West Bank settlers heckle Bennett, Shaked over demolitions

Although the High Court of Justice had ordered the demolitions, many settlers believe that the Bayit Yehudi party could have done more to prevent them.

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February 5, 2017 11:16
1 minute read.
Forces evacuate Amona synagogue

Forces evacuate Amona synagogue. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Settlers on Saturday night heckled two senior Bayit Yehudi politicians over the evacuation of the Amona outpost and the pending demolition of nine homes in the nearby Ofra settlement.

“You should be ashamed of yourself,” settlers in Ofra shouted at Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

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They had gone to the settlement to talk with the secretariat about the Settlements Bill, which is expected to be authorized this week in the Knesset by a second and third reading.

The bill retroactively legalizes 4,000 setter homes on private Palestinian property. It is particularly significant for Ofra, which has hundreds of such homes.

But as they walked out of the meeting, people surrounded their vehicle. Although the High Court of Justice had ordered the demolitions, many settlers believe that the Bayit Yehudi party could have done more to prevent them.

“You caved to Bibi [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu],” they shouted at the politicians, according to video posted on Hebrew news sites Ynet and Channel 2.

In an interview with Channel 2 on Saturday night, Shaked said that she and her party had done everything they could, but were not able to halt an absolute ruling of the court.

In particular, they had hoped to make use of the abandoned property law to relocate the homes to another part of the hilltop, but found that it was impossible to do so legally.

Just before Yom Kippur, she and Bennett had visited Amona and told the residents how difficult the situation was, Shaked said.
Israeli police evacuate Amona synagogue

The passage of the Settlements Bill on Monday will prevent such situations in the future, she said.

And even if it does not pass, it is possible to take a series of administrative steps that would protect the homes, she added.

On Sunday afternoon, Ofra residents plan to hold a rally to protest both the evacuation of Amona and the pending demolition of the nine Ofra homes.


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