The expulsion of two Jewish families from their homes, built on the site of the former Hebron marketplace, was completed late Tuesday morning, August 7. According to reports, 3,000 Border Guard officers, Yassam special forces and IDF soldiers forcibly evicted the families as well as hundreds of their supporters in an operation that began in the wee hours.
Eyewitnesses reported that the IDF demolished all of the homes built in the neighborhood. Media reports said the IDF first brought in a moving company to remove the families' possessions prior to the destruction, adding that the soldiers loaded the items onto the trucks.
Hebron Jewish community spokesman Noam Arnon told Arutz Sheva that despite the eviction, the struggle for the marketplace, built atop the ruins of the city's old Jewish Quarter, is not over. "We will return to the Shalhevet neighborhood and the families will be back in their homes," he said.
Thirteen activists were arrested during the expulsion, accused of attacking police and throwing stones. In addition, 15 police officers and 25 activists were hurt in the melee, most with light wounds. Three police officers were taken to the hospital for treatment.
Activists flung oil at the Yassam forces during the expulsion, after which they sprayed water at the officers and threw gasoline and flour, damaging the apartments as well. The activists also locked and welded shut the doors to the homes.
The IDF Home Front Command's Search-and-Rescue Unit, usually reserved for natural disasters and building collapses due to missile strikes and other forms of terrorism, was called in by eviction forces to remove the activists from a bunker built in a third apartment in the neighborhood.
The three activists who refused to leave the sealed room, according to Army Radio, were exhausted. Reporters peered in the tiny window built into the bunker to speak with the youths, who remained steadfast in their efforts to resist the expulsion until forces managed to penetrate the walls.
Police broke into the home of the Bar Kochba family in the wee hours of Tuesday morning as thousands of security officers began forcibly removing the over 100 activists barricaded inside.
"They took me and beat me outside the house, but I managed to escape due to the chaos," one activist said.
Protesters had surrounded the neighborhood with barrels, barbed wire and burning tires in an effort to prevent the expulsion forces from entering the area. Each of the protesters was carried out by four policemen, while teenagers climbed to the roofs of buildings in the market and hurled eggs, light bulbs and rocks at the government forces.
The IDF said it would file disciplinary charges against 12 hesder yeshiva students 10 soldiers and 2 unit commanders who said Monday that they would not participate in, aid or otherwise abet the IDF's forcible eviction of the Jewish families.
While Jews loyal to the Torah oppose the Zionist government because it violates the terms of our exile by maintaining sovereignty over the Holy Land, these misguided Jewish settlers oppose the Zionist government because it is not Zionist enough for them.
We bemoan the ignorance of these Jews, some of whom are religious, who think that there is an obligation to hold onto every piece of land. We hope they will study the subject and realize that Jews are currently in exile and must wait for the coming of the messiah sent by G-d. A Jew is permitted to own land in the Holy Land during exile, as well as live on it. But since the existence of the Zionist state, Jewish ownership of land has often become a political issue, in which ownership is tantamount to sovereignty, and in those cases Jews must leave their land and abandon all efforts to claim it. Jews are exhorted by the prophets and the Talmud to coexist peacefully with their non-Jewish neighbors.
We at Jews Against Zionism are embarrassed by the publicity surrounding these expulsions, which makes it appear as if religious Jews were the strongest Zionists. We continue in our efforts to reach out to our misguided brothers and teach them the true Torah way.