Letter to GOC of Central Command: Stop desecration of Yitzhar yeshiva

Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 10:05 Broken doors and windows, border police wearing only boxer shorts walkingחננו 582 חלון past Torah scrolls , and use of private property belonging to the yeshiva students are only a partial list of the damages caused to Yeshivat Od Yosef Chai in Yitzhar since IDF and border police forces took over the yeshiva and turned it into a border police base approximately six weeks ago.
In light of the many complaints of property damage byחננו 582 ציוד אישי policemen to yeshiva property, some of which has been documented in photographs, and also the disrespectful behavior desecrating the sanctity of the site, such as the trance party held by border policemen in the yeshiva on Israeli Independence Day, Honenu attorney Adi Kedar turned to GOC of Central Command Major General Nitzan Alon in writing on behalf of Yeshivat Od Yosef Chai to put an end to the desecration.
“I would like to remind you that the yeshiva building is a holy place,” wrote Kedar. “To our dismay the forces at the site are behaving very disrespectfully. A policeman was seen walking through the yeshiva wearing only boxer shorts while passing the Torah ark, Torah scrolls and many holy books.
“The yeshiva building has been damaged in many places during the forces’ stay at the site,” mentioned Kedar in his letter and specifies that the policemen and the soldiers are responsible for “the broken window in a main entrance door, another completely broken main entrance door, the broken dining hall door and more.”
In addition to taking over the building border policemen have taken over a large amount of equipment, including private property belonging to students, also furniture, books and more. “We have evidence that soldiers are making use of this property, without permission and in violation of the law,” wrote Kedar and demanded to know the identity of the officers present in the yeshiva who allowed the use of private property, in order to consider legal procedures against them.
Kedar concluded his letter: “I demand that this shameful behavior cease immediately, that the forces on site are instructed as to the importance of the holiness of the site and that the standards of proper behavior at the site are clarified to them.”
Yeshivat Od Yosef Chai also responded to the desecration of the yeshiva’s beit midrash (religious study hall): “Taking over the beit midrash and the use thereof are theft and a desecration of a holy site, prohibitions according to the Torah as is stated also in the announcement written in protest by many rabbis on the matter. We repeat and remind anyone who is involved with this serious act – policemen and soldiers, from the commanders to the last of the rank and file – that it is forbidden to participate in this crime and that he must refuse this order.”
In the meantime Yeshivat Od Yosef Chai is continuing studies in a temporary beit midrash which overlooks the yeshiva building.
Photos: Damage at Yeshivat Od Yosef Chai
Photo credit: HaKol HaYehudi

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