Scene of the demolition this morning
Scene of the demolition this morningCourtesy

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant supported the demolitions Tuesday in Gush Etzion and denounced the attacks on the military officials who decided to carry them out. 

“Hundreds of terrorists have been killed on their way to attack citizens of Israel in Judea and Samaria this year. Commander Yehuda Fuchs has been responsible for all of these operations,” he wrote. “A significant portion of those attacking Commander Fuchs live in areas he fights to defend. I appeal to public figures: If you are holding a political campaign and need to criticize someone, make it me instead of IDF officers.” 

In response to the statement, users cited another tweet by Gallant while he was part of the opposition, in which he criticized the Bennett-Lapid administration: “Bennett and Lapid are weak against Iran and strong against the children and families in the settlements.” 

The Torat Lehima organization rescinded to Gallant, saying: “Fuchs is playing you, just as those who refused to serve did, and just as all the officers of the misconception did, to bring you to be the one responsible for the October 7th massacre. You are a failed Defense Minister, and there is no point in criticizing a puppet, when it is clear to everyone what hand controls it. Resign.” 

Journalist Yotam Zimri wrote: “It is a shame that you are wasting time tweeting instead of demolishing another house in Gush Etzion."

Journalist Nati Kalish commented: “Commander Fuchs is not holy. He can be replaced. Don’t sanctify individuals. Sanctify goals. In the meantime, you have obviously failed. Where do you get the strength to demolish houses of reservists?” 

A user going by the name of Netanel Glasner wrote: “You were elected because we thought you were right-wing, and it turns out that you are wholly with the establishment. You have deceived your voters, resign from the Knesset, and go home, there is nothing worse in a democracy than to steal votes.” 

At approximately 4:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, Border Police and Civil Administration soldiers, along with heavy engineering vehicles, raided several homesteads near the town of Pnei Kedem in Gush Etzion. They demolished houses, including that of two reservists and a family that lived there, and confiscated a large amount of equipment and camping trailers. 

After approximately two hours of the roads being blocked, MK Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionism) passed through the area and convinced the forces to allow residents to pass through the road. 

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s office stated: “The demolition this morning was carried out against the directions of the Minister. Following the Minister's directions not to carry out any demolitions, the Commander elected to classify the incident as an urgent security incident and so circumvented the authority of the Minister to receive the approval of the Defense Minister.”