Israel Removes Three Jewish Homes in West Bank; Upholds Rule of Law

Jerusalem, Sept. 5 – Israel demolished three homes of Jewish settlers on Monday to comply with a recent Israeli court ruling. The houses in Migron, a Jewish settlement in the West Bank just north of Jerusalem, were considered illegal structures and Israeli forces took them down to uphold the rule of law and protect human rights. The High Court of Justice judgment  was handed down after Israeli human-rights groups filed a petition on behalf of Palestinian landowners.

In what seems to be a retaliatory response to the removal of the homes in Migron, a mosque in Kusra, south of Nablus in the West Bank, was then set afire later in the morning.

It is not the first time Israel’s removal of illegal structures elicited violence. In May, Israel dismantled four Jewish northern West Bank outposts, causing residents to clash with local police officers.

In February 2010, the government began implementing a High Court of Justice ruling to move the anti-terrorism security fence to allow Palestinians access to more than 2.2 million square feet (700,000 square meters) of their farmland around the West Bank town of Bil’in.

Israel’s commitment to the law comes despite an increase in terrorism in August. In mid-August, terrorists from Gaza infiltrated Israel from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and killed eight Israelis.

During the intense rocket fire that ensued – some 200 rockets were fired within the span of a two week period – another three Israeli civilians were killed, bringing the total number of recent terror victims to 11.

The third victim from the recent barrage of rockets fired on Israel from Gaza died Sunday (Sept. 4). The 79-year-old man, Eliyahu Naim of Ashkelon, was in a Jerusalem hospital for two weeks after hitting his head when running to a bomb-shelter. He fell, lost consciousness and never woke up.

Varda Nachmias, a 62-year-old woman, who also fell while running to a bomb-shelter, was the second victim. She hit her head, injuring her neck and ultimately died.

Yossi Shushan, a 38-year-old man from Beer Sheba, was the first fatality. He was struck by a rocket when he was running from his car to a bomb-shelter. He was survived by his two daughters and his wife who is nine-months pregnant.

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