Israeli Forces Demolish a Synagogue in Hebron

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Demolition of Synagogue in Hebron by Civil Administration 14.4.16

Israeli Forces Demolish a Synagogue in Hebron

Written by Michael Bachner/TPS on April 14, 2016

Hebron (TPS) – Israeli police and Civil Administration forces demolished buildings that they claim were built illegally by Jews in Judea and Samaria for the third straight day on the morning of Thursday, April 14. The buildings demolished in a neighborhood in Hebron included a synagogue and a goat pen.

The forces arrived with a bulldozer at the Jewish neighborhood of Givat Gal in the early morning and demolished the local synagogue after taking out the Torah scrolls and the furniture. However, sources at the scene reported that not all the prayer books were salvaged and they were “desecrated” by the forces.

“This is blasphemy,” local security officer Eyal Gelman told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). Gelman’s brother Eliav was killed during a stabbing attack at the Gush Etzion Junction on February 24. Gelman’s brother-in-law, Benaya Sarel, was killed during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014.

A lookout point located near the demolished synagogue is named after Sarel and has likewise been under threat of demolition.

“The lookout has not been demolished out of consideration for the bereaved families,” added Gelman. “But demolishing a synagogue? That is much worse even from the families’ point of view.”

A nearby fence and foundation of a goat pen were destroyed as well.

Two Jewish minors were arrested during confrontations with the forces and were released when they left the scene. The community held morning prayers next to the ruins of the synagogue after the forces left.

Kiryat Arba Local Council Deputy Chairman Israel Bramson responded by denouncing Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon. “This is a structure that has never been claimed to be built on Arab-owned land,” he said. “Yaalon has once again shown his hostility towards Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and towards synagogues in particular.”

The demolition was the latest in a series of house demolitions over three consecutive days. A home still under construction belonging to a couple was demolished on Tuesday in Havat Gilad in Samaria. The home of another couple was demolished in Beit El on Wednesday. The Civil Administration commented in both cases that the structures were built illegally on privately owned land.

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