Daily Israel Report

Punishment? IDF Cancels Passover Event in Homesh

IDF cancels the annual Passover event in Homesh, but denies cancellation is connected to recent tensions in Yitzhar.
By Uzi Baruch
First Publish: 4/10/2014, 12:15 AM

The repainted water tower at Homesh
The repainted water tower at Homesh
Courtesy of Homesh First

The IDF announced on Wednesday evening that it has decided to cancel the annual Passover event in the Shomron (Samaria) community of Homesh, but denied the cancellation had anything to do with the recent tensions in Yitzhar.

Homesh is one of several communities in northern Samaria that were torn down in the 2005 "Disengagement." Residents of Homesh who were evicted from the community, along with leaders from Samaria and MKs, gather at the ruins of the community each year.

However, on Wednesday the IDF announced that it would not provide security arrangements for this year’s gathering, essentially forcing its cancellation.

An IDF source told Arutz Sheva that there is no connection between the cancellation and the recent clashes in the region, adding that the decision to cancel the Homesh event was based on professional considerations.

However, Gershon Mesika, head of the Shomron Regional Council, dismissed that argument and said that the IDF was punishing local residents.

"Just as it was decided to punish all the residents of Yitzhar because of two punks, and four houses that were in the process of being regulated were destroyed, now the IDF is deciding on collective punishment,” he said.

“I would like to say in the clearest possible way: There are a handful of guys who behave in a manner which we condemn, but the other 98% of the residents in Judea and Samaria are law abiding people, the salt of the earth, with the highest percentage of reservists in Israel,” continued Mesika.

“The entire settlement enterprise should not be punished because of a few rioters, most of whom are not residents of Judea and Samaria,” he added.