Don't march to Homesh, police warn

Police issued a warning on Thursday evening, admonishing would-be participants in a march to the former settlement of Homesh in northern Samaria that they would face strict penalties if arrested. Judea and Samaria Police described the march planned for Monday as "a flagrant violation of the law" and Samaria Subdistrict chief Asst.-Cmdr. Kobi Cohen sent warning letters to people who police intelligence suggested were among the organizers of the event. Several groups - Professors for a Strong Israel, Komemiyut, Maginei Eretz, HaLev HaYehudi and Mateh Tzafon - hope to have thousands of protesters accompany former residents of Homesh and nearby Sa-Nur to Homesh. The plan is for residents to reestablish their homes in Homesh prior to Pessah. Police said that in the letters, they wrote that the organizers would be sued in civil court by security forces for the "large financial damages" caused by the march, in addition to any criminal charges leveled against them. "This event will cause the suspension of some of the training that security forces have been undergoing in recent days as part of the implementation of lessons learned from the Second Lebanon War," said a senior officer in the Judea and Samaria District. "It creates an additional burden for security forces who are working to provide security from the many Jews who are coming to visit us over the holidays." The Mateh Tzafon NGO confirmed that people active in planning the rally had received warning letters from the police. Homesh was one of the four northern Samaria settlements evacuated following the Gaza pullout in the summer of 2005. The land on which its ruins are located is now a closed military zone. In December, the IDF allowed the evacuees to return to the site to celebrate Hanukka. Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.