Settlers have called on Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz to make good on the government’s pledge to authorize a yeshiva and then a settlement on the Evyatar hilltop in the Samaria region of the West Bank.
“We don’t have to wait for another act of terror, in order to return to Evyatar,” said Daniella Weiss, who co-chairs the Nahala Movement.
“We don’t have to wait for another act of terror, in order to return to Evyatar,”Daniella Weiss
At least a dozen families approached the Evyatar hilltop on Sunday intending to spend the first day of Sukkot at the site, but the army barred them from doing so.
They then attempted to celebrate the holiday at the bottom of the Evyatar hilltop, but the IDF prevented that as well.
So they relocated to the nearby Tapuah junction where they built sukkot. They marched back to Evyatar on Monday and held an afternoon prayer at the bottom of the hilltop.
Some 50 families left the Evyatar hilltop in July 2021 after reaching an agreement with the government, then led by former prime minister Naftali Bennett, for the eventual authorization of a yeshiva and a settlement at the site.
But to date, no action has been taken on the matter. The Nahala Movement, which spearheaded the Evyatar drive has asked the government to make good on its pledge by authorizing a yeshiva.
It has also created a forum to advance the creation of 22 West Bank settlements, including Evyatar. The forum wants to see these points included in the next government's platform.
The forum asked to hold meetings with both Religious Zionist Party head Bezalel Smotrich and Likud party head Benjamin Netanyahu, but to date, only Smotrich has responded.
Attempts to build a new community
Right-wing activists and settlers had first attempted to build a new community on that hilltop in 2013 in the aftermath of the terror attack at the Tapuah junction that claimed the life of Evyatar Borovsky at 32.
They renewed that drive after a terror attack in May 2021, in which Yehuda Guetta, 19, was killed.
The Evyatar hilltop is located off Route 505, which links the Samaria region with the Jordan Valley. It is situated some 26 kilometers over the pre-1967 lines.