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Wednesday, April 16, 2008 

Oppose that deal

The residents of Yatir have good reason to be concerned:
(IsraelNN.com) With the leaking of a second eviction deal in as many days, residents of the hilltop community of Yatir Darom (South Yatir) claim blackmail and broken promises. Municipal officials say it is a mountain out of a molehill.

Two families and three bachelors living in an outlying neighborhood of Beit Yatir are being pressured by municipal officials to willingly abandon their homes in return for promised benefits to the larger community. The government is seeking to destroy at least 26 young Jewish towns termed "unauthorized outposts" by the US-backed Road Map. Removing two structures from the Beit Yatir neighborhood, listed as an outpost by Peace Now, will ostensibly satisfy a diplomatic demand.

The residents of Yatir Darom oppose the plan. They say they were not consulted on it, and that it violates their working relationship with their mother community. “One day," one o fthem said, "a week before Purim, a few of the single men living here noticed Yatir’s mayor walking around with a contractor, talking about where the electricity would be cut and which structures would be dismantled.” The mayor later informed them that the Civil Administration was forcing the community to remove two trailer homes from the area.

“What about the farm we have built for six years?” asked Itai Cohen, a resident who along with another family planted 150 trees, raised bees and built up the area, including a mikvah (ritual bath) using Avodah Ivrit (Jewish labor). He was told that their eviction would result in the authorization of Beit Yatir’s large chicken coops, located nearby.

Beit Yatir residents say the government is effectively blackmailing the community with the promise of unfreezing a construction freeze and authorizing the construction of a dairy for farmers evicted from Gush Katif. One person complained that municipality officials are conducting a scare campaign against the farm, saying that if it isn’t taken down, it will endanger the rest of Beit Yatir.

“They say if we don’t get rid of the farm, the Civil Administration will come and persecute us for every unauthorized closed-in porch and things like that,” a resident, who preferred not to be named, said. He also said the authorization of nearby Sansana, a Green Line Israeli suburb of Meitar that reaches over the pre-1967 border, has been made contingent on the eviction as well.
They're right to be concerned. Whatever logic the municipality is using here is spectacularly flawed, and the residents of those houses should not have to go along with any of it. Their mayor, IMO, is a traitor too.

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