(February 6, 2018 / JNS) Residents of the Netiv Ha’avot neighborhood in northern Judea expressed dismay over the continuation of plans to destroy 16 homes that were found to have been built on unauthorized land, just a day the residents met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other high-level Israeli government officials.
“Less than 24 hours after [Netanyahu] and [Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett] promised to do everything or the children of Netiv Ha’avot, they sent IDF forces to begin preparing for the destruction,” announced The Staff for the Struggle of Netiv Ha’avot, a group representing the residents of the outpost, which is an expansion of the Elazar settlement.
More than 60 children from Netiv Ha’avot traveled to the Knesset on Monday to ask Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and other ministers and lawmakers to stop the demolition of their homes.
Six of the homes sit on small portions of disputed land—in some cases, a few feet—claimed by Arab petitioner Ali Mohamed Issa Moussa. But Israel’s Supreme Court refused to accept the residents’ offers to tear down the illegal portions of the homes, instead ruling that the entire structures should be demolished.
“The verdict is pure evil,” residents responded. “The Supreme Court continues to make political [rulings] and to discriminate against the Jewish population, but when it comes to the Arabs, time after time the court rules in their favor. We stand stunned by the helplessness of the politicians and their inability to control our beloved country.”
At the end of 2016, the land rights organization Regavim revealed that Moussa co-owns an illegally built mechanic shop north of Netiv Ha’avot. His business remains operational.