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IDF Destroys House in Gush Etzion īSettlement Blocī
www.israelnationalnews.com ^ | 22:20 Jan 11, '06 / 11 Tevet 5766 | Ezra HaLevi and Hillel Fendel

Posted on 01/11/2006 12:35:25 PM PST by Esther Ruth

IDF Destroys House in Gush Etzion ´Settlement Bloc´ 22:20 Jan 11, '06 / 11 Tevet 5766 By Ezra HaLevi and Hillel Fendel

Police used severe violence in Gush Etzion, firing tear-gas grenades into a house sought to destroy, pepper-spraying protestors, and dragging and hitting those who interfered, injuring 12 youths.

At the end of the day, the mixed secular/religious community of Sde Boaz saw a small house and stable destroyed, while thwarting the demolition of a large foundation for a future home was saved.

Rubble of the home demolished in Sde Boaz, with the cities of Betar Illit and Tzur Hadassah in the background

Arutz-7's Ezra HaLevi reported from the scene at about 3:30 PM: "The soldiers have just fired tear gas into the house here in Sde Boaz [just north of N'vei Daniel] in order to get people out, and there is serious violence going on here. The soldiers are just hitting anyone who's near the house or the soldiers; they push them, throw them down, hit them. . .Now I see them taking belongings out of the house, in preparation for the demolition."

At 4:00 PM, the house was totally razed, and the soldiers - and protestors - turned their attention to the foundations of another home, painstakingly built over the past weeks by a young man who had just become engaged.

"The scene now is tremendously emotional and charged," HaLevi said, over the background of yelling and outcries. "The youths are locking arms and refusing to move, even though they face a strongly violent response. I don't know if it's the memories of the expulsion from Gush Katif, or maybe these are people who are seeing this for the first time, but the feelings here [over the destruction of Jewish property in the Land of Israel by Israeli soldiers] are very intense."

Asked earlier if the violence was mutual, HaLevi said, "The protestors were told in advance by the leaders here that violence is not our way, and the like... But there are certainly verbal attacks on soldiers and riot police for 'just following order,' and the police just seem to be losing it [i.e., control of themselves]. They arrested the founder of the community and two other residents as well, along with dozens of outsiders."

A member of the special Yassam riot police slams a protester to the rocky ground

Asked how many people were present to protest, HaLevi said, "There have been hundreds throughout the day, and right now I would say that there are about 250. The weather has been totally crazy - first it was sunny, then rainy and windy and foggy, then it cleared up again, began to hail heavily during the destruction of the house - Sde Boaz is the highest point in Gush Etzion - and after nightfall there was bright lightning."

HaLevi reported more than 100 soldiers at the scene, but no females, "so many girls and women have been dragged by male soldiers."

As nightfall approached, HaLevi reported that the demolition forces had still not succeeded in approaching the foundations of a much larger house that one of the community's founders had built, together with fellow residents, over the summer. Protesters linked arms and lay down on the foundations, refusing to back down, even when faced with severe violence. Eventually the bulldozer went into reverse and began leaving the community.

The hundreds of activists broke out in song and cheers at the retreat of the demolition forces, with prayer services held on the foundations of the home. Residents promised to rebuild the destroyed home in the coming days and to follow it with ten more houses - all built by Jews.

IDF forces are also preparing to destroy houses in the Binyamin community of Amona next week, as well as in Hevron. The Amona destruction has been put on hold, however, at least until after a Supreme Court hearing on the issue next week. In Hevron, eleven families fear a forced evacuation from their homes near the Avraham Avinu neighborhood. Land of Israel supporters from around the country have been asked to arrive at these two spots, in order to prevent the expulsions - both of which are seen to be test-cases in the expected battles over many Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria in the future.

HaLevi filed this report earlier:

Without warning, a small community in the consensus region of Gush Etzion has become the center of the government's demolition efforts. Demolition forces face unexpected opposition.

Residents of the community of Sde Boaz, 20 minutes south of Jerusalem, received less than 24 hours' notice that Civil Administration officials, accompanied by soldiers, were on its way over, on orders from the government. Their goal: to destroy a newly built house, the foundations of a large home and a large stable that were built over the summer.

A newly-homeless horse nibbles the grass in Sde Boaz after its "unauthorized" stable is destroyed

Border Guard police, accompanied by a bulldozer and Civil Administration officials, arrived at the Gush Etzion outpost community of Sde Boaz early Wednesday morning, but were met by friends of the residents and Land of Israel activists who stopped them in their tracks.

The forces succeeded in bulldozing a large stable, which Sde Boaz residents had built over the summer for their horses and donkeys. When the forces tried to bulldoze the home, protestors surrounded the building and declared that they would not budge. Civil Administration officials, who had claimed that the home was not populated and could therefore be destroyed without approval from a senior officer, entered the home to find a comfortable bachelor's "pad," replete with breakfast set out on the kitchen table.

They then turned their attention to the foundations of a home, built by a recently married resident of the community who serves as a company commander in the IDF reserves. Hundreds of local residents who had flocked to the community through fields and vineyards - police had blocked the main access road - stood atop the foundations and refused to move, locking arms. Police responded with severe violence, but were soon ordered to stand down after commanders noticed the large number of press photographers on the scene.

Sde Boaz is a unique community. It is an environmentally friendly, agricultural community established by religious and non-observant Jews who sought to create an example of what the State of Israel can aspire to be – a home where Jews from diverse backgrounds and outlooks can come together to build and assist one another.

The community is also unique in that it is built entirely through Avoda Ivrit, Jewish Labor. The residents not only refuse to use local Palestinian workers for cheap, and often shoddy, building, but believe that the reconnection of the Jewish people with their land after a 2,000-year estrangement necessitates getting one's hands dirty with its soil. Though the place is populated by professionals – a medical student, a doctor of physics, a dentist, a veterinarian, a security guard, three teachers, an auto mechanic, an organic farmer and two journalists – most of the residents engage in agricultural projects on the side. Fields of wheat, chickpeas, clover (for the animals), peas, chard and beets, as well as olive and fruit orchards surround the community, which spreads out freely and refuses to be fenced in.

Even before its establishment over three years ago, the founders would trek to the future site and work the state lands situated there, keeping them from being claimed by Arab squatters, who receive stipends from the Palestinian Authority to plant far and wide. Agricultural activity is a way of acquiring land under Ottoman and British Mandate law, which is still applied in Judea and Samaria.

Sde Boaz is located less than a mile north of Neve Daniel and Efrat, the heart of the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. PM Ariel Sharon said in the past that U.S. President George W. Bush guaranteed him that Gush Etzion would remain in Jewish hands, in return for the destruction of Jewish towns in Gaza.

The community sits on a high point between the Efrat/Neve Daniel bloc and the city of Betar Illit, with a view of the entire region. After residents move in, the IDF situated an advanced surveillance camera there which can see clear to Tel Aviv and the coastal plain, even at night.

Residents were divided on the extent of active opposition to the destruction, but outside activists soon flooded the small community. Any preference for organized opposition was rendered moot as crowds, singing and dancing in the rain and hail, blocked the bulldozers.

"This isn't just one person's little home and this isn't just our community's small building – this is a Jewish home, built completely by Jews on land that was paid for before the State was even founded, by Jews around the world who donated money to purchase land in Israel through the Jewish National Fund," a Sde Boaz spokesperson told the media. "Such a thing cannot be destroyed due to an arbitrary piece of paper declaring it illegal."

"The Jewish people must wake up to the fact that they have been lied to. The so-called settlement blocs were talked about merely in order to ease us in to the fact that we are being forced to retreat by non-democratic forces, no matter how many times we reject them at the ballot box."

Another resident, Makor Rishon reporter Erez Tadmor, told reporters that the local Palestinians have been building terraces and digging wells under the nose of the Civil Administration for years. He added that there has been a steep increase in illegal building activity in recent months, funded by the Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabia, in hopes of slicing Gush Etzion in half and inducing the Supreme Court to influence the route of the Partition Wall.

Published: 12:13 January 11, 2006 Last Update: 22:20 January 11, 2006


TOPICS: Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: destroys; gushetzion; israel; settlementbloc

1 posted on 01/11/2006 12:35:29 PM PST by Esther Ruth
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To: Esther Ruth

2 posted on 01/11/2006 12:37:28 PM PST by Esther Ruth (I have loved thee with an EVERLASTING LOVE, Jeremiah 31:3 Genesis 12:1-3 ***ZECH 12:3)
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To: Esther Ruth

3 posted on 01/11/2006 12:38:54 PM PST by Esther Ruth (I have loved thee with an EVERLASTING LOVE, Jeremiah 31:3 Genesis 12:1-3 ***ZECH 12:3)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.

Articles on Israel can also be found by clicking the keyword Israel.

..................

"Illegal" in deference to the 19 years Jordan controlled the West Bank, almost 40 years ago. Then, of course, Jews couldn't live there, much less own land.

`Illegal Outposts` And Building Our Homeland

By Ze`ev Orenstein Jewish Press November 18, 2005

Recently I had the distinct privilege of visiting some friends who live in Sde Boaz, a newly established Jewish community just outside of Neve Daniel in Gush Etzion.

I want to share some special things that I noticed about Sde Boaz:

* Sde Boaz is situated on one of the highest points in Israel, and as such, one can see for miles (kilometers) in every direction. There are likely few better places in Israel from where one can take in so much of the Land of Israel — and I believe that it is for this reason that this area was frequented by our forefathers.

* Sde Boaz is surrounded by beautiful hills and valleys full of nature. The air is crisp, cool and fresh. With every breath that one inhales, he is cleansing his body, both in a physical sense, as well as spiritually, as the very air seems to have a mystical quality to it.

I had the opportunity to visit the spring just outside of Sde Boaz (which has goldfish in it), and to eat figs right off the trees that surround Sde Boaz. This had an added significance, as figs are one of the seven species special to the Land of Israel, and as such, I got to also make a Shehechiyanu blessing on the fruit (as I had not had one in quite some time), thanking God for having blessed me with the opportunity to partake of the fruit of His chosen land, the Land of Israel, as a proud Jew, who had returned home.

* Sde Boaz is full of both religious and secular Jews, new immigrants and native Israelis, who live together with a shared love for the Jewish People and the Land of Israel and the desire to live in a Jewish State.

* Sde Boaz is not surrounded by any fences (that would otherwise restrict the natural growth of the community), and all work that is done in the community is done through Jewish labor.

* Sde Boaz also happens to be, in the eyes of the world, and some in Israel, an illegal outpost which the State of Israel has committed itself to remove.

* Sde Boaz is considered to be an illegal outpost even though it is built on state-owned land (via the Jewish National Fund) that was purchased through money that was collected by our grandparents, who stood on street corners holding the small, blue JNF tzedaka boxes, in order that Jews would be able to live anywhere in the Land of Israel.

Illegal outposts like Sde Boaz are communities full of some of the most wonderful Jews around, modern day pioneers who believe in working the land and in building new Jewish communities throughout the Land of Israel, Jews who do not apologize for believing in the right of the Jewish people to a Jewish state in the Land of Israel — and who are committed to this ideal not merely in word but in physical deed, Jews who are willing to live with less material comfort, but whose lives are full of a richness that money simply can`t buy.

Even for those who live in Israel like I do, it is easy, in the course of day-to-day living, to have one`s physical connection to the Land of Israel become a bit removed. Thankfully, during my visit to Sde Boaz I was able to recharge my batteries.

There is just something special about walking through the hills and valleys of the Land of Israel, eating the fruits of the land right off the trees, and doing so with my Jewish brothers and sisters who also have chosen to make aliyah and build their lives in the Jewish homeland.

The next time you hear of the need for Israel to remove these illegal outposts, consider the following:

* Is it really the presence of communities like Sde Boaz and the Jews who live there that are standing in the way of peace with the Arabs?

* Are the values of self-sacrifice and dedication to one`s fellow Jews and to the Land of Israel, as well as the value of a Jew being able to live anywhere in the Land of Israel as a proud Jew — the very foundations upon which communities like Sde Boaz are built — are these the values that we want to remove from our society?

* What, exactly, is an illegal outpost anyway? Can it really be illegal — a crime — for a Jew to live, build and settle in the Jewish homeland?

* If one believes in the right of the Jewish people to a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, will removing these communities serve to strengthen or weaken our claim to the Land of Israel?

Think about it.

4 posted on 01/11/2006 12:46:40 PM PST by SJackson (Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy. B. Franklin)
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To: SJackson
Today in Jewish History:

The Jews were expelled from Austria (1668).

5 posted on 01/11/2006 12:51:03 PM PST by Nachum
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To: Esther Ruth

Asked how many people were present to protest, HaLevi said, "There have been hundreds throughout the day, and right now I would say that there are about 250. The weather has been totally crazy - first it was sunny, then rainy and windy and foggy, then it cleared up again, began to hail heavily during the destruction of the house - Sde Boaz is the highest point in Gush Etzion - and after nightfall there was bright lightning."

I believe it is wrong to Push these people out.
The agreements made, are what is "Illegal"
Israel must obey the Torah, and obey G_d.
There will never be peace with Islam, as it is written.
They cannot hope to gain from any contracts or
agreements, they will violate them all.


6 posted on 01/11/2006 1:00:46 PM PST by LtKerst (Lt Kerst)
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To: LtKerst
"began to hail heavily during the destruction of the house - Sde Boaz is the highest point in Gush Etzion - and after nightfall there was bright lightning."

The Pre-Pre-Pre-Show -
It'll get more interesting.
7 posted on 01/11/2006 1:06:30 PM PST by Esther Ruth (I have loved thee with an EVERLASTING LOVE, Jeremiah 31:3 Genesis 12:1-3 ***ZECH 12:3)
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To: Esther Ruth

I thought part of Sharon's brilliant strategery in kicking Jews out of Gaza was that he was going to get his way in settlement blocs in Gush Etzion. Bush must have tugged on the leash and Olmert is dutifully obeying.


8 posted on 01/11/2006 5:12:04 PM PST by Honestfreedom
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To: Nachum

One expulsion of many. Think they'll remember the genocide of Jews living in Arab lands a century from now?


9 posted on 01/11/2006 5:29:57 PM PST by SJackson (Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy. B. Franklin)
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To: LtKerst

And if you're going to "push them out" for lack of building permits, then push out the multitudes of Muslim Arabs who've built without building permits.


10 posted on 01/11/2006 5:31:25 PM PST by SJackson (Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy. B. Franklin)
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