Eretz Yisrael Time

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Thursday, July 30, 2009
On the Muqata I spoke about the Tamar, Mudia and Shaked Bibi House slated for destruction near Elazar.

I decided to drive over there on Tisha B'Av and see for myself what the fuss was about.

Quite interesting, Elazar is a much larger village than I realized. Most of the time I go there it is to visit the zoo, or see some friends near the entrance.

Anyway, I drove up the hill, and to the end of the town, before I realized I needed to turn left onto the dirt road, right before the end.

I drove perhaps 100 meters on a dirt path which was contiguously and uninterruptedly connected to Elazar (not even a fence there, just a traffic circle). I following the edge of the mountain until I reached the end of the path.

To my left the ground varied between planted fields enclosed with demarcation fences, and open uncultivated land, (and another house being built on the uncultivated, ownerless area).

To my right was a steep slope leading to a sheer dropoff (cliff).

The steep slope of the ground to my right was covered with weeds and extremely rocky terrain. Nothing that could be farmed without heavy equipment and a security fence (to keep you from falling off the mountain edge).

Dug into the steep slope of this steep mountain edge was a another path to a parking spot.

And around 5 meters below, at the edge of the cliff (on what would have otherwise been a physically inaccessible area) was a house!

They flattened the land, and built a fence at the edge of their property to prevent people from falling off the edge.

The view of the valley and the mountain across was stunning.

In this first picture, what you see behind the house is the actual cliff and the mountains across the way.

The context of this second picture isn't clear until you visit the site.
The cliff edge is to the left. This area was flattened and the top of the house is at least 2 meters below the road to the right.
You can't see it in the picture, but the mountain continues steeply up on the right.

You can get a hint of it, from the undug area behind the house and the steps leading up to the right.

I didn't actually get a chance to talk to the family. It was Tisha B'Av after all, and I didn't want to bother them.


Michael said...

This type of "outpost" never seems to be in the pictures that are printed in the media. They seem to focus on the more rustic ones. Is that because they tend to be in area with higher Arab concentrations or tend to be populated by more "extreme" Israelis?

It seems like when there are reports about "outposts," they focus on those that have been in the news for being violent or more extreme. I'm not sure if the reports are true or not, but do you think the more extreme communities in Judea and Galilee are hurting the chances of the "outposts" like the one near Elazar?

JoeSettler said...

I think the other kind are in the news because they are simply physically easier for the government to destroy and thus the government goes after them more often.

Most of them are a few hundred meters from existing Jewish towns and villages.

As for reports of violence, for the most part that violence (see the Federman farm) is when the police come and violently destroy everything in site and hurt the people there.

One can't forget the the claim by the Police of violence by Noam Federman against them as they were destroying his house and ripping his baby away from his mother.

The court didn't accept that claim after the video showed that Federman was handcuffed and restrained the entire time the Police said he was busy beating everyone up.

I think the smaller "outposts" are helping keep the larger settlements safe, which in turn are keeping the rest of Israel safe.

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