Photo Credit: Ebeili / Wikimedia Commons
Givat Zeev, view from the wadi.

A seven-year legal battle ended in the High Court of Justice on Monday night with an order to demolish a synagogue in Givat Ze’ev within one week.

Givat Ze’ev, located close to Jerusalem, is home to nearly 15,000 Jews and is the fifth-largest community in Judea and Samaria.


The appeal to save the Ayelet Hashachar Synagogue where worshipers have prayed for more than 20 years was rejected.

The building is located on property owned by Amana, the construction arm of the settlement movement.

In 2014, the court ordered the government to raze the synagogue in response to a petition by the far-right NGO Yesh Din claiming the purchase documents for the property were forged.

The court ruled in a 12-page decision on Monday that the synagogue was built on “occupied territory” and on private Palestinian Arab property, and thus not protected under international law under such circumstances.

This same problem takes place in numerous other locations where land has been purchased from Palestinian Arab owners as well, particularly in third-party transactions that are designed to protect the life of the seller.

Palestinian Authority Arab citizens risk their lives to sell their property: the PA imposes a death sentence upon any Arab who sells land to Jews or Israelis, regardless of location.


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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, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.


  1. Want to know why all of this terror is happening, THIS is why it’s happening.

    I’ve seen many stories like this over the years and spent many sleepless nights troubled over them.

    And don’t start giving me any ‘illegal structures’ . Arabs have burned down synagogues and built whole towns illegally and the authorities have done nothing. Did we complain to the authorities like we complained about the price of cheese?

    So now it’s payback time.

    A country that allows a house of Hashem to be demolished, will itself be demolished.

    Where are your ‘gvinat cottage’ protests now?

  2. Really sad to see Yesh Din and Israeli courts destroy a Synagogue; especially on some specious claim of it being "occupied land". Did not Hashem promise all the lands of Judea, Israel, and Samaria to the Jews? Has He changed His mind? Ironically it would not be a far stretch to say Yesh Din and the court have opened the door for the PA to say Jews have no claim to any of Israel because Arabs claim all the land has been stolen and "occupied".

  3. I understand the legalese, but it is wrong to demolish this synogogue. The land is still in Israel, and the Arabs have no right to any of it. They are not legitimate stewarts of the land. They stole it, and Jews, in good faith, bought it. I could see the real owner getting a fair market settlement out of this, but don't destroy the temple. It is too important to too many people.

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