July 28, 2010 - 12:00am

The military is preparing to demolish a Jewish seminary building at the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar after residents lost an appeal against its destruction, Army Radio reported Wednesday.

Military sources said that army prosecutors had turned down an appeal against plans to raze the yeshiva, which the government has ruled illegal, in response to attacks by Yitzhar settlers on neighboring Palestinians and the extremist language used by the yeshiva's rabbi, Itzik Shapira.

The Civil Administration, the Israeli body that governs Jewish-controlled territory in the West Bank, in May 2010 issued an order to renew proceedings to demolish the hilltop settlement's Od Yosef Hai yeshiva.

The order was one in a series of army reposnses after settlers clashed with security forces on Israeli Independence Day in April. Three Israel Defense Forces soldiers were wounded by stones thrown near the settlement.

A slew of violent incidents in recent months has marked Yitzhar out as the center of the extremist trend in the settler movement. Earlier in July police arrested a Yitzhar man suspected of fatally shooting a Palestinian teenager who had thrown stones at his car.

In April, residents marched through a neighboring Palestinian village and attacked a home in response to the arrest of 11 Yitzhar settlers, while in January the Shin Bet security service questioned several residents, including Shapira, over a December arson attack on a Palestinian mosque.


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