Jewish Youths Protest Demolition of Samaria Memorial to Fallen Soldiers
JNS.org – Israeli security forces destroyed a carpentry shop in Elazar’s Netiv Ha’avot neighborhood in Samaria’s Gush Etzion bloc Wednesday morning following an order by Israel’s High Court of Justice in September 2016 to demolish the structure.
Before the demolition, security forces removed dozens of young Jewish activists from the structure, which also served as a memorial for fallen Israeli soldiers that had been previously demolished and reconstructed.
As security forces moved in, several young activists climbed on to the roof of the structure while groups of teenage boys and girls gathered and sang the Israeli national anthem in protest of the demolition.
The owner of the memorial had placed a sign on top of the structure that read, “I’m on [IDF] reserve duty, and they are destroying my house.”
The incident came just over a year after the High Court placed a demolition order on one of the rooms in the structure and some 15 Jewish homes in the Gush Etzion community, which were allegedly partially constructed on private Palestinian land.
In October, the High Court rejected a petition by homeowners in Gush Etzion who offered to demolish the “problematic parts” of their properties. The High Court maintained that all 15 homes must be completely demolished by March 2018.
A petition to raze the Jewish homes was initially filed by far-left NGO Peace Now in 2014.