Settlers from the Way of the Patriarchs outpost in the Gush Etzion cluster are speaking out against Thursday’s Supreme Court President Miriam Naor's decision to demolish the settlement, built illegally on private Palestinian land. “There is no justification for destroying the neighborhood,” said a resident in regard to the ruling. Immediately following the decision, officials from the right—including Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi)—came out against it and vowed to try and stop the demolition.
“We came here for no other reason than to settle the land,” said resident Gil Bar Lev, whose house is among those scheduled to be demolished. “This is a very diverse religious neighborhood. We’re going to fight this, and hopefully the State will be able to rectify matters, perhaps through the solutions that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked will come up with.”
“We have families and children here,” said another resident, who acknowledged that since the private lands belonging to Palestinians run directly through the illegally built outpost, it will need to be completely torn down. “This is truly a travesty. It’s the sort of thing that can scar you for life.”
Gush Etzion Regional Council Head Davidi Pearl emphasized that the Way of the Patriarchs has already taken root in its current location. “This neighborhood has existed here for more than 15 years, and is considered an outpost whose existence should already have been settled,” he said. “Destroying the Way of the Patriarchs is akin to destroying any other neighborhood in Israel without justification. It is a miserable ruling. For reasons that are unclear, the Supreme Court is bypassing the Knesset and government, despite the fact that the (compromise) proposals that have been suggested have garnered legal support. The Supreme Court is taking a blatant political stance here. I’m not giving up, but unfortunately, the prime minister lacks the spine and the courage to stand up to the Supreme Court and say, ‘We’re going to bypass you in cases like this.’ I call on the government to come to its senses and find a solution to this great struggle that is before us.”