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Court delays proceedings against Homesh yeshiva over government plan to legalize outpost

Visitors walk by the water tower on the ruins of the evacuated settlement of Homesh on August 27, 2019. (Hillel Maeir/Flash90)
Visitors walk by the water tower on the ruins of the evacuated settlement of Homesh on August 27, 2019. (Hillel Maeir/Flash90)

The Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court postpones by four months court proceedings against eight rabbis and students at the Homesh yeshiva who were indicted for illegally visiting and residing in the illegal West Bank settlement outpost of Homesh.

Attorneys for the rabbis and students have argued that since the new government plans to abolish the 2005 law prohibiting entry to and residence in four areas of the northern West Bank — including Homesh — it would be advisable to wait to see the government’s formal response to the High Court of Justice on the issue before proceeding with the trial. The government has until early April.

The Petah Tikva court accedes to the request and postpones the proceedings until May.

Among those indicted are the head of the Homesh yeshiva, Rabbi Simcha Shtetner.

The High Court has ordered Homesh, located on private Palestinian land, to be evacuated and destroyed, but the new government asked the court for a delay in enforcement since it wishes to repeal the Disengagement Law and ultimately legalize the settlement.

Several dozen men and teachers regularly visit and reside in Homesh, which was evacuated as part of the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza, including those indicted in the Petah Tikva court who are charged with violating that law.

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