A newlywed couple was arrested by police who helped destroy their new home as Defense Minister Ehud Barak rushes to level outposts before the government decides whether to slow down the bulldozers.
Monday morning’s target of the police was Or Tzion, adjacent to Givat Asaf, another outpost that is on Barak’s chopping block.
Police and Civil Lands Authority officials swopped down on the community at dawn and leveled 15 structures, including the new home of the couple who married less than a week ago. The destruction was a carbon copy of a demolition last week at a neighborhood in Bat Ayin, in western Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem.
Residents of Or Tzion sent out urgent text messages to nearby friends, and the police arrested 15 people, including the newlyweds, before they left the area.
Barak, who as Defense Minister is the ultimate authority for all building and demolitions in Judea and Samaria, has ordered the bulldozers to roll in high gear the past month as time may be running out for anti-nationalists.
The High Court has ordered the government to demolish Migron, technically an outpost but in fact a full-grown community, by this March, and the Givat Asaf and Amona communities and the Beit El neighborhood of Givat Ulpana also are slated for destruction.
The Netanyahu government is to hand over to the court next week a report on what its policy will be concerning establishing new outposts. Nationalist legislators also have been trying – so far without results – to pass a law that would stop the bulldozers.
Barak may be racing against the clock. High Court President Dorit Beinisch, whose rulings have been decidedly in favor of Peace Now and other petitions to erase a Jewish presence in many Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, will retire in three months.