Homes in West Bank settlement.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Evacuees from the former West Bank settlements of Sa-Nur and Homesh called on Sunday for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to rebuild their communities, which the IDF destroyed in 2005.
“The government had the power to tear us out of our homes and it has the power to return us there,” said former Homesh resident Benny Gal.
Gal said that he lives in the nearby settlement of Shavei Shomron so he can be close to his former home.
“There is no reason not to return,” he said.
In 2005, as part of the disengagement plan, Israel destroyed 21 settlements in Gaza and another four in the Samaria region of the West Bank.
That same year, right-wing activists formed the group Homesh First, which fought for the right to rebuild. Their activities focused on the evacuated settlements of Homesh and Sa-Nur and have not included the other two former Samaria communities of Ganim and Kadim.
In the aftermath of Netanyahu’s speech to the United Nations last and week and this summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, the group is renewing its activities, focusing in particular on Sa-Nur.
In their letter, 40 families from Homesh and Sa-Nur said that their former hilltop communities were strategically significant. They offer a view of the country’s breadth from Ashkelon in the South to Mount Hermon in the North, the evacuees said.
Jewish history in the region dates back to the time of the Bible, when Joseph and later the prophet Elijah walked up and down these same hills, the evacuees noted.
In 2005 they were told to leave their homes to improve Israel’s security and its standing in the international standing, according to the evacuees. The government also said that the move would break the deadlocked peace process, they said.
“Reading that text now it sounds so absurd you can’t help but laugh,” Gal said.
In their letter, which they also sent to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, the evacuees said, “the time has come to correct this failure.”