Demolishing Jewish homes in Geulat Zion
Demolishing Jewish homes in Geulat Zion Courtesy of the photographer

Five months after their homes were destroyed, two families who live in Geulat Zion in the Binyamin Region have received a final warning letter that they will face a civil suit from the government - when they were not informed of any such process in the first place.

The warning letter, given by Civil Administration officials to the families themselves, demands that the families immediately pay all of the costs of demolishing their homes, as well as the costs of security - a sum which may total hundreds of thousands of shekels.

The letter, which was written six weeks ago, states that the families must request to "deal with the debt" within thirty days, or else the State would open a suit. In practice, however, the document was hung just one week ago on the homes of the two families, who are now prevented from protecting themselves from the deadline.

One of the families, who lived until two years ago in the Kumi Ori neighborhood of Yitzhar and who has suffered through two evictions and demolitions, was even more surprised at the demand to immediately pay the costs of both the demolitions, which took place over four years ago.

This is an unusual process, which has not been used against Judea and Samaria residents for many years, and according to the families, it is now being adopted as a regular tool of the Civil Administration, as part of the operations and new policies which the current government has adopted.

"We are experiencing, now, on our own flesh, a new level of harassment from the government," the residents of Geulat Zion said."This is an aggressive process which the staff set up by Defense Minister [Benny] Gantz (Blue and White) concocted, which aims to fight Jewish settlements."

"The fines and suits which we received now are only the beginning and experimental steps of the new policy which will be activated against the entire settlement enterprise.

"This process is a direct continuation of the government's policy, in which it allows Arabs to build to their hearts' desire and take over land in Judea and Samaria, while the Jewish settlements are fighting an all-out war.

"As part of this outrageous policy, the government already announced a few months ago that there would be dozens of new positions added to the Civil Administration, which would be directed towards fighting the settlements. Now we see the fruits of the hard work of those positions."