The Samaria Regional Council on Wednesday built a new outpost in memory
of terror victim Evyatar Borovsky, 31, who was stabbed to death the day
before by a Palestinian at the Tapuah Junction.
“His blood should
not be spilled in vain,” council head Gershon Mesika said, as he sat
behind a desk under a large white tent that he had set up on a hilltop
overlooking the junction.
From the top of the 100-dunam site, it
is possible to clearly see both of the two major arteries that cut
through the West Bank: Route 60 and a road that leads to the Jordan
Valley. Until recently, an IDF military base sat on the hilltop.
A partially paved narrow road with deep potholes leads up to the site, which has two sandy clearings.
number of small four-door dusty cars made their way up the road, and
tied to their rooftops were stacks of wooden sawdust planks for the
construction of temporary structures. In the parking lot a group of
teenage boys in T-shirts and jeans organized the planks for building.
A truck also brought up a number of orange porta-potties and placed them at the end of the parking lot.
of Wednesday afternoon, aside from Mesika’s tent office, a flimsy
one-room wooden structure had been built for a meeting room.
said he planned to sit there throughout the seven-day mourning period
for Borovsky. After that, he said, the site would be manned until such
time as families can be brought in.
He has called on Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to
authorize the site as a legal settlement, as the appropriate response to
terrorism in Judea and Samaria.
He added that the property’s
status was that of survey land, and that it did not belong to
Palestinian landowners. As such, he said, it could be reclassified as
His call comes amidst a renewed push by the United
States to rekindle direct negotiations between Israelis and
Palestinians, which have been largely frozen since December 2008. The
Palestinians have insisted that Israel cease West Bank settlement
activity as a precondition to such talks.
Although Israel has
refused to cede to this request, it has in the past promised the international community it will not
build new settlements. However, Netanyahu has looked to authorize
outposts constructed on state land.
But Mesika said a new settlement must follow Borovsky’s death.
Zionist response is to deepen Jewish roots in the land,” Mesika said as
he looked at a small aerial map of the site on his desk.
He explained that he had known Borovsky, a father of five, who worked as an actor and lived in the Yitzhar settlement.
participated in outdoor theater performances that brought biblical
times to life and at events organized by the council, Mesika said.
he cautioned that people had been distracted by the personal tragedy of
Borovsky’s loss, when there were nationalist issues at stake.
It is important to be blunt about what happened on Tuesday morning, he said. “A Jew was killed just because he was a Jew.”
“To my sorrow, we did not hear politicians yelling about this situation,” Mesika continued.
“There needs to be a bitter cry to prevent it from happening again.”
said he blamed Borovsky’s death on the government’s gestures to the
Palestinians, including the removal of roadblocks and checkpoints to
improve movement and access for the Palestinians.
who killed Borovsky, Mesika said, “was able to travel from Tulkarm to
the Tapuah Junction without anyone stopping or checking him.”
Palestinians want to live in peace with Israelis, said Mesika, who
explained that in the Barkan Industrial Park under his council’s
auspices, half of the 6,000 workers are Palestinians.
that it was the Palestinian Authority that helped incite terrorism,
through its educational materials and its homage to terrorists,
including the support payments it makes to families of prisoners in
He dismissed, however, the violent response by
settlers and right-wing extremists to Borovsky’s death. In the hours
that followed it, they set fire to Palestinian fields and threw stones
at Palestinians, including at a bus with Palestinian children, lightly
Mesika said the violence was problematic and
unfortunate, but that it was an immediate emotional reaction to a
situation that made one’s blood boil.
The fact that calm has been restored, he said, is evidence that the council takes such incidents seriously and discourages them.
and Samaria police said Wednesday that of four settlers arrested during
clashes at Tapuah Junction on Tuesday, one was released after posting
NIS 1,500 bond, while the other three had their remands extended by the
Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court until Friday.
The four were arrested
for an incident in which a Palestinian bus carrying school kids was
stoned. They are suspected of endangering the lives of commuters and
disturbing the peace.Ben Hartman contributed to this report.