Thousands visit Homesh in effort to repopulate the settlement

The West Bank settlement was one of four evacuated during the 2005 disengagement plan

From left: Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Information Minister Yuli Edelstein, and Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz visit the evacuated settlement of Homesh in the West Bank in 2009. (Photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
From left: Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Information Minister Yuli Edelstein, and Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz visit the evacuated settlement of Homesh in the West Bank in 2009. (Photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Some 6,000 people visited the West Bank village of Homesh Tuesday as part of an effort to repopulate the settlement. Homesh was uprooted — along with Gush Katif in Gaza and three other West Bank settlements — as part of the government’s disengagement plan in August 2005.

They carried Israeli flags and criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and the country’s legal system for not approving their right to live in the settlement, located west of Nablus.

Information Minister Yuli Edelstein, MKs Danny Danon and Aryeh Eldad, and Rabbi Haim Druckman, an Israel Prize laureate, were among the dignitaries calling on the government to allow their return to Homesh.

Chief Rabbi of Samaria Elyakam Levanon used the platform to level harsh criticism at the court system. He said: “Our justice system is rotten; it does not differentiate between good and evil. Let’s hope that the heavens will bring it to justice.”

“We are working to return to Homesh,” added Edelstein.

MK Eldad also called on the government to amend the law regarding the settlement and to stop “destroying communities.”

The movement to repopulate Homesh gained momentum in 2007, when former residents and activists held marches and vowed to move back to the area. A court also ruled that it was not illegal for the Jewish settlers to enter Homesh. Yet, since the evacuation — despite the area still being under Israeli control — the settlers have not been allowed to rebuild their homes.

Tuesday’s events, which included lectures and children’s activities, were part of the ‘five-year’ anniversary rally of that ruling. The events were sponsored by the Samaria Regional Council and local community centers.

 

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