IDF extends Yitzhar yeshiva seizure by additional two months

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon takes step on West Bank settlement yeshiva after initially commandeering building in April.

September 15, 2014 20:36
1 minute read.
Od Yosef Chai yeshiva

Police in the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in April when the building was first commandeered. (photo credit: COURTESY HAKOL HAYEHUDI)

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Monday extended the seizure of Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar for an additional 10 weeks.

The IDF had initially commandeered the building in April to house a Border Police battalion.

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It took such an unprecedented step in response to slate of “price-tag” attacks of retribution against soldiers and Palestinians in the area, including by residents of the Yitzhar settlement.

Security forces, however, had long been concerned about the yeshiva’s religious ideology, fearing its teachings supported “price-tag” attacks.

The yeshiva, in a tongue-and-cheek response, said, “Now that Bogie [Ya’alon] has defeated Hamas, he is free to deal with the real danger facing the state of Israel, the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva.”

The seizure order was last extended in June, hours before three Jewish teens were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in Gush Etzion, a yeshiva spokesman said.

That night the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the police entered the temporary buildings where the yeshiva is now being housed in the Yitzhar settlement and arrested two men, the spokesman said, adding that instead of pursuing the Hamas terrorists, they were more concerned with Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva.

Ya’alon was talking about Jewish terrorism precisely at the moment when the nation received a painful reminder about what real terrorism is, the yeshiva spokesman said.

In spite of the attacks against it, the yeshiva continues to engage in the study of Torah, the spokesman said.

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