Police and soldiers swooped down on Homesh as the Sabbath was about to start Friday night, began taking away food that had been prepared, spilled water on the ground and searched people after the beginning of the holy day. They changed course and left the food after intervention by political leaders supporting Homesh, one of four northern
Likud Knesset Member Zev Elkin, acting on appeals from "Homesh First" leaders, asked the Defense Ministry late Friday afternoon to halt the evacuation attempt, including the attempt to leave residents without food for the Sabbath. Security forces, apparently acting on orders, left the food for the residents but managed to spill water from water tanks,
Elkin heads a Knesset sub-committee that recently reached an agreement with authorities that no expulsion would be conducted on the Sabbath. He angrily stated Saturday night that the evacuation attempt was a violation of the agreement and demanded an explanation from the Defense Ministry.
The government has been conducting a two-year campaign against Homesh activists who have maintained a presence at the site. “As citizens, we are ashamed at this kind of behavior from people who represent a law-abiding government,” said Homesh First representatives on Saturday night, after the Sabbath ended. “Intentionally spilling water and the audacity to cause desecration of the Sabbath...in the presence of an IDF battalion commander makes matters ever more grave.”
Observant and secular soldiers in the battalion have expressed anger at their commander for being active in what they said is an “obsessive” campaign against Homesh. Two soldiers in the same battalion, dubbed Shimshon, were thrown out of the unit last month for raising a sign at a military ceremony at the Western Wall, stating "Shimshon soldiers do not evacuate Homesh."