IDF to return to strategic hilltop

Base on Gush Etzion's Shdema abandoned before construction of Tekoa road.

By BY TOVAH LAZAROFF
February 1, 2010 06:09
1 minute read.
IDF to return to strategic hilltop

Settlement protest AMAZING 298. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The IDF has agreed to erect a watchtower on a strategic Gush Etzion hilltop called Shdema, thereby handing a partial victory to settlers who have campaigned for two years to ensure that it remains under Israeli control.

Nadia Matar of Women in Green, who has organized weekly Friday protest events at the site for the last two years, said that an IDF commander told of them of the move late last week.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


On Sunday security sources told The Jerusalem Post that a watchtower would be placed there to increase area security.

At one time the army had a base on the hilltop, but it was abandoned in 2006, before the construction of the road that links Har Homa with the Tekoa and Nokdim settlements.

Under the Kadima government the IDF spoke of the possibility that a portion of the small hilltop would be ceded to the Palestinian Authority so that it could construct a hospital. The area is immediately adjacent to the Palestinian city of Beit Sahour, which claims that the hill falls within its municipal jurisdiction.


Settlers have argued that the hill has strategic value and a Jewish and or IDF presence there would prevent Palestinian terrorists from using it to shoot at passing motorists. They would also like to see the site approved for Jewish settlement.

“We feel that it is a step forward in the right direction,” said Matar, who added that she wanted to thank the thousands of people who had worked on behalf of Shdema as well as the Knesset caucus.



Separately on Sunday, settlers rebuilt a synagogue that security forces destroyed last week at the unauthorized outpost of Givat Menachem next to the Nahliel settlement.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN