Mitzpe Avichai
Mitzpe AvichaiCourtesy E.Y.

Residents of the outpost of Mitzpe Avichai near Kiryat Arba, who were evicted from their homes in the middle of the night last week, are reporting that the Arab workers who came to clear the rubble that was left of their homes stole jewelry and other valuables.

Rabbi Shimon Ben-Zion, a former member of the Kiryat Arba local council, told Arutz Sheva that residents of the outpost told him that when they returned to the ruins of their homes to take some belongings that survived the demolition, they found that the Arabs had stolen valuables.

He stressed that the thieves were not residents of nearby Arab villages, but rather the employees of the company that had been contracted by the Civil Administration to destroy the outpost.

Witnesses told Rabbi Ben-Zion that they spotted bags on the tractors used during the demolition, which they believe contained the stolen valuables. They added that the more expensive belongings were stolen, while the simpler and inexpensive belongings were left behind.

Meanwhile the Civil Administration, which was responsible for carrying out the demolition, rejected the allegations and told Arutz Sheva that the residents’ claims were investigated and nothing was found that would confirm that any thefts took place.

The Civil Administration noted, however, that the demolition was carried out by a contractor, a fact which limited the Administration’s ability to thoroughly investigate the claims.

Rabbi Ben-Zion rejected the Civil Administration’s response and said that one of the residents told him he had seen the Arab looters stealing heavy equipment from the homes but when they saw they had been spotted, left the heavier equipment and took the smaller items.

Rabbi Ben-Zion added that when the residents began chasing the looters and sought the help of policemen who were on the scene, the officers responded by saying, “Who told you it’s yours?”