Border police and settlers injured in clashes at Homesh, Oz Zion outpost

At least four settlers were lightly injured and one moderately.

 Border police and settlers clash at West Bank Homesh hilltop. (photo credit: Berla Crombie)
Border police and settlers clash at West Bank Homesh hilltop.
(photo credit: Berla Crombie)

Eight Border policemen and at least four settlers were injured in clashes at the Homesh hilltop and at the Oz Zion outpost in the West Bank on Monday.

The unrest comes as right-wing politicians and settler leaders are in the midst of a political campaign against the government’s policies in Judea and Samaria that includes a protest tent in Jerusalem.
Clashes between Israeli settlers and Israeli security forces at the Homesh outpost in the West Bank, January 10, 2021. (Credit: Berale Crombie)

Border police together with the Civil Administration evacuated four illegal modular buildings, including one that belonged to a family in Oz Zion, and confiscated building material at Homesh.
Two officers were lightly injured in Oz Zion and five right-wing activists were arrested. Two of the activists barricaded themselves in a building, with an iron and concrete mechanism. It took a special team from the Home Front Command to release them from the contraption.
Border police said that a number of olive trees were set on fire during the evacuation.
 Border police and settlers clash at West Bank Homesh hilltop. (credit: Berla Crombie) Border police and settlers clash at West Bank Homesh hilltop. (credit: Berla Crombie)
Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Ganz said upon arriving at the scene that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz were flexing their muscles only against illegal Jewish construction while turning a blind eye to unauthorized Palestinian buildings.
“This is the war waged by the government of Bennett, [Foreign Minister] Yair Lapid, and Benny Gantz,” he said.“They are heroes only when acting against Jews,” Ganz said.
MK Gaby Lasky (Meretz) lauded the evacuation of homes at Oz Zion, tweeting that: “It is good that the security forces are now evacuating the criminal ‘Oz Zion’ outpost. Now they have about 145 more illegal outposts left to deal with.”Meanwhile, another six police officers and at least four settlers were lightly wounded at Homesh after a standoff on the road, when activists attempted to block the path of a security vehicle. They sat on the road and refused to leave until Border Police dragged them away.
In one moment caught on video, a policeman can be seen putting his foot on an activist as he was forcibly dragged away.

The Civil Administration had come to confiscate building material that it believed would be used for illegal construction on the hilltop, where the Homesh Yeshiva is located.

The small modular seminary has been braced for a forced evacuation, since Palestinian gunmen killed one of its students, Yehuda Dimentman, by spraying the car he was traveling in with bullets as the vehicle left the Homesh hilltop.
The yeshiva has been illegally located for the last 15 years on the ruins of the former Homesh settlement in the West Bank’s northern Samaria, which the government destroyed during the 2005 Disengagement. Dimentman’s family has asked the government to rebuild the settlement and authorize the yeshiva in memory of Yehuda.
“Any construction material confiscated today is another bullet aimed at Yehuda Dimentman,” the yeshiva said on Monday. “We call on the government to stop [its demolition] plan and not to carry out another Disengagement.”
Monday’s events were a trial balloon for the real evacuation as a way of gauging public opinion, the yeshiva said.Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan began a protest vigil last week in front of the Prime Minister’s Office, which he continued on Sunday and Monday of this week.
The Shas faction visited the tent in the afternoon. Faction head MK Aryeh Deri suggested that a compromise was in the works for Homesh that could allow for the yeshiva to have a limited presence at the site. Dagan charged that “the government is acting like a pyromaniac – I call on Bennett to recover and stop the destruction machine.”
The Yesha Council asked Bennett and Gantz to stop the army’s “incessant harassment” of the Homesh Yeshiva student.
The Bitchonistim, a right-wing security group, charged that the IDF was weakening Israeli security by pushing to evacuate the hilltop, control of which is important to maintain safety around the area of the Palestinian city of Jenin.“Homesh is a place of enormous strategic importance,” it said.
The original Homesh yeshiva was built on land Israel confiscated from the nearby Palestinian village of Burka. The High Court of Justice has upheld the right of Palestinians in Burka to farm their land on the hilltop.