IDF gears up to stop Homesh march

IDF: March not approved, participants would be committing criminal offense.

Homesh climb 298.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Homesh climb 298.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The IDF and Israel Police are gearing up for violent clashes expected to break out Tuesday when thousands of right-wing activists are scheduled to try and march to the former northern Samaria settlement of Homesh, evacuated under the disengagement plan in 2005. For the past month, posters appearing throughout the country have been calling on the public to purchase bricks and to bring them to Homesh on July 17. Organizers are expecting thousands of supporters to attempt to participate in the march and to assist in rebuilding the former settlement. The IDF, senior officers said Saturday, had not approved the event and therefore anyone participating in the march - organizers, protesters, and marchers - would be committing a criminal offense and would be arrested. The IDF together with the Israel Police's Judea and Samaria District plan to set up roadblocks throughout the West Bank to prevent the activists from even reaching the area near the settlement. "We will be very strict this time," explained one officer. "The event is illegal and we will not let them in." The officer said that the decision not to permit the march was made by OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni following a series of security consultations during which intelligence was presented indicating that Palestinian terror groups might use the event as an opportunity to attack Israelis. "If the right-wing activists keep on doing these marches, the day will come when someone will get hurt," warned the officer.