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Ynet: "Carpenter in illegal outpost in Susiya"

Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer said, "The outpost industry will stop at nothing in order to continue thriving."


Guard at ancient West Bank synagogue site builds illegal shed from which he carries out carpentry work defense officials believe is used for construction of caravans, outposts by settlers. Civil Administration says execution of demolition order pending authorization of political echelon

By Efrat Weiss 

The ancient synagogue in Susiya in one of the heritage sites Jewish residents of the West Bank take pride in, and is slated to be turned into a national park. But within the archaeological site, a local carpenter has barricaded himself in an illegal structure, where he builds wooden walls, which the defense establishment believes are used to build new outposts.

The site is located in South Mount Hebron, and attracts many tourists, but anyone visiting the site as a tourist is not able to enter the workshop area, where the carpenter fenced off a 1.5 dunams (0.371 acres) area where he and other people live.

Settlers have been having trouble recently in transporting caravans from one spot to another and have been using wooden walls to build new neighborhoods and outposts instead. It is believed that these walls are built by the carpenter in Susiya.

According to the Civil Administration, which was appointed responsible for the area by the Defense Ministry, "This is an illegal outpost that we know about, and enforcement steps have been taking against it, including demolition orders, with the final decision on their implementation pending authorization from the political echelon."

The Civil Administration said the carpenter has committed to clearing out the wooden surfaces by the end of the week.

Zviki Bar-Hai, head of the South Mount Hebron Regional Council denied that the man was producing wooded planks for caravans. "He is there as a guard. It is true that he exceeded his boundaries, and is using a wood shed that he is not allowed to use. He will clear it out and restore order within a few days," Bar-Hai said.

The council head added, "Over the years we have invested millions of shekels, and are maintaining the area and bringing tens of thousands of people to it. Everyone has a lot of fun."

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority said the site was in the first stages of being declared a national park. "This is an archaeological site that has similar characteristics as other heritage sites that are national parks," a source said.

"The site is managed by the South Mount Hebron Regional Council under the mandate of the Civil Administration's staff officer on archaeological affairs that was given 10 ago."

Assaf Gutfeld, in charge of the Nature and Parks Authority's Judea and Samaria department, added, "We would like for the site to be turned over to our management, be it a declared national park, or not."

In response to the report, Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer said, "The outpost industry will stop at nothing in order to continue thriving."

He added, "The use of the historic site in Susiya is cynical exploitation in order to operate against the law and expand the settlement enterprise in the territories.",7340,L-3790369,00.html