Photo Credit: TPS
The destruction of a home by police in Habaladim, near Kochav Hashachar.

Acting on orders from the government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, hundreds of policemen raided the Binyamin area on Monday morning and destroyed over 20 structures built by Israelis, including two synagogues, at Maoz Esther and Givat HaBaladim, near Kochav Hashachar.

Operating from the early hours of the morning, the massive forces removed the families living in the structures and then destroyed them. Eight families, including 20 children, lost their homes. Resisting the destruction, several of the residents were arrested.

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In one incident, the police did not untie a dog in one of the structures and reportedly killed it in the demolition.

Yisrael Gantz, head of the Binyamin Regional Council, accused Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Ganz of launching “a major and focused campaign of destruction against Jews only. They allow Arabs to run wild and take over the nation’s lands every day in the heart of the country. Our homeland is being conquered and they are turning a blind eye to Arab criminality, and now they are heroes over the weak and destroying only for the Jews.”

“The conquest of Judea and Samaria by the Arabs and the selective enforcement of the law against Jews are on Bennett and Gantz,” he said.

“Gantz puts himself on the wrong side of Zionist history in terms of establishing a presence in Judea and Samaria, but the game is far from over.”

Gush Etzion Regional Council Head Shlomo Ne’eman said, “8-0. This is the current score in the game Defense Minister Gantz is playing with the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria. Zero permits for new construction and eight new demolitions this morning.” That statement was made before additional structures were destroyed. Ne’eman added, “Gantz puts himself on the wrong side of Zionist history in terms of establishing a presence in Judea and Samaria, but the game is far from over.”

“A government that destroys the Jews and builds for the Arabs needs to be replaced,” said the head of the Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan. “The government is acting like a pyromaniac in order to set fire to the area with deliberate intent.”

“The demolition of the houses of the Jewish pioneers who build the country, and on the other hand approving of illegal Arab construction in the Negev and Judea and Samaria, and turning a blind eye to illegal construction in Area C. The Israeli government that works against its citizens must be replaced,” he demanded.

Member of Knesset Bezalel Smotrich stated that “while this government succumbs to [head of the Islamist party Ra’am] Abbas’ threat, while the police commissioner orders the freezing of demolition of illegal construction in the Arab sector, Bennett, Shaked, Orbach and Kahana send Ganz and Barlev to abuse settlement and settlers, freeze construction, approve plans for Arabs.”

“This is a non-Jewish and non-Zionist government in its essence and actions, and those who founded it will be remembered forever. We knew hostile governments and we survived, and thank God the settlement is strong and it is growing and developing in spite of everything. With God’s help, we will also be able to defeat this evil Bennett-Shaked-Lapid-Abbas government and we will win.”

In response to the destruction, heads of council in Judea and Samaria announced they would boycott a meeting with Defense Minister Gantz. They also cancelled the meeting in protest after the government’s building planning committee for Judea and Samaria was again not convened.

The government has taken very minimal action against the illegal land grabs and construction in Area C by the Palestinian Authority, which is an organized effort by the PA under the Fayyad Plan. Any Israeli state land in Area C that is not physically occupied by Jews is being grabbed by the Palestinian Authority.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.