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IDF Snubs Knesset Committee on Homesh Evictions

The Defense Ministry refused to send commanders to a Knesset committee meeting regarding the expulsion of Jews from Homesh.
By INN staff
First Publish: 10/25/2009, 9:01 PM / Last Update: 10/25/2009, 9:11 PM

The Defense Ministry angered Members of Knesset on Sunday when it refused to send IDF representatives to a meeting to which they had been invited. IDF commanders were asked to appear before a Foreign Affairs and Defense subcommittee to discuss the expulsion of Jews from their homes in Shomron (Samaria).

Instead of allowing the invited representatives to attend, Defense Ministry officials sent Amos Gilad, the Coordinator of Government Operations in Yehudah (Judea) and Shomron, who had not been invited.

Committee head MK Zeev Elkin (Likud), annoyed by the Defense Ministry's behavior, did not allow Gilad to speak during the meeting. Instead, committee members heard exclusively from Shomron community leaders.

Had the invited IDF commanders attended the meeting, committee members had planned to question them regarding the fact that in recent months, IDF troops have frequently expelled Jews from the communities of Homesh and Shvut Ami on the Sabbath. The expulsions are in apparent violation of IDF orders prohibiting unnecessary work on the Sabbath.

Residents of Homesh and Shvut Ami say that senior IDF officials are deliberately choosing to carry out expulsions on the Sabbath in an attempt to break their will.

Elkin and other MKs ended the meeting with an agreement to meet again on Thursday. This time the committee plans to guarantee that IDF commanders will appear, by issuing legally binding personal summons.

The committee has also asked the Defense Ministry to take disciplinary action against those who ordered the commanders not to appear.