HomeshIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Yeshiva students who were forcibly evicted from the ruins of a town in Samaria Sunday morning found themselves in the hands of Palestinian Authority (PA) police. The students alerted Israeli security forces and were delivered unharmed into Israeli hands by the PA police.

The incident began when security forces confronted the students who had come to study at the site of Homesh, a Jewish town that was razed in the 2005 Disengagement. Arutz Sheva has learned that security forces used violence against the students and demanded that the students leave the area. The students escaped into the surrounding mountains.

The Homesh Yeshiva said that one of the students was first arrested by Border Police fighters near Homesh. They brought him to another Border Police team near the Arab village of Burka, but he escaped into Burka. At a certain point he found that he had been surrounded by Arabs. He alerted Israeli security forces – but it was PA police who took him in their vehicle to the nearby IDF outpost, delivering him unharmed into Israeli hands.

The IDF stated that dozens of youths were staying in Homesh without permission and were told to leave the premises. They escaped into the surrounding mountains, and some of them entered the Arab village of Burka. Three of the youths who entered Burka were arrested by PA police and handed them over to Israeli hands with the IDF's assistance.

The Homesh Yeshiva said it would continue to keep Homesh Jewish and to study Torah there, and called on the public to join them in the annual event at Homesh on the first of the intermediary days (hol hamoed) of Pesach.

MK Orit Struk (Jewish Home) said Sunday that “the students of Homesh Yeshiva, who study with great dedication on the ruins of a community that was uprooted without justification express the aspiration of a large, wide public to fix the injustice of the Disengagement.”

"I call on the Defense Minister to stop persecuting them and finally approve the existence of a yeshiva at the location,” she added.

Samaria Regional Council Head Gershon Mesika reacted by saying that it is time that IDF soldiers devote their energies to defending the residents of Israel, instead of “acting violently against Torah students.”

"Were it not for the reourcefulness of the yeshiva student who was abducted by Palestinians after IDF soldiers chased and beat him, this incident would have ended completely differently,” he added.

Like Struk, Mesika called on the defense establishment to approve the Homesh Yeshiva.