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Security forces evacuate Jews who returned to Evyatar after terror attack

“The correct response to terrorism is construction and settlement; that is what will deter the vile terrorists and this is how we should respond,” said MK Tzvi Sukkot.

Jews protest for the return to Evyatar, near Nablus, or Shechem, Feb. 18, 2022. Photo by Sraya Diamant/Flash90.
Jews protest for the return to Evyatar, near Nablus, or Shechem, Feb. 18, 2022. Photo by Sraya Diamant/Flash90.

Israeli security forces evacuated Evyatar on Monday, after a group of some 450 Jews entered the Samaria outpost on Sunday following a deadly terror attack in the village of Hawara.

Upon their entry to Evyatar, the group said in a statement that “the families of Evyatar and dozens of yeshiva students decided to return tonight to the settlement of Evyatar following the attack in the village of Huwara in which Hillel and Yagel Yaniv were murdered, and after about a year and a half in which the government did not fulfill the agreement it signed with the [former] residents,” according to Channel 12.

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir had asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the group to be allowed to remain, and for Evyatar to be made an established community. Netanyahu did not accede to the request, according to the report.

Knesset Member Tzvi Sukkot of the Religious Zionism Party, one of the founders of Evyatar, spent the night at the abandoned outpost, and visited his old home, which he found had been destroyed.

“The correct response to terrorism is construction and settlement; that is what will deter the vile terrorists and this is how we should respond—including a full return to the settlement of Evyatar today,” he said.

Evyatar was established in 2013 just days after a shooting attack nearby killed yeshiva student Evyatar Borovsky. After being repeatedly evacuated, it was more formally reestablished in May 2021 in response to the killing of Yehuda Guetta, 19, who was shot at a bus stop by a Palestinian terrorist not far from the community.

What began as a tent encampment quickly gave way to more permanent structures. But in July 2021, 53 families vacated Evyatar under an agreement struck with the government that allowed for the village to remain intact and under permanent supervision of the Israel Defense Forces. In return, the government vowed to carry out a survey of the land in order to determine its status.

If the land is determined to belong to the state, the government agreed to immediately establish a yeshiva in Evyatar and subsequently allow a permanent civilian presence.

The Evyatar families have repeatedly accused the government of dragging its feet with respect to conducting the land survey.

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