Samaria community to petition Supreme Court for demolition postponement

“To drive Jews out of their homes because of Arab riots can only be called surrender to terrorism,” said an Evyatar community leader.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Residents of the Samaria outpost of Evyatar said they will appeal to the Supreme Court on Monday, after the IDF Central Command and Civil Administration rejected a request to postpone the demolition of what security forces say are illegally built homes.

Fifty families live in the unrecognized community, located near Kfar Tapuach. Named after terror victim Evyatar Borovsky, the settlement was established in 2013.

The April murder of yeshiva student Yigal Guetta at a junction nearby sparked renewed interest in the settlement, with some 70 families on the waiting list to move to the community.

The site is slated to be demolished in the coming days. The IDF and Civil Administration rejected a master plan for the community submitted by the Samaria Regional Council last week, saying that the settlement is a security risk and must be evacuated.

By building unauthorized structures, the IDF Central Command said in a statement, Evyatar residents “violated the law in a blatant and grave manner, and this is conduct that can in no way be condoned.”

The statement added that “the establishment of this illegal settlement contributed to the undermining of a stable security situation in the region.”

“Any regional instability created by the existence of Evyatar is no different from that created by any other Jewish presence in the Land of Israel, for the past 100 years,” said Evyatar community leader Zvi Sukkot in a statement.

“They didn’t accept our presence then and to this day they do not accept our presence anywhere. To drive Jews out of their homes because of Arab riots can only be called surrender to terrorism. They should be ashamed of themselves.”

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said in a statement that Evyatar had been established legitimately on state-owned land, and that political deadlock was to blame for the lack of state recognition.

“The Council only submitted a request to authorize construction for the town of Evyatar after establishing beyond doubt that it is not situated on privately held land,” Dagan said.

“Only the lack of a clear decision on the part of politicians is preventing its authorization. After going through such a difficult period, the State of Israel should be mobilizing all its forces to take this step, which would be both moral and ethical – it should be strengthening the 50 families who live here and giving Evyatar equal legal status to any other town in the country.”