Hundreds barricade themselves in synagogue slated for demolition

Worshipers, on orders from the court, evacuated their possessions from Givat Ze'ev building already in August.

November 4, 2015 01:32
1 minute read.
Givat Ze'ev

The West Bank Settlement of Givat Ze'ev. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Hundreds of people barricaded themselves inside a synagogue slated for demolition in the West Bank settlement of Givat Ze’ev on Tuesday night.

Those barricaded said they were doing so because they learned that the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria was planning to demolish the building overnight, Israel Radio reported.

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Last month, the High Court of Justice ordered the demolition of the Ayelet Hashachar synagogue, where members of the West Bank settlement have prayed for over two decades.

The non-governmental group Yesh Din had initially petitioned the court against the synagogue after it was discovered that documents relating to the purchase of its property from Palestinian land owners were forged.

Its legal battle ended in 2014, with a court decision to raze the synagogue, which is located on property owned by Amana, the construction arm of the settlement movement.

For the last year, the Ayelet Hashachar synagogue has unsuccessfully appealed the ruling.

Already in August, on orders from the court, synagogue members evacuated their possessions from the building, including Torah scrolls.

Police requested to delay Tuesday night's demolition, and in response Supreme Court President Miriam Naor requested to clarify why the request was filed by the police and not the prosecution, according to the radio service.

Located just outside of Jerusalem, Givat Ze’ev has a population of almost 15,000 and is the fifth-largest West Bank settlement.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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