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Case Study of New Expulsion Victim: Gov’t Buried $90,000 Home

The government buried a now-homeless Jewish family’s $90,000 home after refusing to allow the family to build while letting Arabs build illegally.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/23/2009, 8:17 AM / Last Update: 11/23/2009, 9:06 AM

Women in Green

Yehudit Ben David, her husband and their six children are determined to return to the same place where the government left them homeless last week after destroying their home, in which they had invested all of their savings of $90,000.

 

The illegal action that brought about the destruction and expulsion was their building a house after Defense Minister Ehud Barak  refused to sign any permits for new homes for residents of the southern Hevron Hills community of Negohot, located southwest of Hevron and overlooking the Lachish area, part of pre-1967 Israel and north of Be’er Sheva.

 

Yehudit Ben David told Arutz 7 that she and her husband moved to Negohot 12 years ago after they married. Less than two years ago, after suffering heavy losses from Arab thieves who frequently stole equipment from the vineyard, the Ben Davids completed their “illegal” house that was built at the farm to help stop the thefts.

 

“We applied for permits as people do everywhere else, but they told us no approvals would be granted for Negohot," she explained. "A demolition order was issued, but we had no choice because both our family and the community have grown.” One other house also was destroyed by government bulldozers, backed by dozens of police and soldiers.

 

The Ben David family invested 350,000 shekels ($90,000), virtually all of their savings. Yehudit’s husband works for the Education Ministry and she takes care of the family and the house.

 

National Union Knesset Member Dr. Michael Ben-Ari appealed to Welfare Minister Yitzchak Herzog to help the new homeless families, but he has not responded to the request.

 

“They destroyed our home on Monday. On Thursday, [Arabs] told the poles for the eruv,” a system Jews use to allow them to carry things within a community on the Sabbath.” On Friday, they put in new poles. We put up a tent, but it is difficult to live there with six children.”

 

The Ben Davids now are living in a crowded mobile home without wheels, known in Israel as a caravan. Yehudit noted that on a neighboring hill, the government has not destroyed illegally built Arab homes, which now number 40 - ten times the number that stood a few years ago.

 

The High Court recently ordered the government to explain apparent discrimination in destroying homes belonging to Jews while ignoring similar demolition orders for Arab homes despite their being slated for destruction for up to 10 years and more.