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svgadminsvgOctober 4, 2011svgNews

Report: Shvut Rachel Nearing Final State Approval

The Jewish community of Shvut Rachel, located 30 miles north of Jerusalem, will reportedly receive final state approval.

The State told the High Court of Justice in a brief that the 15-year-old community is nearing completion of the process to regulate its zoning status and construction. The brief was filed in response to a March 2011 petition by the leftist Peace Now movement, which pointedly asked the court to order the community destroyed.

Peace Now noted the 2005 Sasson Report that designated Shvut Rachel to be an illegal outpost, and said the community was continuing to build, in violation of a state-ordered freeze on construction.

The State had ordered the destruction of 29 homes following a freeze on construction in the community issued in late 2010.

“The petition… mentioned construction performed on State lands which [already] been inspected by a Blue Line team,” noted the State brief, the group of Civil Administration inspectors tasked with reviewing land appropriations in Judea and Samaria since 1999.

“The political echelon now wishes to regulate construction on the premises and has therefore instructed… to promote the [community’s] zoning status,” said the brief.

“Since the matter… is pending resolution as evident in the actions taken to regulate [the construction and zoning] the requests brought forward in the petition – in particular the motion to demolish buildings – should not be granted,” the brief added.

Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer told the Hebrew-language Yediot Acharanot newspaper in response, “The Netanyahu government seeks to sanction one of the most isolated outposts in the territories… and it continues to expand the smaller, more isolated outposts.

“As far as [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu is concerned, the world, the rule of law and Israel’s political interests are null and void when it comes to the settlers’ desire to create facts on the ground and ruin any chance for separating from the Palestinians. Netanyahu was and is the settlers’ lackey, and they are calling the shots.”

Shvut Rachel currently numbers 110 families, and is located on Highway 60 in the Shiloh area in the Binyamin region of Samaria, about a 35 minute drive from Jerusalem. The community was founded in memory of Rachela Druk, a resident of Shiloh and mother of seven who together with bus driver Isaac Rofe was killed in November 1991 when terrorists fired on their bus. Shvut Rachel was established by a group of students from the Shiloh Yeshiva in the name of the victims on the night of their funerals.

Comprised mostly of young, idealistic Zionists, the oldest children are just now celebrating their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. The community’s single synagogue under the supervision of Rabbi Ben Tzion Amar, the rabbi of Shvut Rachel, alternates between several different prayer styles in order to accommodate everyone’s needs.

The community is especially known for its sales of organic strawberries to select outlets around the country.

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