At 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, police began expelling the some 300 Jews who had stayed since Monday at the site of the destroyed northern Samarian hilltop community of Homesh. The operation was all but completed within three hours, though it was feared that some activists had run from the soldiers towards Arab-populated areas.

 

Three officers assigned to every activist used force, but no violence, to evict those who refused to go on their own. Teenagers were singing and dancing as the officers approached to take them out.

---Click here to see a large collection of prize photos of Day Two of the temporary return to Homesh.---

 

IDF and police officials had correctly estimated earlier that most of the crowd would take advantage of the buses that had been provided instead of facing a forceful evacuation.

 

Some 1,000 police officers deployed at the site spent the night and early morning hours trying to convince the holdouts to leave the ruins peacefully.  Some activists spent hours setting up stone roadblocks overnight, in an attempt to frustrate the efforts of the evacuation forces.

 

Homesh was one of four northern Samaria Jewish communities that Israel's government destroyed in the Disengagement in the summer of 2005.  The army allowed protestors to return to Homesh on Monday, but demanded that they leave the area when ordered to do so.

 

Some 3,500 activists marched to the site on Monday, many equipped with tents and sleeping bags with the intention of staying in Homesh as long as possible.

 

More than half had left the area by midday Tuesday. Shortly afterwards, the IDF allowed two busloads of guests to pass through the security forces' blockade to attend the brit milah (ritual circumcision) of Limor Har-Melekh Sohn’s baby boy. Limor and her late husband Shuli were founding members of the Torani core group that attempted, in 2001-2, to give new life to the town of Homesh, which had begun to lose families in the wake of the Oslo War terrorism.  Shuli was murdered by Palestinian Authority terrorists in 2003, and Limor has since re-married. The guests left the area after the ceremony was concluded.

 

A core group of former residents and other supporters have vowed to return, again and again, until they are able to rebuild the destroyed community.