Daily Israel Report

Photo Essay: The Determined Return to Northern Samaria

More than a year after they were evicted from their northern Samaria towns, former residents trekked "home" on Tuesday.
By Ezra HaLevi
First Publish: 12/27/2006, 11:06 PM / Last Update: 12/19/2006, 12:07 PM

More than a year after they were evicted from their northern Samaria towns, former residents trekked "home" on Tuesday. Though the IDF closed the entire region, determined activists distracted riot police.
 
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A poster at southern Jerusalem's Gilo Junction hitchhiking post announces the return to northern Samaria
The IDF and police set up a Gush Katif style roadblock on the main Route 60, allowing only PA Arabs and those with ID cards listing Shavei Shomron as their residence though
The commanding officer displays the map delineating the area of Samaria declared closed to Jewish non-residents
A copy of the IDF order, which is open-ended and says the area is closed to all Israelis without special permission from the IDF commander
A former resident of one of the four destroyed towns in northern Samaria is told she and her family may not pass the checkpoint
People, including some with kids, dogs and strollers, park their vehicles on the side of the highway and gather at the checkpoint
As the crowd grows, talk of blocking the road to Arab traffic as well is heard among protesters. The IDF closes the road to PA Arabs as well to calm the crowd
Activists start walking toward Shavei Shomron from the Jitt/Gilad Junction, a five kilometer (3.5 mile) walk
IDF and Border Police look the other way as activists set out on foot
Walking north (the woman in the rear carries donuts, the Israeli Chanukah treat)
Limor Har-Melech, formerly of Homesh, directs activists who have arrived in Shavei Shomron
A crowd gathers at Shavei Shomron's northern side, where the road leading to Homesh has been placed behind a concrete wall
The Yassam riot police, wearing the black uniforms used in Gush Katif, northern Samaria and Amona, deploy to block anyone from leaving Shavei Shomron
"Iran is getting ready to destroy us, Hamas is running free, the IDF and Shabak have admitted Disengagement was a mistake, but you get to go home and tell your family you helped manhandle some mothers and kids?" a boy asks the riot police
"If we can't leave Shavei Shomron then neither can anyone else," Har-Melech declares, rallying protesters to block the vehicles of plainclothes security men
Police try to remove the protesters
A young man is grabbed by his neck as a woman (bottom right) shields her baby carriage
Protesters reverse directions, cutting through the local army base to exit the town via a gap in the decorated wall being built to cut them off from northern Samaria
Police rush to the scene to bodily complete the wall
The black-clad horsemen of Amona infamy join the Yassam members in blocking the way to the seniors, women and children who are successfully diverting them from the actual groups leaving for Homesh
A horse charges Orit Spitz, a Land of Israel activist from northern Israel. Another man later tries to wrestle the megaphone away from her
A man who refused to be identified announces that several groups have successfully reached Homesh. He says he arrived in the morning and brought back with him a piece of the roof of one of the demolished homes there
Word spreads that groups have reached Homesh. Locations where other groups are leaving from are whispered from person to person
Ezra HaLevi

Click here to hear Women in Green’s Nadia Matar and National Union MK Aryeh Eldad discuss the day’s events.

(Photos: Josh Shamsi, Arutz-7 Photojournalist)