The Israeli Civil Administration carried out the destruction of several Jewish homes in Samaria on Wednesday despite their policy that during the pandemic this was “inhumane”—but only for Arabs.

Hundreds of IDF Border Police and security personnel entered three small outposts towns near the Samarian town of near Yitzhar in northern Shomron (Samaria) and demolished six buildings including three homes and a synagogue. Four of the buildings were located in the Kipa Sruga and Tekuma outposts located in Area C, and two were in Kumi Ori in Area B, according to a spokesman for the Civil Administration. 

Tractors destroying Jewish homes in Yitzhar (Photo by Flash 90)

One home located in belonged to a shepherd, Neria Zarog, a 21-year old father of three whose home in Kumi Uri was destroyed last January by the Civil Authority. The destruction was carried out despite a petition by Zarog to the High Court stating that if the Civil Administration could not issue a building permit in the area, then they did not have the authority to destroy structures built without a permit. 

Zarog’s wife is reported to be nine-months pregnant and, as a result of today’s police action, is currently homeless. In photos of the police action, it is clear that social distancing measures were not being observed and several of the security personnel were not wearing masks, thereby endangering the residents. A video was posted showing police grabbing an infant away from its mother.

Area C was one of the administrative divisions set out in the Oslo Accords signed in 1993. The Oslo Accords established Area A that would be entirely under the administration of the Palestinian Authority and would remain ethnically cleansed of all Jews. Jews were legally prevented from entering Area A. The PA is responsible for medical and educational services to Palestinians in Area C, however infrastructure construction is done by Israel. Area B is under Palestinian civil jurisdiction and Israeli security control. Jews are prohibited from living in Area B as well.

The PA announced in August that they entirely rejected the Accords, reneging on all their agreements, declaring they will build in areas designated for Jewish construction.

Attorney Itamar Ben Gvir, a lawyer who defends Jews in cases against the government, issued a statement saying that his legal assistant Hananel Dorfman had petitioned the High Court to compel the forces to halt the razing. Dorfman based his petition on a policy established by the Civil Administration last month in which they responded a petition by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel decrying the destruction of Arab structure as “inhumane.” In response, the Civil Administration 

“As a general rule, enforcement actions at the present time will focus on new illegal construction, in particular construction that was carried out to take advantage of the emergency situation,” Civil Administration public inquiry officer Bar Yehudah wrote last month, establishing a new guideline.“As a rule, no final demolition orders issued for populated buildings will be implemented at this time, and efforts will be made to reduce friction with the population.” 

Five Jews were arrested on charges of assaulting officers and violating a closed military zone order, which allows only the seven families who are official residents of the outpost to be there.

Source: Israel in the News