Terror victim’s widow calls for rally to save Homesh

The date of the Jerusalem protest marks the 30th day since Palestinian gunmen killed Yehuda, 25, as he left the Homesh hilltop.

  Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan and Ethia Dimentman with her son David at the Jerusalem protest tent outside Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's Office. (photo credit: SAMARIA REGIONAL COUNCIL)
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan and Ethia Dimentman with her son David at the Jerusalem protest tent outside Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's Office.
(photo credit: SAMARIA REGIONAL COUNCIL)

The widow of Yehuda Dimentman plans to lead a rally in Jerusalem on Thursday to save the Homesh Yeshiva in the West Bank, which is slated for demolition.

“Let’s say in one clear and decisive voice that we will not give up on Homesh,” Ethia Dimentman said.

The date of the Jerusalem protest marks the 30th day since Palestinian gunmen killed Yehuda, 25, as he left the Homesh hilltop.

His wife, Ethia, and his parents have asked Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to authorize the yeshiva, which has been illegally situated at Homesh for the last 15 years.

They have also asked Bennett to rebuild the Homesh settlement, which the government destroyed in 2005 as part of the Disengagement.

 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)

The rally at 6:30 p.m. is the latest step in the campaign for Homesh, which has been spearheaded by Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, who set up a protest tent outside the Prime Minister’s Office.

“When I came to comfort him during the shiva, Yehuda’s father requested that [his son’s] sacrifice would not be in vain,” said MK Eli Cohen (Likud), who visited the tent on Wednesday. “We need to ensure that by rebuilding Homesh.”

MK Yuli Edelstein said “we are here to say to the government that we will not let it destroy the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.”

Border Police and settlers on the Homesh hilltop clashed on Monday, when the Civil Administration confiscated building material.

Six Border Police officers and at least four settlers were slightly injured, when settlers blocked a security vehicle that was part of an operation to confiscate the material illegally placed there.

Settlers have argued that police used excessive force in dragging settlers off the road to clear a path for the vehicle, and provided video from the scene.

Ethia spoke of the event when she visited the Jerusalem protest tent on Monday night with her toddler son, David.

“What is this silence and disregard?” she said, in words addressed to Bennett. “I call on you to come here. Talk to us. Look David in the eye and tell us, what do you plan to do after such a murder?”

In a letter that she later addressed to Bennett, she wrote, “My David is not calm. I have been trying to put him to sleep. As he finally falls asleep, I see the video of the shocking and brutal violence that occurred today in Homesh.”

She accused the Border Police of attempting to prevent the yeshiva students from filming the event by hiding the actions of the officers.

One of the students who police dragged “as if he was a rag” was a student who had been with Yehuda in his final moments, and who had tried to save his life, she explained.

“He is a gentle young man who has spent his life studying Torah and would not hurt a fly,” Ethia said. 

“This is the person you are forcibly pushing?”

Against whom do the Border Police make a strong stand, she asked? “Not against the infiltrating Arabs, but against those who are fighting for their land, for our land.”

Ethia said she felt “as if a bullet had pierced my heart,” adding, “What a betrayal.”

On Tuesday, Yehuda’s father, Rabbi Mordechai Dimentman, visited the Homesh Yeshiva and spoke to the students there.

“We see Yehuda in front of our eyes all the time,” he said. “We continually ask ourselves what he would want us to do. The answer is clear. To ensure the continuity of that which he gave his life for.”

The original Homesh settlement was built in 1980 on land the army seized from the nearby Palestinian village of Burka. After the demolition of Homesh, the High Court of Justice upheld the right of Palestinians from Burka to farm their land.