Police swarmed down on the Ben-David family home in Negohot, in southern Judea, in the wee hours of Monday morning, forced out the parents and six small children, and wrecked their home for the second time in several weeks.
"They cut the electricity and told us to move out,” Yehudit Ben-David told Israel National News. She said that she asked for a flashlight in order to wake up the children and dress them for the cold nighttime temperatures. Instead, the police barged in and began moving the little furniture that was in the wooden home before a bulldozer, belonging to an Arab, leveled the home - as well as two others.
The Ben-Davids, a founding family of Negohot, had built the small wooden home in the same place where police destroyed their former home, which was built with their life-savings. They began moving into their new home several days ago.
Yehudit explained that her family returned to the same site to rebuild, despite fears that police would demolish it, because the land, where they tend a vineyard, belongs to Jews. Two other wooden buildings, one belonging to another family, and a tent also were demolished .
Photo: Demolition of Ben-David's first home Guards had been placed at the site to prevent thefts from Arab neighbors, but Negohot spokesman Nehemiah Krakower said that “as soon as someone was not looking, the Arabs stole everything that was moveable.” He noted the police have not investigated any of the thefts and did not arrive at the community except to expel Jewish residents and tear down the homes.
National Union Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad commented, “Defense Minister [Ehud Barak], who lives in his lofty penthouse, apparently has no moral problem with ordering the police to expel a family with six children from their home in the name of the law.”
He emphasized that an illegal foreign worker recently was discovered working in Barak's home and that he has used government money to stay at expensive hotels in Paris that cost more than $1,000 a night. “Barak has nothing to teach the people of Israel about upholding the law,” according to MK Eldad. "When accounts are settled we will remember his despicable actions at Negohot.”
Nadia Matar, of the Women in Green movement, said the demolition and expulsion "will not break our spirits" and that she is establishing a new fund to help rebuiild the Ben David's home.
Danger on the Road
Negohot residents face the danger of terrorist attacks this week when the government is expected to open the main road connecting the community with the Lachish area, located to the north and between Be’er Sheva and Beit Shemesh. The court ordered the road to be opened to Arabs in a ruling similar to last week’s decision that Palestinian Authority Arabs be allowed to use Highway 443, between Jerusalem and Modiin, despite a series of terrorist attacks.
Last month, Arab threw a Molotov cocktail at an Egged public bus traveling from Negohot, causing burn wounds to a National Service (Sherut Leumi) girl who works with children.
Yehudit Ben-David said that Egged has canceled bus service to the community. “This is their Zionist response,” she said. The government subsidizes bus service to many towns in Judea and Samaria.