The “Homesh First” group slammed the IDF's decision to cancel the annual Passover event in the Shomron (Samaria) community. The group said that the cancellation was designed to further destroy the bonds of the Israeli people with the demolished community.
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. Currently, the only Israeli presence at the site other than the IDF's is a small yeshiva, established several years ago.
However, on Wednesday the IDF announced that it would not provide security arrangements for this year’s gathering, essentially forcing its cancellation.
Groups that were organizing the event said they suspected that the IDF canceled the event Wednesday as a “punishment” for the events at Yitzhar on Tuesday. Clashes between the IDF and Yitzhar residents Tuesday morning ended with four homes demolished, but also an IDF outpost destroyed. The IDF denied this, however.
In a statement, the Homesh First group said that “the cancellation of the event, in which thousands annually come to Homesh, is part of a series of attempts to remove the yeshiva that has been established here seven years ago. More Israelis, including MKs, Ministers, and tens of thousands of Jews, are demanding that the community be restored. The Homesh Yeshiva is operating and will continue to grow and protect Homesh, despite this setback,” the group said.