Activists postpone Homesh march

Leaders cite heavy police presence, vow protest will take place by Tisha Be'av.

jp.services1 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
Leaders of right-wing organizations postponed Tuesday's planned march to the former settlement of Homesh late Monday night. The leaders cited heavy police and IDF presence planning to prevent the activists' access to the site. Nevertheless, the organizers announced that the march would take place by Tisha Be'av. Thousands had planned to march to Homesh, one of four northern Samaria settlements evacuated during the disengagement in August 2005. To counter the demonstration, thousands of soldiers and policemen were set to deploy throughout northern Samaria in an effort to prevent right-wing activists from reaching the site. Close to three IDF infantry battalions and hundreds of border policemen already began setting up roadblocks near the settlements of Karnei Shomron and Kedumim on Monday and IDF officers were predicting that violence would break out as the activists tried to cross the checkpoints. OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni decided not to approve the event and therefore, anyone who was to participate in the march - organizers, protesters, and marchers - would have been committing a criminal offense and would have been arrested. On Monday night, right-wing activist Yossi Dagan reacted harshly to US President George W. Bush's insistence during his White House speech that settlement expansion must stop. "We are saying to Bush and to Olmert that Homesh is just the start of correcting the mistake that was made [by evacuating settlements]," said Dagan. A former resident of the evacuated Samaria settlement of Sa-Nur, Dagan said he believed this was the time to reclaim Homesh and then the three others. For right-wing activists, Homesh is an easier target than Gaza which was also evacuated in 2005, because the Samarian hilltop site remains in Israel hands.