Israel Razes 10 Settlement Houses Built After Last Year’s Freeze
Israel Defense Forces troops on Tuesday destroyed at least 10 structures built by Israeli nationalists in the West Bank following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration of a temporary settlement freeze last year.
As security forces and Civil Administration officials arrived in the various outposts – which included East Ba’al Hatzor, Maoz Esther and Ramat Migron – settlers youths barricaded themselves in the structures to protest their demolition.
Some of the teenagers also hurled burning tires at the security forces, leading to two arrests.
A structure was also destroyed in the settlement of Kochav Ya’akov, a community with some 6,000 residents.
Meanwhile, Jerusalem municipal officials arrived at the contentious Beit Yonatan building built by nationalist Jews in East Jerusalem on Tuesday morning to gauge the complex to be sealed ahead of the tenants’ evacuation.
The Beit Yonatan building, named after convicted spy Jonathan Pollard and located in the heart of an Arab neighborhood, is scheduled to be sealed and evacuated as it was constructed without a legal permit.
A resident of the building accused the city’s legal adviser, Yossi Havilio, of exploiting Mayor Nir Barkat’s trip abroad to go ahead with the surveying.
Havilio has been leading the municipal crackdown on the right-wing tenants who occupy the building, butting heads of late with Barkat, who has been delaying implantation of the evacuation order.
Barkat in February bowed to pressure from legal officials and vowed to uphold the court order to evacuate and seal the building, but the move has not yet been made.