B’Av,which fell on Sunday).”

“The legal clarification of the status of lands in the Eitam neighborhood has been underway for 12 years,” the regional council said, adding that “at the High Court of Justice at least five different panels of justices have come to realize that there is nothing of substance in the claims of the petitioners, who have dragged the state into a waste of money and costly resources in unnecessary proceedings.”

The council said it was “happy about High Court rulings in previous petitions, and we are happy that the state is seeking to redress years of injustice.”

The council noted there were “hundreds of acres bought by Jews even before the establishment of the state and registered to the Jewish National Fund in trust for the Jewish state” at Givat Eitam, and construction at Givat Eitam will fulfill the will of these Jews, and the “great bonus is mainly for young couples who cannot afford to purchase an apartment in Jerusalem and its environs.”

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories confirmed to Ha’aretz that its “blue line team” in the Civil Administration – consisting of cartographers, surveyors and legal experts – was now “working to study the status of lands at Givat Eitam, and a decision on their status will be rendered at the end of the team’s work.”

David Israel

A Soldier’s Mother: The Lingering Destruction of Gush Katif

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Twelve years…how could it be twelve years since that fateful, horrible summer when Israel acted unilaterally, stupidly, naively believing that if we made a grand gesture, peace would follow. No, to be honest, I really don’t buy the “naive” part. No one believed, even then, that peace would follow. As to why, knowing what would happen, did we do it? I can’t answer that.

With my husband and two friends, we ventured into the Jewish communities of Gaza in the wake of the forced expulsions. Our goal, our hope was probably naive. We thought that maybe we could save a synagogue, something precious from Gush Katif that would comfort the families, comfort us.

We went community by community. Our emotions were all over the place. Anger was there, pain, tears. We pushed on from community to community. My friend, Devra, wrote it down, place by place. I took pictures. Her words are here. Devra wrote about the stones I took from the synagogues. Here, Rachel Saperstein wrote about Paula’s Stones.

Of all the songs that I remember from that time, there was one that I knew, even then, was our unavoidable future if we evacuated, destroyed, erased those amazing communities. We did…and the song has come true. We live the nightmare this song so correctly predicted.

Paula Stern

Report: 180 Gush Katif Families Still without Permanent Housing

Monday, August 8th, 2016

The Israeli government was well-organized and brutally effective in expelling the 8,000 or so Jews of Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip 11 years ago, but when it comes to keeping the promise of finding adequate, permanent housing for these refugees in their own land, perfection has not been the name of the game.

A report by Israel Radio on Monday revealed that as many as 180 expelled families, about 13% of the uprooted Jews of Gaza, are still living in temporary mobile homes. The man in charge of finding solutions to the problem happens to be Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi), who was among the few politicians who condemned the exiling of Jews from their homes by a Jewish government. But he, too, has been unable, despite the resources at his command, to find permanent housing for these families.

According to Hagit Yaron, director of the caravan community of the expelled Jews of Gush Katif, the government is yet to prepare lots for housing construction for these remnants of the 2005 crime.

David Israel

Gush Etzion Stabber Dies of Wounds

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

The terrorist who stabbed 2 IDF soldiers on Monday, on Highway 60 near El Aroub in Gush Etzion, has died of his wounds on Wednesday, according to Sharei Tzedek Hospital.

The terrorist was shot by one of the soldiers he stabbed.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Two IDF Soldier Stabbed Near El Aroub in Gush Etzion

Monday, July 18th, 2016

MDA emergency services received a report of two people stabbed near El Arub on Highway 60 at 1:16 PM on Monday. El Aroub is located in Gush Etzion just south of Tzomet HaGush.

An IDF soldier was stabbed in his head. A second soldier was stabbed in the hand.

Both are conscious and are listed as lightly wounded. The terrorist stabbed them with a knife and a screwdriver.

The soldiers are being transported to the hospital.

The terrorist is seriously wounded.

Traffic between Tzomet HaGush and Karmei Tzur has been closed for the moment.

Jewish Press News Briefs

After Family Escapes Drive-By Slaughter, Gush Etzion Jews Demand No more ‘Containment’

Monday, July 11th, 2016

On Sunday afternoon residents of the communities of Eastern Gush Etzion along with members from Women in Green met at the ‘T’ intersection east of the Gush Etzion cluster, between Mezad and Ma’ale Amos on one side and Tekoa and Nokdim on the other, for a vigil following the shooting by Arab terrorists at a resident’s car the night before.

The organizers of the protest, Women in Green’s Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, together with Michael Luria of the Pnei Kedem community, noted that last night’s shooting incident ended miraculously, since only the driver’s leg was injured when terrorists shot at his car, while his wife and their six children, including a one-week-old infant, were also in the vehicle.

Deputy Head of the Gush Etzion Council Moshe Savil called for an end to the policy of “containing” terror incidents and for the implementation of full security for the residents of the area in all of the main roads.

Brigade commander of the area, Col. (Res.) Roman Gofman, also came to the site and heard from representatives of Women in Green that it was exactly in that place, about two years ago, there had been a protest vigil for several weeks, which ended after protesters were promised cellular reception in the area to assure the security forces’ quick and effective response, a regular transport station and a manned pillbox, all of which were supposed to offer a message of security to travelers in the area.

The protesters complained to the brigade commander that since that promise was made, there has been no actual change. There still is no cellular reception, a transportation station has not been set up and there is no pillbox. Their demand, they explained to the brigade commander, is now even sharper and more emphatic because of the recurring terror attacks in the area and in the traffic routes around the intersection.

JNi.Media

Dangerous Gush Etzion Junction Receives Tender Loving Care from Locals

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

The members of Women in Green, together with residents of the Gush Etzion settlements block, have set out, as part of the “Revitalizing Gush Etzion Junction” project, to renovate and restore the Gush Etzion Junction. The junction has been marked by violent incidents in recent months, as a focal point for terror attacks, and marred by attempts to secure pedestrians against ramming attacks by Arab terrorists. Now Jewish activists have begun to apply a new, more inviting look to the place.

Welcome to Gush Etzion sign. Photo credit: Gershon Ellinson

Welcome to Gush Etzion sign. Photo credit: Gershon Ellinson

The activists and residents together with youth from the surrounding area decorated the path that goes up to Oz veGaon, overlooking the Junction, with decorative plants and natural rocks from the area; a “Welcome to Gush Etzion” sign was placed on the slope toward the nearby nature preserve; and the Gush Etzion Council planted an oak tree of about a hundred years in the center of the circle.

Photo credit: Women in Green

Photo credit: Women in Green

The project has won warm support from the military commanders of the area.

“We took on this initiative with the understanding that normal life, which is what we aspire for here, cannot exist if we feel that we are living in a bunker and in an atmosphere of having to defend ourselves. The square at the Junction is actually the calling card that welcomes those who come to the entrance of Gush Etzion, Israelis as well as tourists, and the appearance of the concrete barriers is not a welcoming sight,” said the heads of Women in Green, Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar.

Photo credit: Women in Green

Photo credit: Women in Green

Katsover and Matar praised the youths from the communities of the Gush and Judean Hills who joined the activists in dedicating long work days renovating and improving the face of the Gush Etzion Junction. The two women also noted the artistic contribution of the students and teachers from the Art Department of Neve Hanah and Oriah Schools, who painted the concrete protection barriers scattered throughout the bus stops, hitchhiking spots and guard posts at the junction. “We were able to do all of this thanks to donations from Jews in Israel and abroad, and among them our friends, the members of AFSI,” the two women added.

Photo credit: Women in Green

Photo credit: Women in Green

This Friday, July 1, will mark two years since the founding of Oz veGaon, the nature preserve established in memory of three youths who were abducted by Hamas terrorists, an attack that resulted in the 2014 Gaza war. The date will be commemorated with a family happening, a musical appearance and attractions, attended by the head of Gush Etzion Council Davidi Perl and members of the abducted youths’ families.

Photo credit: Women in Green

Photo credit: Women in Green

“At the event we will salute the residents, our wonderful youth, IDF soldiers and their commanders, businesses at Gush Etzion Junction, the many visitors who make Oz veGaon a bustling, lively place and the hitchhikers who maintain the blessed routine of life,” Katsover and Matar said.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/dangerous-gush-etzion-junction-receives-tender-loving-care-from-locals/2016/06/30/

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