Youths atop condemned synagogue.
Youths atop condemned synagogue. Hezki Ezra

Hundreds of people have gathered in and around the Ayelet Hashahar synagogue in Givat Ze'ev, north of Jerusalem, which is due to be demolished, in accordance with a High Court order.

Dozens of youths holed up overnight on the synagogue's roof and a gas cylinder has also been hoisted there, in what appears to be intended as a threat. The youths are preparing for a standoff with security forces.

"People are willing to commit suicide and give their lives for the synagogue," said Aryeh Binyamin, a local resident who was among the synagogue's founders. "How can Jews seek to destroy a synagogue? The High Court judges must not be Jews. What Jew would tear down a synagogue?"

David Harush, the synagogue's manager, told Arutz Sheva: "We decided to take off all the gloves vis-à-vis the state of Israel and we are holing up in the synagogue and we will not let any element in the country destroy the synagogue, it is sacrilege."

"There will be a struggle here and there are gas cylinders, and everything is permissible," Harush warned. "The High Court treats us coldly, but they are liberal when it comes to terrorists. Such a disgrace! Just shut down the country and hand it back over to the PLO."

The High Court was to hold a discussion in the case Wednesday morning, after Acting Police Commissioner Bentzi Sau requested that the demolition be postponed since his forces are needed in the current fight against raging Arab terror.

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) came to the synagogue Tuesday night. "If God forbid the synagogue is torn down in the coming days, that will be a very serious thing – a red line that has been crossed," he warned. "The court is displaying a harshness that indicates that something in its Jewish heart has gone awry, and I hope that at the last minute, common sense will triumph.

"I see a multitude of pained people here, who will not let the destruction go by quietly, and that is a natural thing," he added. "There is no way that demolition of the synagogue will pass quietly."

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