Homesh Back on the Map

North Samaria town put symbolically back on the map as rebuilding efforts continue post-Disengagement.

Maayana Miskin ,

Israel news photo: Flash 90

The northern Samaria (Shomron) town of Homesh was put back on the map Tuesday during a pre-Passover celebration sponsored by the Samaria Regional Council.

Mayors, rabbis, activists and others who “make Samaria” were invited to the event.

For the first time since the 2005 Disengagement an invitation was sent to two “city officials” from the town of Homesh. The town was demolished in the Disengagement along with three other northern Samaria towns, and its residents expelled.

Homesh has since become the front line of a battle to undo the Disengagement by rebuilding the towns that were destroyed. Under the slogan, “Homesh First,” activists began setting up makeshift homes on the ruins of the town and bringing back a permanent civilian presence.

Despite strong opposition from security forces, activists succeeded in celebrating holidays and life cycle events at the site, and began winning support for their cause from leading politicians.

During Tuesday’s event, Samaria officials announced that Homesh would be returned to the Samaria Regional Council’s map of local communities. “We all welcome our friends representing Homesh, and hope and believe that we will soon rejoice in the community’s rebuilding,” the speaker declared.

Her words won a highly emotional response from Homesh First activists.

Regional Council head Gershon Mesika said, “Homesh is our town. Even after the expulsion it remained under full Israeli control, so there is no reason not to correct the wrong done in uprooting it, and to return to Homesh.”