A year since violent clashes left hundreds injured during the evacuation of Amona, right-wing activists and security forces were set to face off Monday as thousands of people are expected to try to reclaim the evacuated settlement of Homesh. The IDF and the organizers held round-the-clock negotiations Sunday night in an attempt to reach a compromise that would allow the activists to march to the former settlement - evacuated in 2005 under the disengagement plan - and possibly even spend the night there. "We are not interested in violence," explained a high-ranking officer from the Judea and Samaria District. "The plan is to let them climb the mountain and possibly spend the night and then return."
Attempting to bridge the gap with the settlers
The bloodbath that wasn't (archive)
Yossi Dagan, chief organizer of the march and a former resident of the settlement of Sa-Nur - which was evacuated alongside Homesh - denied that an agreement had been reached and said that the activists would not give up their efforts to rebuild the evacuated settlement.
"We have not reached an agreement with anyone," Dagan said. "We plan to go there and rebuild our homes. If they try to remove us, they might succeed, but in the end we will rebuild Homesh and all the other places that were evacuated."
Dagan predicted that over 2,000 people would participate in the march which was scheduled to begin from the nearby settlement of Shavei Shomron.
Calling the organizers "extremists," Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Sunday that the government would not permit the "illegal takeover" of evacuated settlements.
"We will not allow anyone to take over settlements," Peretz said during a tour of Gaza-belt communities in the South. He added that the IDF and Israel Police would deploy sufficient forces to prevent the activists from marching to the settlement.