During the demolition
During the demolitionCourtesy

Several hundred police officers and Civil Administration inspectors, along with heavy equipment, rated to homesteads in the Binyamin Region Tuesday morning and destroyed residences and sheepfolds. Despite the recent wave of suspected arson attacks, including a large-scale forest fire yesterday near the Samaria town of Peduel, firefighting equipment was confiscated as well.

Before the demolition, police officers were stationed at all nearby highway junctions to prevent civilians from reaching the area. At one of the homesteads, all the occupants were detained, and so they could not prevent the homestead’s flock of sheep from fleeing the area after being frightened by the demolition. The homesteaders called residents of a nearby town, who eventually located the flock wandering near Route 60.

Both homesteads are occupied by youth groups who raise sheep and work to develop surrounding agricultural areas. A family is expected to move to one of them in the near future. This is the fourth significant demolition operation that has targeted the homesteads in just a few months.

The demolition was allegedly carried out by Arab workers, some of whom arrived masked.

A statement from residents of the homesteads declared, "The fact that while terror in Judea and Samaria rages, and only yesterday we returned from hours of fighting massive fires freely set by Arabs, hundreds of officers have been sent to demolish the homestead is incomprehensible. Where were you all these weeks when the pastures of all of Judea and Samaria were ablaze? Where are you when Jews are pelted with rocks here every day on the roads? Instead of fighting the arsons, you sent hundreds of police officers here to confiscate even basic firefighting equipment. Instead of protecting its citizens, the State decided this morning to join the enemy who is trying to harm the settlements in every way.’’

"Consistently, Minister Smotrich chooses to stand by when it comes to the destruction of new homesteads, and only yesterday announced that he would not intervene in the matter. Any reasonable person knows today that without the homesteads that block the takeover of open areas and create a Jewish territorial continuity, there will be no future for the region. This morning's destruction is a stain on Smotrich and the right-wing government that casts doubt on their loyalty to the Zionist values for which they were elected."