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Hilltop 26

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Hilltop, outpost or lot 26 was an illegal Israeli settlement founded by Netanel Ozeri. It was founded near the city of Hebron in the West Bank. It lay approximately 100 metres from the Kiryat Arba settlement. At the time of its destruction, it had a population of around ten.

The settlement was dismantled on 24 March 2003 by the Israel Defence Force (IDF). The settlement had been created without a permit, and was therefore illegal under Israeli law. The rogue settlement was the first to be destroyed during Ariel Sharon's second term of office.

Netanel Ozeri

The settlement made headlines following the death of Netanel Ozeri on 17 January 2003. Ozeri was killed in the evening by two Palestinian gunmen from Hamas. One of the gunmen was killed by other Israelis present, while the second gunman was tracked and killed later by the IDF. Ozeri belonged to the banned Jewish religious and nationalist Kach movement.

During Ozeri's funeral, hundreds of settlers went into Hebron, smashing windows and setting cars alight.

Netanel (Nati) Ozeri, born in Jerusalem, was a student at the Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea established by Rabbi Meir Kahane, and was a study partner of his son, Binyamin Kahane, killed in a terrorist attack in December 2000. Ozeri later went on to teach at the yeshiva in Jerusalem as well as in Kiryat Arba.

A member of the Kach movement, he was a leader of the Hebron community in terms of both settlement and Torah study/teaching. His close friend, Noam Federman, said Netanel was "an interesting and unusual combination, the type of person who stood out as a leader. He was a man of Torah and a man of action." Federman noted that Netanel not only established new settlement outposts and interested youths in settling there, he also made sure to teach them Torah on a regular schedule. He himself moved with his family several years ago from Kiryat Arba to the nearby Hilltop 26, where he engaged in organic farming.

Netanal Ozeri was buried in the old Jewish cemetery in Hebron. He is survived by his parents, his wife Livnat and their five children, ranging in age from 1 ½ to 11: Navit, David, Herut, Yehonatan and Yehuda, the youngest.

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