PACKERS CORNER: Gaza Situation is Intolerable

With all the fake news in America right now about the family separating thing, its a good time to take a break and read about current events in Israel!
Two nights ago, 45 projectiles were shot from Hamas-controlled Gaza at Israel. The Iron Dome rocked the house and no one was injured. However, clearly an intolerable situation. Alot of warnings coming from Israeli leaders about the threat of escalation and possible Israeli attempt to end the Hamas rule in Gaza once and for all. Keep in mind, the burning kites keep coming as well and setting fires causing widespread damage. Situation not at all sustainable. All logic/good judgement would lead Hamas to quickly deescalate the situation – probably won’t happen. On the Israeli side of things, every time the Government considers/threatens to disrupt the Yeshiva students and their studies with threats of drafting them to the army, there is a war. So let’s hope they back off…and soon.
This week also saw the demolition of Jewish houses and property in Kfar Tapuach Maarav (West Tapuach). Situation contains many “legal” similarities to the recent very unfortunate destruction in Netiv Ha-Avot in the Gush Etzion region, south of Jerusalem – Supreme Court ruling, no actual arab owners of the land, houses destroyed and the (VERY IMPORTANTLY!!) area now being developed LEGALLY into a large and thriving Jewish community and a serious strengthening of the Jewish Presence in the area. Surveys conducted as a result of the lawsuit from left-wing agitators have determined enough state land for the potential construction of thousands of residential units.
Unlike Netiv Ha-Avot, West Tapuach is fantastically strategic for both the State of Israel and particularly for the “settlement enterprise”. It physically connects the city of Ariel (with its University) to the community of Kfar Tapuach and the crucial Tapuach traffic junction. Without control of the junction, the fledgling Jewish communities to the north (Itamar, Elon Moreh, Har Bracha) and east (Migdalim) would be cut off from the rest of the country and most likely be unsustainable.
In short, as in Netiv Ha-Avot, despite very sad and unnecessary scenes, the future in West Tapuach is quite bright.
Finally, some decisions were handed down by an Israeli court this week about the use of torture to extract confessions. The case involved the firebombing killing of an arab family in the village of Duma almost 3 years ago. Two Jewish suspects are accused of participating – one adult actively and a minor supposedly involved in the planning. They have been held in jail for years and repeatedly tortured. Both have subsequently confessed to involvement. In Israel, the rule is that confessions obtained through torture are not admissible in court. However, when religious Jews are accused and arabs are the victims, that rule doesn’t apply, apparently. So the court ruled that the minor’s confessions will be tossed, but the adults will be used against him. There can’t be a soul in the world who thinks this is actually a form of justice, but everyone has their own political agenda, so no real surprises here. The trial is upcoming. As of now, there doesn’t appear to be any other evidence linking the suspects to the crime. Bizarre? If you think so, you are clearly not paying attention. There’s much more reason to doubt the case against the defendants, but suffice it to say – its quite weak.
Before the houses in Netiv Ha-Avot were destroyed and the same for Amona and now West Tapuach, the “right-wing” government claimed that they were obligated to adhere to the rulings of the Supreme Court and there was no way around it. This week, Prime Minister Netanyahu indefinitely pushed off the the destruction of 2 illegal arab encampments that HAVE BEEN ORDERED BY THE SUPREME COURT!!! So…..yeah.
The reason given for the delay is the scheduled arrival of Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt later this week to push their peace plan. This is most likely why no building in Jerusalem has been announced either. Let’s wait and see what happens after they leave.

The Next Destruction: Homes in the Community of Tal Binyamin will be destroyed in 4 months

In the next four months, 15 buildings are slated for destruction in Tal Binyamin (Tapuach West), in Samaria. So far, the residents don’t know where they will be going or if they will be able to build new homes in the areas allotted to them in a High Court decision.

Twenty years ago, young families moved up to the “Tal Binyamin” hill (named after Talya and Binyamin Kahane HY”D, who were murdered in a shooting attack in 2001), just west of Kfar Tapuach, with the assistance of the Settlement Division, in accordance with decisions made by the State. One of those families were Rivka and Moshe Herzlich. Moshe is the brother of Talya Kahane HY”D, after whom the outpost is named.

There are currently 10 families there, and many children. Three years ago, Palestinians from a nearby village petitioned the courts to claim ownership of the land.The State’s decision was that some of the homes deviated just tens of meters outside of State land. As a result, the family homes in Tal Binyamin were declared to be outside of State lands. In the meantime, the Court ruled that the 15 buildings on the hill, including 9 homes and 6 buildings used for agricultural purposes, sheds, etc. must be evacuated, destroyed and rebuilt – moved to within State lands. Some of the mobile structures will be rebuilt only 50-100 meters away (from where they are now). The evacuation is to be completed within 4 months (until 22 June).

In the State’s response, it was said that the State is moving to legalize the area by officiallydeclaring it  State land. The State is moving to prepare an area of about 1000 dunam near the settlement, to be allocated to the local council to build a neighborhood. At the end of the process, the long-awaited legalization is to take place, and hundreds more residential units will be able to be built on the site.

The problem is that the road that links the neighborhood and the settlement, passes through land under survey. The State has until 22 April to present an affidavit to the Court that the survey procedures have ended and that the land can be declared.

The home of the Herzlichs, who have 8 children, is slated for destruction because it cannot be replicated. The family has to prepare and build an alternative home only 50 meters away from its present location. In practice, however, the proposal has yet to be realized due to bureaucratic problems. This is despite the fact that the Ministry of Defense is making every effort to complete procedures as soon as possible.

The Director of the Samarian Regional Council this week informed Herzlich that according to a new decision, there are changes that have been made to the agricultural areas, so that not all the structures involved in agriculture can be moved to the new area.

The Herzlich family is presently conducting a mass fundraising campaign via the crowdfunding platform JGive    ,to replicate their home in its new location. According to them, within a week they will start construction of their new home, which will be done simply and quickly in order to meet the deadline.