Daily Israel Report

Palestinian Arabs Attempt to Destroy Vigil Site in Gush Etzion

Lean-to being used by grassroots group in demonstration for Jewish presence at the site destroyed; group declares vigils to continue.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 11/17/2013, 8:42 AM

Vigil at Gush Etzion T-junction
Vigil at Gush Etzion T-junction
Women in Green (courtesy)

A lean-to being used for the daily vigil at "Tzomet Ha-Ti" junction between Tekoa and Efrat  has been attacked by Arabs in an attempt to prevent the ongoing demonstration, Women in Green (Nashim B'Yarok) representatives say. 

The vigil demands a permanent Jewish presence in the region in response to a wave of recent terror attacks. Specifically, organizers call for a return of security forces to the area's roads, which have been beleaguered by rock-throwing, molotov cocktails, and other dangerous threats. 

Friday, fifteen minutes before the daily afternoon service held there, some 40 Arabs arrived at the site of the vigil and destroyed the lean-to that had been set up by the residents and by Women in Green members.

The organizers of the vigil - which started after Arabs threw a molotov cocktail at the car of the Khoury family - announced that it is their intention to continue the vigil in the coming days calling for a Jewish presence at the site.

“By destroying the lean-to the Arabs have made their intention clear: no to a Jewish presence!” say the organizers, who declare that “the vigil increased the security of the residents of the communities that drive by and stand at the trempiada" (hitchhiking post).  

"The purpose of the vigil is to enable to Gush Etzion Local Council and the IDF to get organized to increase the Jewish  presence at the junction. Thanks to the vigil, army and police were present at the junction during the hours of the vigil," according to Women in Green founder Nadia Matar. "We hope that after the latest developments they will be there more hours at the junction."

The committee of the Eastern Gush Etzion communities sent a letter to minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon demanding to increase the Jewish presence at the junction. The vigil will continue to take place every day this coming week at the Gush Etzion T-junction between 2:00 and 4:00pm. 

Additional photos from the vigil, which has been in effect since last week, are below. 

Participants in the vigil. Women in Green (courtesy)
Participants in the vigil. Women in Green (courtesy)
Crowds gather in support of Jewish presence in Gush Etzion. Women in Green (courtesy)