For the second time in two months and just a day after Prime Minister Netanyahu heard U.S. President Barack Obama say “no more settlements,” police forces have destroyed the start-up community of Maoz Esther.
The outpost is located on a hilltop just outside Kochav HaShachar in eastern Binyamin, north of Jerusalem. Authorities say the outpost, encompassed by barren hills to the east and west, and illegal Bedouin squatter encampments encroaching to the north, is “illegal.”
The several dozen police and Border Guard officers took less than an hour to destroy the five houses and synagogue, reported Israel National News’ Yehuda Lev Kay from the site. Their job was somewhat harder this time than two months ago, when they had to destroy only two houses and a synagogue. Then, the residents began rebuilding within hours after the destruction, and plan to do the same again today.
The houses were made of wood, concrete and aluminum. The twice-destroyed synagogue was dedicated in memory of Yonadav Chaim Hirschfeld, 19, of Kochav HaShachar, who was murdered in the Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav massacre some 15 months ago.
The forces were more considerate of private belongings than they were in the past, removing them from the houses before destroying the structures. One car was taken from the site on a truck.
Shame, No Violence
“There is no violence, nor does it look like there will be any,” Kay reported. “Some people stood on top of the synagogue, but they have been taken down. One woman went up to a policeman with a beard and a hat, and said, ‘I assume you have a kippah under that hat.’ When he answered in the affirmative, she said, ‘Aren’t you ashamed of what you’re doing?’, and he responded, ‘You don’t know how much,’ and walked away.”
Emunah, one of the young women whose home was destroyed for the second time in two months, said afterwards, “We don’t have the luxury of mourning our loss for more than an hour or two. Just like last time, we hope very much to be able to rebuild, with G-d’s help. But, just like last time, we also need contributions.”
Contributions can be sent to “Maoz Esther, Kochav HaShachar, Eastern Binyamin, Israel, 90641”.