Tamar Ettinger, whose husband Rabbi Achiad Ettinger was killed in a terrorist attack at the Ariel Junction last month, will petition the High Court of Justice together with the Samaria Regional Council and the Regavim Movement and demand the demolition of the illegal Arab shops at the site from which the terrorist emerged on his killing spree.
Arab terrorist Omar Abu Laila carried out a double terror attack in Samaria during which he stabbed and killed 19-year-old IDF soldier Staff Sgt. Gal Keidan at the Ariel Junction, stole his weapon and fired at civilians, critically wounding Rabbi Ettinger, 47 and the father of 12.
He then got into a car he high jacked, drove to the Gitai Avisar Junction, and fired at Israelis at a bus station, severely wounding another IDF soldier. Ettinger died of his wounds the next day, and Abu Laila was killed by Israeli Special Forces after a 60-hour manhunt.
The decision to take legal action was born of a conversation between Tamar Ettinger Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, who came to pay a condolence call at the Ettinger residence during the Shiva, the seven-day period of mourning.
Tamar asked why the illegal shops from which the terrorist launched his attack had not been demolished. Dagan decided to take immediate action and turned to Regavim, a non-governmental organization dedicated to combating illegal construction, in order to take the IDF’s Civil Administration to court.
Regavim’s mapping department investigated the issue and discovered that all of the structures at the junction were built illegally, and on state land included in the master-plan for Ariel’s access road. The Civil Administration had in the past issued demolition orders but has never enforced them.
Itamar Ben-Gal, a father of four, was stabbed to death at the same site in February 2018.
“A situation has been created that allows commerce to be carried out in a very sensitive area, which clearly reduces the level of vigilance of the soldiers on duty there. The same thing happened in the case of Itamar Ben-Gal. There is an unnecessarily high level of contact and friction between Arabs and soldiers because of these shops,” Ettinger stated.
“To make matters worse, the businesses operating in these illegal structures are unlicensed, illegal enterprises. The structures must be demolished without delay,” she demanded.
Dagan stated that “again and again, we see illegal construction by Arabs, not only in Area B but in [fully Israeli controlled] Area C as well, particularly in close proximity to Jewish communities.”
He charged that the illegal construction “is part of the attempt by the local Arab population to seize and control the territory.”
He vowed to “use all means at our disposal to put a stop to the illegal construction, the seizure of our land, and the chaos that has cost too many Jewish lives.”