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Givat Assaf Residents Set Up Tent City in Haifa

Residents of Givat Assaf, whose community faces destruction, have set up a tent city to pressure the Jewish Home faction
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 11/4/2011, 3:23 PM

Bulldozer Protest Against Demolition
Bulldozer Protest Against Demolition
AFSI

Residents of Givat Assaf whose homes are under threat by standing demolition orders set up a protest tent city in Haifa.

The bivouac, near the home of Minister of Science, Rabbi Daniel Hershkovitz, is intended to pressure his Jewish Home faction into exert pressure on the government to stand-down from plans to destroy their community.

"Do not make the mistake of the NRP in Gush Katif," the protesters said. "It will not retire after the destruction of houses, the destruction has to stop now."

Givat Assaf resident Yael Baxter said Haifa residents had showered them with warmth and love. "They brought us food for the weekend, sweets for children, and logistical equipment."

The protest comes as Jewish Home faction head Uri Orbach was presented with a demand from the Yesha Council that his party leaves the coalition if the cabinet decides to proceed with the latest slew of demolition orders.

Israel's High Court president Dorit Benisch recently issued a controversial bombshell ruling that all privately owned land in Judea and Samaria is presumptively Arab land irrespective of whether evidence can be provided to support land-dispute claims.

The High Court also refused to examine evidence in cases where private Jewish ownership can be proven.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is also under pressure from 20 of the 27 lawmakers in his own coalition who have demanded he find a solution other than destruction for these communities.

The Prime Minister's Office has continued in its mantra of "no comment," but Likud lawmakers say Netanyahu is considering the formation of a committee to examine ownership claims amid the High Court abdicating its own responsibility to do so.

Several lawmakers from opposition and coalition parties have proposed legislation that would forbid the destruction of homes in the absence of a court ruling based on relevant evidence.