The Race to Rebuild Homesh has Begun

Activists are on their way to rebuild the destroyed northern Samarian town of Homesh. Dozens have been arrested but marchers are undeterred.

Hana Levi Julian , | updated: 12:10 PM

Return to Homesh
Return to Homesh
File Photo

Hundreds of activists have erected tents on a hill near the ruins of the northern Samarian community of Homesh, and others are on their way to the site, determined to rebuild the town destroyed two years ago in the 2005 Disengagement from northern Samaria and Gaza. 


Police are standing by, preparing to forcibly remove them.


National Union Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad has appealed to Labor party chairman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to allow the rally to take place peacefully and to let hikers walk on the main roads instead of endangering themselves on side trails, several of which lead to Arab villages.


Organizers had already announced last week that they plan to rebuild Homesh.  “We have no time limit,” said one of the organizers. “Rebuilding the town will help the Jewish people to overcome the crisis it is facing.”  Activists were instructed to bring a brick or cinder block for immediate construction of the first house.


IDF soldiers and police were ordered to stop the marchers. Dozens were arrested by 7:00 a.m., including 40 activists who were caught in the early morning hours near Shavei Shomron and another 30 who were stopped near Elon Moreh, south of Homesh.


The arrested civilians were put on buses and will face criminal charges for participating in the march, police said.


Organizers told those who managed to reach the nearby towns of Kedumim and Einav to sleep for a few hours and then wait for further instructions.


In an official statement Friday, the IDF said that “any person or organization involved in transporting Israelis to Homesh or otherwise aiding them in securing supplies will be charged with a crime and [will be] prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”


Several police patrols were already on the road by Friday morning. The ranks swelled Saturday night, with police and military vehicles lining Road 55 from Kfar Sava and the Ariel-Emanuel Road, the main routes leading to access roads to Homesh.


A number of cars were pulled over and their drivers questioned at security checkpoints.