The Holy Land of the West Bank's Hilltop Youth

Photographer Kobi Wolf heads out on a journey to Samaria, to understand what motivates young men and women to settle that land, in the latest selection on Haaretz's photography blog.

"Of course I will build my home here, even with the knowledge that I could lose all my money and that it could be that one day it will be demolished. I am building my house in the sovereign territory of the State of Israel, the Holy Land, and I do so for the sake of the country."

This is the quote of a member of the hilltop youth in the northern West Bank—or as they prefer to be call themselves, the youth of the Land of Israel – an ideological right-wing group adamant on settling the territory.

Over the past two years, I have joined groups of hilltop youth—identifying myself to them as a member of the political left and also expressing my views - over the course of construction of illegal outposts facing Palestinian villages under the gaze of the Israel Defense Forces.

The army's response varies: Sometimes it looks the other way and sometimes carries out other times it demolishes the outposts in accordance with a government decision.

My personal challenge as a photographer was to work with these youth while being open about my views.

My goal was to try to decipher what motives young males and females from the age of 16 and up to devote themselves to ideology and the sanctification of the land.

-Kobi Wolf

The following selection is the latest in Haaretz's new photography blog, Exposure.


Click here to see other selections from Exposure on www.haaretz.co.il and here to follow the blog on Facebook