Land of Israel Lobby in Judea and Samaria
Land of Israel Lobby in Judea and SamariaPhoto: Hezki Ezra

Members of the Land of Israel Caucus in the Knesset led by MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) and MK Betzalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) accompanied by some 100 activists from the center of the country took part in a tour Monday with the Har Hevron (Hevron Hills) Regional Council.

During the tour, the members if the caucus heard from Council Head Yochai Dimri a survey of developments in the area as well as security and political concerns being addressed. They also visited the National Heritage site at Susya where they saw the ancient synagogue and heard about t historical artefacts discovered in the area which reveal the Jewish communal life that existed in the area 1500 years ago.

The group also visited the Nawaja area for a survey of illegal Palestinian building taking place in the area which is currently being adjudicated by the High Court.

During the course of the council head's survey, left-wing activists as well as local Arabs holding Palestinian flags verbally attacked and even assaulted members of the party. They called out anti-Israel statements and carried placards against the Regavim land ownership investigation movement which accompanied the tour and described the daily disputes taking place in the area.

The MKs are continuing their tour at present at the Machpela Cave of the Patriarchs to give encouragement to security forces after the attempted attack there this afternoon. The tour will conclude with an emergency visit to the Netiv Avot neighborhood in Gush Etzion which the High Court announced last week is slated to be evacuated and demolished.

MK Yoav Kisch said this afternoon "We are witness to the unusual sight of illegal expropriation by Palestinians of lands to the south of Hevron - in an area which is an archaeological gem of Jewish communal life from more than 1500 years ago. I am organizing all the forces and efforts possible to prevent this trend from continuing - and it will be stopped."

MK Smotrich added that "The illegal village of the Nawaja family is a stain on the state of Israel. It is a village made up of Jatta expatriates which was established over two decades ago on state land. The court had ordered time after time that the illegal houses be demolished and despite this, there is no movement here. The American State Department has in an inappropriate and crude manner demanded that Israel leave the illegal village in its place, and we have come here today to protest the intervention in Israel's internal affairs and to demand the immediate evacuation of this illegal village."

Local council head Dimri said that "A direct line connects between the violence at the Machpela Cave and that in ancient Susya. This violence is aimed at the courts as every week they continue to build despite the restraining order issued by the High Court and this is the same kind of violence being directed at security forces and civilians - either by shouting and flouting the law or by using knives and firearms. I call on the law enforcement forces to take a tough stance against this serious phenomenon and to remove the trespassers from this site immediately. The state of Israel must be a sovereign and rule, not just Jews but also Arabs and this civil rule will lead to a state of security."

Regavim head Yehuda Eliyahu added that "The pictures from the demonstration against the members of Knesset show tens of anarchists and left-wing activists from around the world who have joined up with Arab Palestinians. Together they tried to recycle the canard of a village that never existed [being an ancient site]. We call on the Prime Minister not to give in to indecent pressure and to work for the interests of the state of Israel in maintaining the rule of law."