Members of the Dimentman family in Homesh
Members of the Dimentman family in Homesh Tzvi Succot

The Commander of the Shomron brigade, Colonel Ro'i Tzveig, has issued a security warning regarding the march to the settlement of Homesh that is being planned for one of the intermediate days of the Passover festival (Chol Ha'moed Pesach).

A letter written on behalf of Col. Tzveig which came into the hands of Israel National News addressed the dean of the Homesh yeshiva, Rabbi Elishama Cohen, warning him that the planned march has not been authorized and poses a danger to life.

"During the [seven-day] Passover festival, there will be a large number of events taking place in the settlements which the Shomron brigade will be securing, enabling thousands of hikers from across the country to visit Mount Ebal and other parts of Samaria. It is vital to clarify that holding a march along the route that is planned without authorization or security measures in place is dangerous from a security perspective. Therefore, you will be endangering lives by holding this march."

The march is planned for next Tuesday and is set to leave from Shavei Shomron, passing some four Arab villages on a route 14 kilometers long, on its way to Homesh.

"In the event that the march takes place without the necessary permits, it will prevent other events from taking place in the settlements such as the visit to Sebastia, because security forces will need to be diverted to secure the march, and there are not sufficient forces to adequately secure all events."

The IDF also asked Rabbi Cohen to inform all participants in the march that it does not have the requisite permits and that they are endangering their lives by taking part.

"Anyone who opts to bypass the IDF soldiers stationed in the area in order to walk down dangerous tracks that go through and run near to [Arab] villages should know that he is taking his life into his hands," the letter continues. "I reiterate my request for you to refrain from taking action to thwart security forces and create life-threatening situations."

In response, Rabbi Cohen wrote of the importance of the march and his hope that a large number of people will participate.

"Following the murder of our dear student Yehuda Dimentman and in light of the hesitation and weakness displayed by this government, almost twenty thousand supporters of Homesh took part in a march to the community in order to show that we do not reward terrorism! We will continue to show Jewish pride in Beer Sheva, in Hadera, in Tel Aviv, and in Bnei Brak."

Rabbi Cohen rejected the arguments presented to him, writing, "This is a cynical use of security arguments in order to give a stamp of approval to the destruction of the Homesh yeshiva.

"We must not delude ourselves," he continued. "Terrorism is rearing its head and attempting to restrict our freedom of movement. The thousands of marchers who arrive in Homesh next Tuesday will encourage the IDF in its battle against terrorism. The Homesh yeshiva is our moral justification for continuing to exist here and wage battle against our enemies. Any capitulation in the face of terrorism only causes faintness of heart within the Jewish People. We will be in Homesh. The Jewish People will be there. And we will declare loud and clear: Am Yisrael Chai."