Protestors Demand that Givat HaEitam Hill Be Returned To Efrat

by Gil Ronen, INN

As night fell on Givat HaEitam, hundreds of Land of Israel activists had reached the top of the hill despite use of force by IDF soldiers and police to prevent their ascent.

Givat HaEitam is the northern most hill of the Efrat Municipality, a south Jerusalem suburb, and was approved as part of the city’s limits. Israel’s Housing Ministry originally planned to build 2,500 Jewish housing units on the hill. All of that changed when the architects of Israel’s Partition Wall planned the route to truncate Givat HaEitam from the rest of Efrat, leaving it on PA-controlled Bethlehem’s side of the wall.

[See also, Attempted Return to Nisanit in Northern Gaza]

Jews from all over the country answered the call to protest the shrinking of Efrat and came out Wednesday to establish a Jewish presence on Givat HaEitam. The Partition Wall is not yet built there, and protestors hope that as a result of their actions, the route will be changed to incorporate Givat HaEitam back into Efrat as per original plans.

MK Aryeh Eldad was at the protests and attempted to lower tensions and relay a report to Public Security Minister Avi Dichter about what was happening.

The activists came to create a new community at the site. 13 people have been arrested, including Baruch Marzel, the head of the Jewish Front movement, who is being held on suspicion that he incited youths to enter a closed military zone, and Rabbi Moshe Levinger, the father of the renewed Jewish community in Hevron. At least two women were among those arrested.

The event’s organizers said that hundreds of people continue to stream up the hill and that those who reached the top had begun building a stone structure. Security forces chased down the protestors detaining busloads of them. Police struck some activists and twisted arms, despite the event being one of civil disobedience. CONTINUE

July 26, 2007 | Comments Off on Protestors Demand that Givat HaEitam Hill Be Returned To Efrat

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