IDF demolishes outpost synagogue, rebuilt after Palestinian arson attack

The IDF had removed the prayer books and the ark with the Torah scroll before they took down the building.

March 31, 2016 21:22
1 minute read.
THE SYNAGOGUE in the outpost of Givat Sorek

THE SYNAGOGUE in the outpost of Givat Sorek. (photo credit: ELYASHIV LIVYATAN)

The Civil Administration demolished a small synagogue in the Givat Sorek outpost in the West Bank, less than two months after Palestinian arsonists set it on fire.

Residents of the nearby West Bank settlement of Karmei Tzur found the modular structure in ruins when they arrived there to pray on Thursday morning.

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The IDF removed the prayer books and the ark with the Torah scroll before they took down the building.

In February, Palestinian arsonists set the structure on fire and burned some of its prayer books. At the time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack.

“We feel betrayed by the prime minister,” Karmei Tzur spokesman Yehuda Vald said on Thursday. He added that on Friday morning settlers plan to rebuild the structure.

The synagogue was constructed in memory of Naftali Fraenkel, 16, Gil-Ad Shaer, 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, who were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and murdered on June 12, 2014. It is located near where the bodies of the three teens were found.

Gush Etzion Regional Council head Davidi Perl said that the ownership status of the hilltop was unclear and that the Civil Administration had ignored repeated calls to survey the property to determined if it were state land or privately owned by Palestinians.

Until its status is clarified, a building permit can not be obtained for the property, he said.

A spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said that the synagogue had been illegally built after it was demolished several times by authorities.

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