In the midst of Gaza war, IDF demolishes Jewish farm in Samaria

Activists accuse army of discriminating against Jews and ignoring illegal Arab construction, after eviction of farmers northeast of Jerusalem.

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli security personnel demolished a Jewish-owned farm in Samaria Tuesday, as the war in Gaza and on Israel’s northern border continues.

Early Tuesday morning, large numbers of IDF soldiers and Border Police officers were deployed to the Sde Yonatan farm, outside of the Israeli town of Ma’aleh Michmas, northeast of Jerusalem.

Sealing off the area, the security forces demolished a number of temporary homes and a goat pen.

Activists from the Regavim Movement, a watchdog group which monitors illegal construction in the Arab sector, accused the Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration – the body which governs Area C of Judea and Samaria – of disproportionately targeting Jewish-owned structures for demolition, while largely turning a blind eye to rampant illegal Arab construction.

Regavim also accused IDF soldiers and Border Police officers of “extreme violence” against non-violent protesters, wounding a teenage resident and arresting three others.

According to residents of a neighboring community, the demolition was the direct result of allegations of “settler violence” aggressively promoted by pro-Palestinian groups.

Tamar Sikurel, a spokeswoman for Regavim, blasted the Civil Administration over the demolition, accusing it of “selective enforcement” of building laws.

“Anyone familiar with the area understands just how absurd this morning’s enforcement action was.”

“Anyone who is unfamiliar with the facts – even a cursory glance at the map leaves no room for doubt: Within a 2 km (1 mile) radius of the site of this morning’s demolitions there are no fewer than 317 illegal Arab structures – all in Area C, the area under full Israeli jurisdiction, built in the course of a years-long frenzy of Palestinian Authority annexation of the territory; 38 of these structures were built within the last 12 months.”

“It is inconceivable that while Israel is at war, and every one of us, whether on the front lines or the home front, is contending with unbearable loss, unspeakable pain and indescribable challenges, our defense system diverts forces of this magnitude for enforcement actions against Jewish residents,” Sikurel added.

“The entire region is overrun with hostile Arab encroachment, construction that poses a clear and imminent danger to Israel’s security. Law and order are important, but this morning’s action reeks of selective enforcement and exposes policy conceptions that must be re-examined and revised, before it’s too late.”

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