Yeshiva students arrested after being attacked by Arabs

Following a complaint of stones and firebombs thrown at Homesh yeshiva, police descended en masse and arrested the yeshiva's students.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Learning Torah in Homesh
Learning Torah in Homesh
Shosh Shilo

Students learning in the Homesh yeshiva, along with the yeshiva’s director, Shmuel Vendy, submitted a police complaint regarding stones, a container of explosive material, and firebombs that were thrown at them on Saturday night.

Although they reported the incidents as they were occurring, neither police nor IDF forces were sent to Homesh to investigate. It was only later, in the morning that police sappers arrived to neutralize the explosives – which turned out to be phony. This was followed by the arrival of a large police force which descended on the yeshiva and violently arrested all the students.

Upon hearing of the occurrence, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said, “The way in which the students of the Homesh yeshiva are treated has become utterly absurd. If the police really have time on their hands to persecute innocent yeshiva students whose only crime is learning Torah in the Land of Israel, perhaps they could also find some time to do something about the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing land-grab in Area C where the State of Israel is steadily losing control of the situation in an area which is nominally under its rule.”

Dagan added, “Instead of dealing with the stone-throwing, they are chasing after yeshiva students. I call on the government to order the authorities to stop this behavior which stinks of hatred of anything holy. Although the community of Homesh was emptied of its residents, the yeshiva has been reestablished there and the area remains under full Israeli control. There is no justification for the arrest of the yeshiva’s students.”

At the yeshiva, the students and administration attributed the arrests to the fact that lately, there have been more terrorist incidents than usual in the area. In recent weeks, the yeshiva’s students have noticed a significant increase in the number of incidents targeting people on their way to Homesh – who have had stones and firebombs thrown at their vehicles, as well as dummy explosives placed on the access road, causing it to be blocked for hours until the suspicious objects were checked out and found to be harmless.

“The yeshiva of Homesh is a pioneer settlement project,” said Rabbi Elishama Cohen, the yeshiva’s dean. “This is a project that has been going for fifteen years now, one that demands that the government restore its sovereignty over the area and rectify the error of the expulsion. The arrest of the yeshiva’s students as a response to terrorist incidents is a terrible display of weakness and we are very concerned that this will lead to an intensification of the attacks against us, to the point where they could endanger lives. By now, it’s clear to everyone that the expulsion was a capitulation to our enemies and only led to more attacks – and it would be fitting for the police to change their mistaken and dangerous approach to the situation and take action to catch the attackers rather than focus their efforts on arresting their victims.”