ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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Bulldozer crew begin two-year restoration plan for kibbutz massacred on Oct. 7

Cnaan Lidor is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

Yehuda Arussi stands in front of what used to be his home in Kibbutz Be'eri on February 12, 2024. (Screen capture/Channel 12)
Yehuda Arussi stands in front of what used to be his home in Kibbutz Be'eri on February 12, 2024. (Screen capture/Channel 12)

A bulldozer strips away elements of what used to be the Be’eri home of Yehuda Arussi, as he recalls his murdered neighbor, Chava ben Ami, and how life used to be before October 7.

The scene, aired Monday by Channel 12, is the opening shot in two-year reconstruction plan that begins Monday in Kibbutz Be’eri, one of the epicenters and symbols of the Hamas onslaught.

The plan, which comes with a price tag of at least NIS 300 million ($82 million) involves the total or partial demolition of at least 130 out of the 390 residential buildings in Kibbutz Be’eri, where Hamas terrorists murdered at least 97 civilians.

A series of demolitions are scheduled to take place Tuesday, but bulldozers that arrived in Be’eri last Thursday are already removing debris as part of the reconstruction plan led by the Tekuma Authority for the region’s rehabilitation. Most of Be’eri’s surviving population of about 900 people is living at a hotel in the Dead Sea. They are to move to Kibbutz Hatzerim in the Negev for the duration of the restoration works, which are expected to continue until 2025.

Surveying the debris, Arussi tells the film crew: “It’s still a home.”

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