'A Life's Work' - Destroyed

The Botzer family farm was demolished by the military. They describe the loss they have suffered as far more than financial.

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz , | updated: 20:26

A demolished outpost in Samaria
A demolished outpost in Samaria
Israel news photo: (Women in Green)

The Botzer family, whose farm was demolished Monday morning by the military, described for Arutz Sheva Radio the loss they have suffered, saying it is far more than financial.

The Botzer farm, located adjacent to Mevo Dotan in the Shomron (Samaria) region, was destroyed Monday morning as part of the government crackdown on what have been defined as "unauthorized outposts" in lands liberated by Israel prior to the Six Day War. David and Shaina Botzer told Arutz Sheva that their farm is actually on state land within the municipal territory of Mevo Dotan, although west of the town's current residential area.

"My husband is a Navy commando and while he was planning to go to do his reserve duty, they came and dismantled his life's work. This was an animal pen worth tens of thousands of shekels. There were 50 heads of sheep there as part of an educational agricultural project that involves the area youth," Shaina said. The animal pen itself was subject to a demolition order, she said, but the order was in appeal before the proper authorities. In addition to the animal pen, the security forces also destroyed a stable that was not subject to the existing demolition order, Botzer added.

'Like a stab in the back'
"The Navy commando unit is in my husband's blood," Shaina told Arutz Sheva. "The unit is part of him and now it is hard for him to go to reserve duty. He feels like he was stabbed in the back."

Shaina was further surprised to see that the workers brought in to carry out the physical destruction of their property were Arabs from a neighboring village. "I am stunned. It is a total shock when Arabs come and dismantle a Jewish farm when so many of their homes in the village below [our farm] are illegal," she explained.

When the workers were taking down the pen, they tried to chase away the sheep, but the animals tried with all their might to remain in the enclosure. "Even after the pen was dismantled [the sheep] ran back to the area where it had stood, but they came upon a pile of rubble," Shaina Botzer said. "It is so symbolic that they tried to return home."

The Shomron Liaison Office informed Israel National News on Monday that the Botzer ranch is "an educational farm which is located in a very difficult and strategic area and is an inspiration to the region's development."

"We will continue and support the efforts of the Botzer family and those who help them secure a Jewish presence in the Northern Shomron," the Liaison Office said. "We are now launching an emergency campaign to raise funds to rebuild the building that was destroyed."

"We are essentially protecting state land here," Shaina Botzer said, "and they took everything of ours apart. With G-d's help, we will start over again."