Elon Moreh settlers aren't giving in so easily

Settlers build small white shack to protest 10-month moratorium on new Jewish building in West Bank settlement.

By
January 27, 2010 07:38
2 minute read.
Settlers protest the moratorium on new constructio

elon moreh building. (photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)

 
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Under a cloudy sky on the side of a hilltop in Samaria, settlers late Tuesday afternoon built a small white shack in Elon Moreh to protest the 10-month moratorium on new Jewish building in the West Bank settlement.

"We do not think the freeze is temporary," said David Ben Zion, who heads the campaign against the moratorium.

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"We understand that Bibi [Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu] has new friends," said Ben Zion, who is of the belief that the moratorium is just the initial step toward the eventual evacuation of West Bank settlements.

To protest the moratorium, he is among a group of settlers who have sworn to illegally construct buildings in West Bank.

After the moratorium was announced at the end of November, settlers in Elon Moreh built a small club house for children that was dismantled at 3 a.m. on Friday.

On the same spot, on Tuesday afternoon settlers constructed a small room made out of pre-fabricated siding, which is intended to house students who study at yeshiva. Settlers stood on ladders and hammered the siding into place, while children and families braved the cold and watched from the sidelines.

The shack was constructed just one day after Netanyahu planted a tree in the Kfar Etzion settlement of Gush Etzion and announced that after the moratorium homes would be built in Gush Etzion, Ma'aleh Adumim and Ariel.

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But Ben Zion said he was not impressed by Netanyahu's vows. Former prime minister Ariel Sharon also planted trees in the settlements and then evacuated Jews from their homes in Gaza, said Ben-Zion.

The Samaria Citizen's Committee, which organized the event, as well as their counterpart in Binyamin have vowed to build more such structures in other West Bank settlements.

On Tuesday Israeli media reported that a settler had developed a new kind of low cost "tent" which could be put up instantly for new housing, but that had a floor, heat and windows.

It's designer, however, told The Jerusalem Post that the new kind of housing unit meant to assist settlers resist security force demolitions, had yet to be fully tested.

Earlier in the day, security forces destroyed a synagogue in the small outpost Givat Menachem in the Nachliel settlement in the Binyamin region.

In the aftermath of the demolition violence broke out between settlers and Palestinians in the area, in which three settlers and Palestinians were lightly wounded. One settler was taken to Tel HaShomer hospital for treatment, according to security sources.

The Civil Administration also handed out demolition orders at the Hill 18 outpost near Kiryat Arba.

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