Right-wing MKs visit Homesh ahead of Knesset vote to repeal disengagement

MKs who visited Homesh claimed that rebuilding four destroyed settlements in Samaria would send a strong message against terrorism.

 A group of right wing MKs visit the Homesh settlement. (photo credit: THE ISRAEL LOBBY)
A group of right wing MKs visit the Homesh settlement.
(photo credit: THE ISRAEL LOBBY)

Right-wing parliamentarians visited the Homesh hilltop ahead of a Knesset vote Wednesday to repeal the Disengagement Law concerning northern Samaria, where the government demolished four Jewish settlements in 2005.

“Anyone who doesn’t understand” that doing so is in Israel’s “security and strategic interest” has failed to prioritize the good of the state, MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud) said on Sunday.

Edelstein co-authored with MK Miki Zohar (Likud) the private member’s bill, which is headed to its initial reading. Edelstein was one of 10 Knesset members who visited Homesh, including Yamina’s rebel MK Idit Silman and its former MK Amichai Chikli.

The visit comes in the aftermath of a spate of terrorist attacks that have claimed 19 lives, the perpetrators of which were largely from northern Samaria.

“The intensification of terrorism in northern Samaria must be addressed immediately,” said Edelstein, who argued that allowing the four destroyed communities to be rebuilt would make an important statement against such attacks.

 Visitors walk by the water tower on the ruins of the evacuated settlement of Homesh on August 27, 2019. (credit: HILLEL MAEIR/FLASH90) Visitors walk by the water tower on the ruins of the evacuated settlement of Homesh on August 27, 2019. (credit: HILLEL MAEIR/FLASH90)

“We are here to do what the government of [Prime Minister Naftali] Bennett and [Foreign Minister Yair] Lapid cannot do – to preserve the State of Israel,” he added.

Religious Zionist Party head Bezalel Smotrich said, “It is time for the coalition members to vote in favor of the majority’s position to repeal the Disengagement Law.”

The visit of the parliamentarians also comes in advance of a march to Homesh that the left-wing group Peace Now plans to hold at the site on May 28.

They are also anticipating a state response to a petition by another left-wing group, Yesh Din, which calls on the government to enforce the clause in the Disengagement Law that prevents Israelis from accessing the sites of the four destroyed settlements: Homesh, Sa-Nur, Kadim and Ganim.

Homesh, unlike the other three evacuated settlements, was largely built on private Palestinian property that the High Court of Justice has already ruled can be farmed by its owners.

Settlers pushed back at the government’s abandonment of Homesh and have maintained an illegal yeshiva since the destruction of the original settlement.

The Palestinian terrorist attack at the entry to Homesh in December of last year, which claimed the life of seminary student Yehuda Dimentman, breathed new life into the right-wing battle for the hilltop.

The Right fears that Defense Minister Benny Gantz plans to permanently evacuate the Homesh Yeshiva, which has been taken down in the past and quickly rebuilt.

“This government has no mandate to evacuate Homesh,” said MK Orit Struck (Religious Zionist Party), who is also co-chair of the Land of Israel Caucus in the Knesset.

She called on the government to authorize the Homesh Yeshiva and prevent the Peace Now march.

The parliamentarians also visited the Evyatar hilltop in Samaria and called on the government to keep its promise to authorize a yeshiva there.

The Palestinian terrorist attack at the entry to Homesh in December of last year, which claimed the life of seminary student Yehuda Dimentman, breathed new life into the right-wing battle for the hilltop.

The Right fears that Defense Minister Benny Gantz plans to permanently evacuate the Homesh Yeshiva, which has been taken down in the past and quickly rebuilt.

“This government has no mandate to evacuate Homesh,” said MK Orit Struck (Religious Zionist Party), who is also co-chair of the Land of Israel Caucus in the Knesset.

She called on the government to authorize the Homesh Yeshiva and prevent the Peace Now march.

The parliamentarians also visited the Evyatar hilltop in Samaria and called on the government to keep its promise to authorize a yeshiva there.