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      Northern Samaria: Our Struggle Will Not be ´Diaspora Style´

      The struggle against the Disengagement Plan is quickly becoming more harsh and determined as the demolition teams turn their attention from Gaza to northern Samaria.
      By Samaria Correspondent Ezra HaLevi
      First Publish: 8/22/2005, 11:41 AM / Last Update: 8/22/2005, 1:36 PM

      "We refuse to conduct our struggle 'Diaspora-style,' " said Homesh resident Limor Har-Melech Sunday. "Leaving our homes with hugs and kisses? What does that accomplish?"

      "There will be no hugs or kisses of those who come to throw us out here," said Har-Melech, whose husband Shuli was murdered by Arab terrorists. "The IDF that arrives at my home is not fulfilling its function. It is performing a task contrary to the one for which it was established."

      Har-Melech claims that the government, using the state-run media, has succeeded in imbuing many residents due to be expelled with a sense that resistance is futile, that there is no need for a struggle. "The State of Israel took away the most minimal legitimate right to protest," she said. "But we will not allow this to happen here. We are healthy people who open their eyes and see the reality and therefore we will not allow this to happen here."

      Har-Melech emphasized that there would be no attacks on soldiers, "but there will be a determined and firm struggle. Do not expect to see pictures of people leaving their homes hanging their heads - it will not happen here."

      Likud MK Dr. Uzi Landau, visiting Homesh Sunday, encouraged residents to put up a determined struggle against the expulsion. "The struggle for this community must be harsh and resolute," Landau said while touring the town. "It must be made clear that the government is taking a historically tragic step for the nation of Israel, the price of which we will be forced to pay in many arenas for many years to come."

      Landau added that he believes PM Ariel Sharon purposely included the IDF in the Disengagement even though there are enough police personnel to carry it out, in order to take advantage of the fact that the targeted public respects the army nearly unconditionally.

      In the field, the shift from non-resistance to active civil disobedience can be felt.

      The town of Kedumim has become, to northern Samaria, the rough equivalent of what Kfar Maimon was supposed to be to Gaza's Jewish communities - a launching point for anti-expulsion activities. The difference is that those leading the struggle against the expulsion in the Shomron are much more willing to challenge the IDF, with a general feeling that the army has lost its legitimacy, at least temporarily, by accepting the mission of removing Jews from parts of the Jewish homeland.

      Groups of hundreds of anti-expulsion activists head from Kedumim toward Homesh and Sa-Nur on foot each night. Eighty-seven were arrested Sunday night as they approached Homesh, and close to 200 were arrested the night before. A number of activists did, however, succeed in entering the blockaded community.

      A mass march, to include entire families, is set to head toward Homesh from Kedumim at 5 PM Monday evening as well.

      Sunday, tens of anti-expulsion demonstrators were arrested during raucous protests blocking the main road adjacent to Kedumim to IDF and police vehicles on their way to bolster the blockade on northern Samaria.

      Eight young people burned an IDF bulldozer that had been brought in for the expulsion. The bulldozer's driver ran up to the vehicle and threatened the youths with his weapon, but they escaped the area.

      Residents of Gush Katif, most of whom did not engage in roadblockings prior to their own expulsion, are now taking to the streets as well. The newly homeless residents of the Gush Katif towns of Netzer Hazani and Ganei Tal blocked traffic completely at the Re'em-Masmiya Junction in the Lachish region Sunday evening. They were joined by hundreds of well-wishers from neighboring Jewish towns and villages.

      Residents of Moshav Katif, expelled earlier in the day Sunday, were supposed to be brought to Jerusalem. They were delayed near Kibbutz Sa'ad due to issues regarding the bus drivers' visas, and after they were sent on their way, the enraged residents ordered their bus to stop at the blocked junction and joined their former neighbors in blocking the road.

      Two residents of the Gush Katif community of Shirat HaYam, who returned to their homes to pack up their possessions Sunday, blockaded themselves inside their homes for hours. The IDF brought negotiation teams and security forces rushed to the location and subdued the residents.

      Activists Nadia Matar and Noam Livnat, both former residents of the seaside community, have called upon their former neighbors to attempt to return to their homes.

      Around midnight Sunday night, the residents of Moshav Katif and Atzmona, both deported Sunday, arrived in Jerusalem, where they were greeted by 20,000 people at the Western Wall.