The house, in the early stages of construction, was located near the Binyamin community of Shilo, on the outskirts of the Adei Ad hilltop community. It was being built by retired IDF officer Shaul Halfon, who served with former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the elite Unit 101.
Halfon had laid the foundation of the house with the help of family members and local youths. On Thursday he planned to hold a ceremony for former residents of northern Samaria who were evicted from their homes as part of Sharon's Disengagement Plan last summer. Halfon had moved to the community of Sa-Nur, and even built a home there, prior to the forced expulsion.
"Apparently the war in the north and south is going so well that Olmert decided he had plenty of soldiers to spare to send to destroy a Jewish home," Halfon told Arutz-7. "They waited until we had everything set up, and arrived in the afternoon with bulldozers – destroyed everything and confiscated all of our equipment."
Fifteen reservists died in heavy fighting in Lebanon Wednesday, just hours after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his Security Cabinet authorized the call-up of tens of thousands of reservists to allow for the expansion of the war in Lebanon.
Witnesses say that a large number of IDF soldiers, Yassam riot police and members of the Civil Administration swept in and quickly destroyed everything, as residents pleaded with them to stop. Halfon says he, his wife and two of his children were threatened verbally.
"They didn't leave a single stone lying on top of another," Halfon said. "While our children and grand-children are dying in the war, the government is ordering the destruction of their homes."
Halfon says the location, named Kol Tzion (Voice of Zion), upon which he planned to build two houses, was not claimed by any Arabs until the IDF came and burned an agricultural plot Jews had planted there. He says when he asked the authorities why they came specifically on Wednesday, he was told that local Arabs are paid to report any incidences of unauthorized building in the area.
Tens of thousands of illegal structures remain standing in Arab areas, many with court orders for their demolition.
"It is interesting that when local Arabs uprooted trees we had planted, the media and the police were too busy with the war to care," Halfon laments, "but after planning for two months an event to lift the spirits of those expelled from northern Samaria on the anniversary of the expulsion, they managed to send a whole army of soldiers and police the day before the event to wreak destruction all over again."
Arutz-7 contacted the IDF spokesperson's office but was told that there is no official response to the event.