Protests in Jerusalem for Ofra

Settler protest to legalize Ofra

Most of the residents of Ofra in the West Bank showed up in Jerusalem on Tuesday to try and convince the government to legalize their settlement; several right wing ministers were in attendance; Deputy Jerursalem Mayor Hagit Moshe: West Bank settlements help defend Jerusalem.

Government ministers, Knesset members and a variety of right-wing leaders joined hundreds of residents of the Jewish settlement of Ofra across from the government complex in Jerusalem Tuesday morning to demand the government formalize the legal status of the community. The educational system in Ofra also went on strike for the same reason.



The High Court of Justice accepted claims that about 11 acres of land at the center of Ofra are still privately owned by Palestinians, and has ordered nine buildings to be demolished. The fate of the buildings is considered a test case for more than 2,500 homes located around the West Bank that are currently considered illegal by Israel.


MKs Yehuda Glick (Likud), Moti Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) were present and spoke in support. Shaked promised the protesters that the Habayit Hayehudi and Likud parties, both members of the government, would move to legalize the settlement.


Minister Ayelet Shaked at the protest to legalize Ofra
Minister Ayelet Shaked at the protest to legalize Ofra


“Ofra, and all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria deserve to be legal,” said Yogev. “We have not inherited some strangers’ land. We have come home. Today, while Ofra has to go on strike to come and protest across from the prime minister's office, we call on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the entire government, and on the attorney general, to do everything you can to formalize the legal status of all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria."


Hagit Moshe, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, who spoke in Mayor Nir Barkat’s name, told demonstrators to “be strong” and added that Jewish settlements in the West Bank play an important role in the defense of the capital.


While the protest had the feeling of holiday atmosphere ahead of Rosh Hashanah, some demonstrators warned that residents of Ofra, Amona and other similar settlements would not make do with demonstrations if the protests failed to yield positive results.


“There are two levels of demonstration, two ways to deal with the situation,” protester Yaakov Shapira told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “One way is the formal, polite way of protesting—that’s what you’re seeing now. Unfortunately, however, these actions have historically not proven to be effective.


“But there is another way, a better way, a more effective way (to protest): To build new Jewish communities, all over Judea and Samaria – at Migron, Amona, and other places. That is the only thing that worked at Sebastia, and it is the only way that will work here, too.”


This article has been republished with permission from TPS


פרסום ראשון: 09.27.16, 17:31
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