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      Defense Minister 'Committed a Price Tag'

      Activists say destruction of the home of local activist was politically-motivated.
      By Ari Soffer
      First Publish: 2/5/2014, 4:41 PM

      Scene of the demolition in Kida
      Scene of the demolition in Kida
      Binyamin Regional Council

      Residents of the Jewish village of Kida in southern Samaria's (Shomron) Binyamin Region voiced their outrage Wednesday following the demolition the home of a leading local activist.

      Civil Administration personnel, accompanied by police and IDF forces, destroyed the home of Sagi Kaisler, Director of the Shomron Residents' Committee.

      Activists say the demolition was politically-motivated, as all the houses in the community - including Kaisler's - had received the relevant permits.

      "Out of tens of houses in the community, the administration chose specifically to demolish Sagi's house," the Committee said in a statement. "There is no explanation for this other than to say that this was an act of revenge against Sagi, who has worked for years on behalf of the communities of Judea and Samaria."

      "The demolition of the home of the Committee's Director is a 'Price Tag' act by the Minister of Defense," the statement continued, referring to the "Price Tagging" phenomenon in which radical youth commit acts of vandalism and criminal damage in acts of revenge for Arab attacks or IDF demolitions.

      The "Joint Headquarters of the Right" - a coalition of activist groups - noted that several weeks ago Kaisler was among a number of activists who distributed leaflets near the home of the Chief Inspector of the Civil Administration, in Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi.

      The activists were arrested by police, but released on the same day by the court, which criticized the police "for not knowing the difference between illegal and legitimate activities like the one they were arrested for", the coalition added.

      "It seems that the Inspector and his friends at the Civil Administration decided to harm Sagi personally," charged Betzalel Smotrich, a member of the Regavim NGO, a watchdog group protecting Jewish national property rights. Smotrich confirmed that in the past few days activists had been collecting funds to rebuild the home in anticipation of the demolition.

      Sagi Kaisler's home prior to demolition, during recent snow storm