Defense minister angry that synagogue in settlement of Givat Ze’ev has yet to be demolished, despite of Supreme Court order; says downing of the Russian jet in the Sinai was ‘probably a terrorist attack.’

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon expressed anger on Monday that a synagogue built illegally in the settlement of Givat Ze’ev has not been demolished yet.

A demolition order on the synagogue has been repeatedly pushed back over the last few weeks, in spite of a Supreme Court decision stipulating that the structure must be destroyed as soon as possible.

“The synagogue in Givat Ze’ev needed to be demolished long ago,” Ya’alon told reporters at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon went on the attack. (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon went on the attack. (Photo: Moti Kimchi)


“A group of hooligans has taken over a portion of privately-owned Palestinian land, outside of Givat Ze’ev, and added a guestroom in order to raise money and to guard the synagogue there.

“A police investigation has shown that the claims to the purchase of the land are fabricated,” Ya’alon added.

Bulldozers are expected to arrive in Givat Ze’ev during the next few days, supported by Israel Police Special Patrol Units, in order to demolish the synagogue in line with the Supreme Court decision. The structure was built on the edge of the settlement, which is close to Jerusalem.

Hundreds of activists gathered at the synagogue last week in opposition to the latest attempt to demolish it.

“I understand the feelings of the community here, so I sent a temporary portable structure of 135 meters squared as a replacement until a new synagogue is built,” Ya’alon added. “I arranged this in spite of the fact that I didn’t have to.

“This temporary replacement was sent to Givat Ze’ev but was returned to the Ministry of Defense. There is a part of the community in the settlement that is deluded. They are trying to apply pressure. The synagogue is not going to stay there,” the defense minister continued.

Ya’alon also touched on the controversy surrounding the home demolitions in Beit El during the summer.

“There were those who spoke up without knowing at all what they were talking about. We actually offered to build another 24 housing units for them, but they chose to wage a war as if it was the Temple Mount,” Ya’alon said.

Youngsters have been gathering at the synagogue in Givat Ze'ev in order to try and prevent its demolition. (Photo: Lior Paz)
Youngsters have been gathering at the synagogue in Givat Ze’ev in order to try and prevent its demolition. (Photo: Lior Paz)


According to Ya’alon, the violence of extreme right-wing activists does not take place in a vacuum.

“Unfortunately the support that youngsters get from politicians, for example, when they throw stones and bags of urine at security forces, is an evil seed that leads to weakness in the face of Jewish terror,” he said.

Russian plane crash ‘probably a terrorist attack’

Ya’alon also discussed the Russian jet that crashed in the Sinai on October 31.

“There is a high probability, from what we understand, that this was a terrorist attack – the highest of probabilities,” Ya’alon said.

“We are not taking part in the investigation, but from what we hear and understand, I will be surprised if it turns out that this was not a terrorist attack whereby a bomb exploded inside the aircraft,” Ya’alon added.

Wreckage from the Russian plane that crashed in the Sinai on October 31. (Photo: AP)
Wreckage from the Russian plane that crashed in the Sinai on October 31. (Photo: AP)


Ya’alon did not elaborate, nor did he confirm or deny a CNN report that Israel’s spy services had provided communications intercepts gathered in the Sinai to US and British analysts.

Egypt and Russia have yet to formally announce the cause of the crash. Both countries were upset by the Western bomb assessments published last week, which spurred a wave of foreign flight cancellations to Sinai’s Red Sea resorts.

An Israeli radar had spotted the Russian plane plummeting “like a rock” but no sign of a missile launch beforehand, lending weight to the theory it had been bombed.

Israeli forces were on high alert for a possible Islamic State attempt to hijack a plane in Egypt and crash it into a city in Israel.

As reported by Ynetnews