The High Court of Justice has ruled that Beit Knesset Ayelet HaShachar in Givat Ze’ev must be razed. The court accepted a petition from Arabs that the shul was built on their private land.
The shul has been operating for over two decades and since Arabs have claimed the shul is built on their land, mispallalim have made many offers, seeking to reach an agreement to avoid carrying out the demolition order. The other party however was not interested.
Givat Ze’ev Mayor Yossi Avrahami is quoted by Kikar Shabbos News saying “Unfortunately, in light of the court’s decision, teams will be arriving here to destroy the shul”.
Avrahami explains that he has been silent to date as the sides were in negotiations to reach agreement. He felt it was best keeping it out of the media for as long as there was a chance of working it out. Avrahami expresses criticism against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who he insists “has not done a thing from the government’s side. We are most disappointed and I say as a longtime Likud member and a right hand of the prime minister, sadly, we got the cold shoulder in this case”.
Perhaps the matter is strictly a legal one and in fact, there is nothing that PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon can do?
From a legal standpoint, the prime minister and defense minister cannot get involved but what about a possible solution I presented to them to pass along to the state attorney to present to the High Court. We offered to seal the building for a one-year period during which we will hopefully reach agreement. I want to try everything to reach an agreement. You must understand, regarding the Dreinoff buildings [in Beit El], this is different since this is a shul. This is a kehilla of hundreds of people and a beautiful shul not just another caravan.
Minister of Religious Services (Shas) David Azoulai and chairman of the Knesset Interior Committee (Shas) David Amsellem have both visited Givat Ze’ev to see the shul and the location. MK (Bayit Yehudi) Moti Yogev has also visited, as he too tried to save the shul.
Minister Azoulai sent a letter to PM Netanyahu asking him to meet with Avrahami, hoping he can work together towards finding a solution and to prevent the demolition.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)