'Pullout law can't be basis for Homesh arrests'

Judge orders release of girl who marched to settlement, questions territory's legal status.

The Kfar Saba juvenile court on Sunday ordered the release of a girl who was arrested for marching to the former settlement of Homesh, ruling that the law governing the disengagement did not cover the prosecution of those who returned to the evacuated settlement, Army Radio reported. Police wanted to detain the girl on the grounds that she had violated the Disengagement Law, which prohibits citizens from staying on evacuated land. Judge David Gadol ruled, however, that suspects could not be brought to court based on the Disengagement Law, which was essentially aimed at ensuring the implementation of the pullout from Gaza. "The punitive section of the Disengagement Law has exhausted itself, and as of today it's impossible to bring suspects to court on this basis," Gadol wrote. He further claimed that the legal status of Homesh was in question, since it had not been handed over to any party after it was cleared out. "The subject raises an interesting question - and … we have to wonder what the legal status of the evacuated settlement of Homesh is," he wrote. "No one argues that on the eve of the evacuation, [Homesh] was considered, like the rest of the settlements in Judea and Samaria where Israelis were living, IDF-controlled territory. Once Homesh was evacuated, unlike with the Gaza settlements, it was not given to anyone."