Bat Ayin: Rebuilding Begins Hours after Demolitions

October 31, 2011  

Residents of the Bat Ayin Bet neighborhood in Gush Etzion’s Bat Ayin community describe feelings of despair but also of determination after the destruction of their homes before dawn Monday.

“We received a warning at 3:00 a.m.,” recalled Nina Gabbai, a resident whose home was torn down. “A security vehicle that belongs to the community came around and told us that Yassam police forces and bulldozers had come to raze our home.”

The Gabbais were about to enter their home in a week or two, after six months’ construction. “We went down to the site and saw large forces blocking the road. They would not let us pass. Many people began streaming in but they would let no one pass.”

“At 4:30 we saw bulldozers and large Yassam forces,” Gabbai told Arutz Sheva. By this time the demolition had been completed and the forces were on their way out. There were Arab workers among the destroyers, too, she said.

Among the people who lost their homes were a newly married bride and groom who were about to enter their new house.

“The feeling is a bad one. It’s as if we do not live in a land of Jews but in one where Jews are persecuted,” Gabbai said. Meanwhile, in the neighboring Arab village of Bayt Tzurif, “they build at an accelerated pace nonstop and are inching closer to us, but the police and Civil Administration do not go near them.”

“It is a feeling of desperation and destruction,” she added. “Not just the destruction of money and loans we took for the home and not just six months of work in which my husband built the house with his own hands.”

And yet, building anew has begun already.

“Just a few hours have passed and we are in a bad emotional state. We still are not thinking of a reaction and we pray that we can build. We have started to rebuild,” she summed up, and asked anyone who wants to help the renewed construction to come out to the site.

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