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      Hershkowitz: Expulsions May Lead to the End of the Coalition

      Jewish Home chairman MK Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz visits the community of Givat Assaf, which is under threat of an expulsion.
      By Elad Benari & Hezki Ezra
      First Publish: 10/5/2011, 5:45 AM

      Jewish Home chairman MK Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz visited the Binyamin hilltop community of Givat Assaf, which is under threat of an expulsion.

      Joining Hershkowitz on the tour was National Union chairman MK Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz. The two met local residents who told them that since the decision to demolish homes in Givat Assaf is political and not legal, they intend to fight the decree.

      Hershkowitz later told Arutz Sheva he hoped the IDF’s bulldozers will not touch Givat Assaf.

      “I see a flourishing Jewish community here,” he said. “I hope this place will continue to grow and flourish. The Jewish Home will do everything to preserve this place and build more communities in the Land of Israel.”

      Givat Assaf was built 10 years ago, in memory of terror victim Assaf Hershkowitz, a young father from nearby Ofra who was murdered in a shooting attack. Today the village is home to 25 families, including more than 120 children.

      The village has faced demolition threats since the beginning. Previous attempts to demolish the fledgling town have been thwarted with the help of thousands of activists who swarmed to the area, making expulsion impractical.

      After Givat Assaf, Hershkowitz also visited Givat Ha’Ulpana in nearby Beit El, which was built according to a decision by Prime Minister Netanyahu during his first term in office in 1996. Hershkowitz heard from residents that the Supreme Court plans to destroy five of the 14 homes in the neighborhood by the next Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day), despite the fact that the land was acquired legally from an Arab.

      Hershkowitz was also shocked to hear from the residents that they had received incentives and reduced mortgages from Ehud Barak when he was prime minister in 1999, something which would not be done if the homes were really built illegally.

      “I cannot believe that the state wants to demolish these homes,” Hershkowitz told Arutz Sheva.

      He later made an appointment with Netanyahu and warned him that such demolitions and evictions could lead to the end of his coalition.



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