Leftists demonstrated outside a festive reception that was held Saturday night for two Shimshon Battalion soldiers, Aryeh Arbus and Achiya Ovadiah, who protested against the IDF's policy of evictions from Homesh. The two held up a sign that said “Shimshon Battalion does not evict from Homesh” after they were sworn in at the Kotel.
The soldiers served a 20 day sentence for their deed and were expelled from the battalion.
The festive event was held at the Shirat Yerushalayim hall with hundreds in attendance, all of whom came to show their appreciation for the soldier's act of protest, and to support the soldiers and their families. Also present were relatives of the secular soldiers who also held up signs against the Homesh evictions but did not stand trial.
Outside the hall, dozens of people from the Labor party's “Ofek Cell” demonstrated and held signs saying “no to refusal to serve.” Arguments broke out between the sides.
Homesh First stated that “even if these brave soldiers are thrown into jail for a year, the fact willl remain that they brought back the IDF's dignity and marked a clear line between the IDF and political evictions, for the first time since the expulsion from Gush Katif and northern Samaria. The IDF commanders need to search their souls and ask – what was it about the battalion's role in the evictions that caused such a level of frustration?”