Palestinians and soldier injured as Homesh violence continues

The Homesh yeshiva accused the IDF of lying said they should be ashamed of this "character assassination."

 Israeli soldiers stand guard between Jewish settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank, on December 17, 2021. (photo credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)
Israeli soldiers stand guard between Jewish settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank, on December 17, 2021.
(photo credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)

Palestinian vehicles were reportedly stoned near Homesh hours after clashes broke out on the hilltop between settlers and the IDF, in which one soldier was lightly injured.

According to the Palestinian news agency WAFA, four civilians were lightly injured when stones were thrown at their vehicles in the area of Homesh, allegedly by settlers.

The IDF on Sunday closed the road to the site of the former Homesh settlement, destroyed in 2005, which is now the home of the small unauthorized Homesh yeshiva.

Students have not been allowed to enter the site and those there risk not being able to return if they leave, according to the spokesperson of Religious Zionist Party head MK Bezalel Smotrich.

He has organized a bus to head to the site later tonight with other parliamentarians in a sign of solidarity with the yeshiva. 

 Yehuda Dimentman, killed by Palestinian terrorists at Homesh, is seen with his wife and child. (credit: Courtesy the Dimentman family) Yehuda Dimentman, killed by Palestinian terrorists at Homesh, is seen with his wife and child. (credit: Courtesy the Dimentman family)

The events unfolded Sunday, in the aftermath of Thursday's terror attack in which a Palestinian gunman shot a car with four yeshiva students as it left the Homesh site, killing Yehuda Dimentman and lightly injuring two others.

Overnight Saturday, right-wing activists built additional modular structures at the site to shore up a Jewish presence there.

The IDF and Border Police moved Sunday to evacuate the structures. It issued a sharp statement on clashes that it charged broke out there during the evacuation. It did not touch the structures that belonged to the yeshiva.

"Early in the morning (Sunday), hundreds of settlers arrived at the area of ​​Homesh. They acted violently against security forces and broke through checkpoints that were set up in the area," the IDF said.

The army and the Border police tried to block their arrival, the IDF said. But the settlers "used physical and verbal violence," the IDF said, explaining that they "vandalized military property and blocked the passage of security forces."

It charged that a settler hit a soldier with vehicle, lightly injuring him.

"The IDF condemns any manifestation of violence against the security forces," the IDF said.

The Homesh yeshiva accused the army of lying.

"Wasn't the murder of a yeshiva student enough," its spokesperson asked. 

"The army spokesperson works for Defense Minister Benny Gantz and has briefed reporters with serious lies," the yeshiva spokesperson said. During the over 15 years that the yeshiva has operated, no one has ever complained about attacks by its students against soldiers, the spokesperson said.

Gantz and the IDF are "spoiling blood with their ugly lies," the yeshiva spokesperson said.

Smotrich's spokesperson said he believed that Gantz spread to the story to justify the evacuation of the yeshiva and that he was just waiting until after shiva to do it.

Smotrich swore that he would break the "siege of Homesh" which he said was intended to "stifle the yeshiva."

Such action is "shameful and disgraceful," said Smotrich as he called on all Zionist members of the Knesset to join him in Homesh.