IDF troops and police set up roadblocks and were operating to prevent right-wing activists from entering the former settlement of Homesh on Sunday morning, as thousands headed to the site to mark two years since the settlement was dismantled in the disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Protesters claimed that a number of settler groups had managed to get past the security forces and were setting up tents at the former settlement. However, the army said the activists were in fact in nearby settlements and hills, not in Homesh itself. Overnight Saturday, police and IDF troops prevented hundreds of the settlers from going up to the settlement ruins, which the IDF has prohibited due to security concerns.
IDF takes tough stance on planned Homesh march
The activists had originally planned to make the trip - the latest of several such trips aimed at rebuilding the former settlement - last Tuesday, but pushed it off, saying: "We will not allow the IDF to determine our schedule for us. We will return to Homesh by Tisha Be'av at a time that works for us."
The IDF did not approve the Tuesday march and announced that anyone participating in the event would be committing a criminal offense and would be arrested.
In previous rallies at the site, activists have refused to leave at the end of the event, often leading to clashes with police.