JUDEA, Israel – Amid the war in Gaza, there have also been clashes in the area known as the West Bank – the biblical areas of Judea and Samaria – including violent protests and gun battles during Israeli arrest raids.
Despite concerns over the area, one Christian organization is committed to standing with the Israeli settlers, no matter what.
HaYovel operates deep in the hills of Israel’s biblical heartland. In addition to biblical history, the area is also steeped in conflict.
While much of the world believes Jewish communities here undermine the “peace process,” one group of Americans has been living in Samaria since 2004.
HaYovel founder Tommy Waller said, “Our family came here 20 years ago. We came here to, to support the Jews in their return to, in their biblical mandate, prophetic mandate. And we’re excited to be serving them.”
HaYovel volunteers say they simply support Jewish settlers who have a right to be here based on biblical history. Now threats to their existence are greater than ever.
“October 7th gave us a wake-up call. I think it gave all of Israel a wake-up call,” Waller said. “But here for us, this is the first time we’ve actually seen a multi-front war since 1973. There are no communities here. So our purpose here is to serve these communities who are vulnerable. Bottom line, they’re vulnerable. And I think that the Christian world needs to understand that.”
CBN News visited the gate that goes from Israel into the city of Nablus which is an Israeli city that’s administered by the Palestinians under the Oslo Accords. There are three zones: A-zone, B-zone, and C-zone. A-zone is a zone where Israelis are not allowed to go. It’s governed by the Palestinian Authority.
It is illegal for Israeli citizens to enter this area. Why? Because an Israeli who passes through this gate is going to get killed. Now, Arabs can pass through this gate and come to it through to Israeli-controlled areas without any problems. And in fact, tens of thousands of them do that every day to go to work.
But right now, they’re not able to go to work because of what happened on October 7th. And that goes to show that, economically, Arabs are being hurt very badly by what Hamas perpetrated against the Jewish people on October 7th.
HaYovel Production Manager Joshua Waller said, “The whole idea of apartheid state is a bunch of bunk. It’s leftist propaganda that’s trying to steal this biblical land from Israel. And the signs that you mention, these big red signs, there’s no sign. There’s no place in all of Israel that says no Arabs allowed. This just doesn’t exist. As an Israeli in this area, you would not be able to go to the Arab village next door. No Jews allowed. On the other hand, the Jewish settlement behind me, just Jewish settlement? Yes. We built all those apartment buildings. The Arabs, they hired Arabs to come and build these communities.”
With tensions already high, and Palestinian Authority leaders calling for a repeat of October 7th to happen here, global calls to support Hamas put people here in danger.
Joshua said, “So this has been unfortunately going on for a long time and people have just been unaware that these radical Islamists here in these surrounding villages of Judea and Samaria have been very active for a long time. We have Gaza in the south, Hezbollah coming from Syria and Lebanon. These are the three fronts that most of us know about.”
“The fourth front here in Judea and Samaria is really an undercover. People don’t understand. Down south on the Gaza (border), they have these technologically advanced fences between them. Here where I’m standing, we have 500 Jewish families living in a little Jewish community, a hilltop community here called ‘settlements’ on the news, surrounded by 250,000 Arabs. And there’s no fence between me and them.”
And that seems okay for families in these communities because they just want to live in peace in the land given to their ancestors.
“There’s one Jewish nation. That’s just plain and simple. There’s 22 Arab states. There’s 50 majority-Muslim countries. Let’s just say the Jews have one country and they can live safely there, even from a diplomatic standpoint. Can we just believe that that’s okay?” Tommy asked.
“If the Jews are here, we’re here. We feel like this is an opportunity maybe one of the first opportunities for Christians in 2,000 years to stand. We need to stand. There’s never been a line that’s so clear. Evil has never been so clear to us. And so this is not even a question for anybody in our family. We’re standing with the Jewish people.”