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Yitzhar resident’s wife to GOC: “Cancel the order”

Demonstration; Photo credit: Avraham Shapira

Demonstration; Photo credit: Avraham Shapira

Thursday, September 26, 2019, 12:54 Neriya Zarog (21), a married Yitzhar resident and father of two children, faces an administrative distancing order. In support of Zarog a demonstration was held, and friends of Miriam (21), his wife and also two prominent rabbis wrote letters (see here and here) to the GOC of the Central Command demanding that he not sign on the order. Now Miriam gives her opinion for the reasoning behind the order, describes life on Kumi Ori, one of the hilltops of Yitzhar and calls on Major-General Nadav Padan not to sign on the order. The order, if signed, will distance Zarog from almost all the area of Binyamin and Shomron, limiting him to the community of Kochav Ya’akov for three months. Additionally the order prohibits him from making contact with 16 of his friends. Miriam is a holistic therapist. Neriya is a kollel student at the local yeshiva and herds a flock of goats. They are home-schooling their children. Miriam: “We came to Kumi Ori over two years ago to settle the Land. [The authorities] have already destroyed our house and tried by various other means to overpower us. This order is absolute harassment. They are simply harassing people who are easy targets instead of taking care of the genuine danger and protecting citizens. They serve us with administrative orders lacking any explanation which deprive us of our freedom. The orders cut us off from our home, our friends and our place of employment. They are harassing us in the name of a law which dates from the days of the British Mandate. “We brought the flock to develop the hilltop and to protect the land in the area of the community [Yitzhar]. Particularly since we brought the flock and started taking the goats out to graze, infiltrations by Arabs into the area of the community and clashes with Arabs from the nearby village have decreased considerably. When the Arabs see that the area around the community has an owner, and there is a continuous presence, they harass us less, and that automatically calms the region. “One morning, I was at home with the children, I wasn’t feeling well, suddenly soldiers came for Neriya, who was in the pasture at the regular site because the closed military zone order for that area had expired. They came to him saying ‘under orders from the brigade commander, if you do not leave immediately you will be detained.’ When he demanded to see the order, they left him at the site for two hours until they produced an order, which later turned out to be illegal. In the meantime the goats escaped and we had to find a way to gather them before the Arabs stole them. After clarifying the matter with the brigade commander we learned that he hadn’t given any such order. “We have a feeling that someone among the security authorities in the area decided to harass us, and I’m not saying this without reason. I refer to sudden closed military zone orders issued without any explanation, being immediately driven from a site without any prior warning, which is required by law, detention for interrogation without authorization, and more.” Miriam also said that once when Neriya was taken to the Ariel Police Station, before the interrogation began he spoke to the interrogator and understood that there was no genuine reason for the interrogation. He was released without incident. After several such occurrences the order arrived: “Approximately three weeks ago Neriya was summoned for investigation at the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police Station in Ma’aleh Adumim. There he was presented with a hearing for an administrative order which includes distancing from the Binyamin and Shomron regions for three months and prohibits him from making contact with 16 of his friends, to be signed by the GOC of the Central Command, Major-General Nadav Padan.” The actual reason for the order is clear to Miriam: The efforts of the hilltop residents to settle the Land of Israel are not acceptable to the security authorities. “Everything here is done for the Land of Israel and out of belief in the importance of the commandment to settle the land, especially now. All of the commotion surrounding us is simply because they’re specifically targeting hilltop residents because they are afraid to deal with the Arabs. Instead of that they’re trying to force us out of our home,” said Miriam. Miriam concluded the interview with an appeal to the GOC of the Central Command, who is responsible for the situation and is the signatory of the order: “I call on Major-General Padan to renounce his intent to serve Neriya with the order. Stop the destruction [of hilltops] and the harassment of residents who have come to protect the Land. The army is meant to combat terrorists and to deal with terrorism.”

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