Police Prepare to Evict Nine Families From Ofra

YERUSHALAYIM -
One of the Ofra houses slated for demolition. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Hundreds of activists were holed up in nine houses in the middle of the Binyamin town of Ofra, which are slated to be demolished Tuesday. Security forces were ringed around the neighborhood as Civil Authority tractors arrived to begin the demolition. Police were preparing to remove the residents and protestors from the houses.

Last-minute appeals to the High Court on Monday by residents that the houses be sealed instead of demolished were rejected, with the court saying that construction of the homes was done in spite of a specific High Court order not to do so. At issue are claims by leftist organizations, led by Yesh Din, that the land in question belongs to Arabs who are currently living in Jordan. The specific owners are not known to authorities.

Police said that there has been unrest at the site, with groups of youths refusing to move when ordered to do so by police, and yelling insults at police. Residents of Ofra, which has several thousand residents, are protesting as well, and residents of the town who are reserve soldiers are wearing their uniforms to the protests.

Police said that they would continue their policy of not responding to provocations during the evictions, as they did when they evicted residents of Amona from their homes last month. During that eviction, as well as the current one, police are not carrying weapons, and are attempting to negotiate with protesters in order to persuade them to leave willingly.