“A few days ago I got a phone call from a tractor driver who told me a woman was standing in front of his tractor with a baby to block him. It’s unbelievable,” said one official of the Binyamin Council who is responsible for paving a main access road to Amichai.
The decision to use the plot of land nearby, intended to serve as a new permanent alternative for the evacuees, eventually gave rise to a protracted row between the Geulat Zion residents, the Binyamin Council and the former Amona residents after the former learned that an access road leading to Amichai would cut through the land on which it is built.
Almost immediately after the Amona evacuation, dissent ensued in Geulat Zion but few paid attention at the time.
In the last week, however, the residents decided to up the ante when they learned that the access road would not longer be constructed adjacent to a Palestinian village as was originally intended.
Using their bodies as an obstacle to the passage of construction workers and apparatus has become a recurring theme in recent days, with tractor drivers finding themselves repeatedly facing families from the settlement blocking their way, forcing them to find an alternative, often circuitous route to their destination or abandoning their day’s work altogether.
Over the course of the last week, the incalcitrance of the Geulat Zion residents has compelled the police to intervene and led the arrest of six protesters so far, among them young girls.
Defense attorneys representing the protesters claim that they were unjustifiably placed under arrest and were physically assaulted.
The Geulat Zion settlers posit that the change constitutes a surrender to Palestinian demands.