About 3,000 people took part in a prayer ceremony at Givat Assaf, to ask G-d to prevent the community's demolition.

Rabbis participating in the event included Rav Dov Lior, Rav Yaakov Shapira, Rav David Chai HaCohen, Rav Yehoshua Magnes, Rav Elisha Vishlitzky, Rav David Dudkevich and many others.

The head of the grassroots Binyamin Residents' Council warned that the gathering was a message to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "and the government of demolition that he heads" that another expulsion will not pass quietly." 

Givat Assaf was named for Assaf Hershkovitz who was murdered nearby on April 30, 2001, three months after his father, Aryeh, was murdered in another terror attack.

Geula, widow of Aryeh and bereaved mother of Assaf, said: "We pray to the Blessed Holy One to undo the enemies' plans, to undo the plans of the government of Israel, and the court headed by Dorit Benisch, which threatens us with destroying this place and handing it back to the Arabs."

"On a day such as this I feel and see Assaf standing and hugging his father from above," she said in a voice choked with sadness. "…and seeing all these people praying to him and he wants to protect us, and he does not want this place to be demolished, he just wants more and more families to come here and accept the great gift of the Land of Israel that G-d has given us – and one does not return a gift."

Photos by Hillel Meir unless credited otherwise:

credit: Oshrat Cohen
credit: Oshrat Cohen