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Samaria Rally Draws 20,000

More than 20,000 supporters of Jewish communities in northern Samaria rallied in the villages of Homesh and Sa-Nur Thursday afternoon following a huge rally in Gush Katif the previous day.



First Publish: 4/29/2005, 12:31 PM / Last Update: 4/29/2005, 2:49 AM

The two towns, along with Kadim and Gadid, are slated to be demolished and its residents forced out of their homes under the government plan to turn the area over to the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Knesset member Aryeh Eldad (National Union) told the crowd in Homesh that if the government tried to execute the plan, protestors "will sit on the roads and stop the country" from moving. Eldad on Wednesday addressed the Gush Katif rally and called for "civil disobedience," a term many politicians interpreted as "rebellion."

MK Yitzchak Levy (formerly of the NRP and now with the New Religious Zionism party) said, "We are not fighting the army or the police. We turn to [Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon to stop this craziness. Everyone knows this plan is dangerous.

Benny Shalom, one of the founders of Homesh, told the crowd that the government will not be able to remove the residents if all of the people at the rally join them during the attempted evacuation.

Sa-Nur resident Yossi Dagan said that his community has tripled its population since Sharon announced the plan to withdraw Jewish soldiers and residents from 25 communities, four in Samaria and 21 in Gaza. A yeshiva also has moved from Kiryat Arba to Sa-Nur in the past few weeks.

Organizers were delighted with the number of supporters, double the 10,000 who were estimated to attend.