Soldiers from the IDF’s Civil Administration destroyed two buildings in a West Bank settlement on Tuesday morning after they were deemed to have been built illegally.
Border policemen removed several demonstrators who held a nonviolent protest inside one of the homes, which were located in the Tekoa D, an outpost connected to the settlement of Tekoa, southeast of Jerusalem.
On Monday evening the Gush Etzion Regional Council, which administers the Tekoa settlement, was warned that the recently erected buildings would be torn down.
Residents worked through the night to clear out one of the buildings before the bulldozers arrived, and the Civil Administration cleared the other in the morning.
“These are two buildings that were slated for removal because they were built illegally,” a Civil Administration source said.
The council rejected the claim that the land was not available for development, and asserted that it had aerial photographs showing that the plot was not in use by anyone.
Council representatives criticized Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon for approving the demolitions and said that part of the coalition agreements recently signed by the new government included clauses for the establishment of a special team to monitor and review disputes over illegal settlement construction.
“Carrying out the demolitions at this time undermines the power of the monitoring team before it is even set up,” said Gush Etzion Regional Council head Davidi Pearl. “The defense minister’s decision to destroy the buildings and to not let the new team review things undermines the team’s work.”
Tekoa D is over a kilometer southeast of the main Tekoa settlement.