By Aaron Klein

BEIT EL, Israel – Following confrontations between Jewish nationalists and security forces here, Israeli military bulldozers on Wednesday razed two Jewish buildings located within the biblical town of Beit El, a sizable Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

The scenes were reminiscent of the civil disobedience that preceded Israel’s 2005 evacuation of Gush Katif, a slate of Jewish communities inside the Gaza Strip. And Wednesday’s events took place just days after the 10th anniversary of the start of the Gaza Jewish expulsion.

The clashes actually started Tuesday and continued Wednesday as nationalist activists tried repeatedly to occupy the two buildings in question, referred to as the Draynoff buildings, the namesake of the family behind the construction.

Police fired smoke grenades at the protesters and arrested at least nine amid reports a small number of protesters had pelted security forces with stones and chairs.

The 36-hour protest was mostly peaceful, consisting of Jewish activists who used passive civil disobedience to try to block the area leading to the two buildings.

Most of the protesters congregated at the Ohad gate, an emergency exit located just outside the Draynoff buildings that was being used by Israeli forces to bring in equipment to raze the buildings. Military police forcible removed scores of protesters to make way for the demolition of the buildings.

The Israel Defense Forces imposed a military blockade on the entrance to Beit El in a bid to stem the tide of protesters traveling to the city. WND was able to gain access due to a military exemption for credentialed news media outlets.

The protesters eventually dissipated after the owner of the buildings called for an end to the protest movement, explaining the buildings would just be rebuilt anyway.

The protest movement started Monday night amid reports the military was moving in to raze the building following a decision by the notoriously activist Supreme Court here.
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