Netanyahu gov’t announces plans to legalize Jewish community demolished in 2005

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View of the Homesh outpost in Samaria on November 17, 2022. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

Samaria town evacuated by Ariel Sharon in 2005, then resettled by activists, will be given full legal status, ministers tell Supreme Court.

By World Israel News Staff

An Israeli town in Samaria that was demolished as part of then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s 2005 Gaza Disengagement plan will soon receive government support for its reconstruction, two government ministers said Monday.

Homesh, one of four Israeli Jewish communities in northern Samaria that were dismantled in August 2005 – along with all Israeli towns in the Gaza Strip – will receive state recognition, Defense Minister Yoav Galant and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich told the Supreme Court Monday morning.

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The two ministers filed a joint brief with the Court Monday on behalf of the government, as part of the State’s response to a left-wing petition calling on the Supreme Court to evacuate activists who have reestablished a Jewish presence on the ruins of the demolished town of Homesh.

In recent years, activists have repeatedly attempted to resettle Homesh.

The Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration has carried out multiple evacuation operations, including during previous Netanyahu governments, to remove the activists.

Now, however, the government has committed to amending or repealing the 2005 Gaza Disengagement Law, which bars Israelis from returning to the four demolished towns in northern Samaria.

In their joint brief, Galant and Smotrich, who also serves as a minister in the Defense Ministry and is charged with settlement affairs, requested that the Supreme Court delay the case by three months to give the new government time to amend the Gaza Disengagement Law and to normalize the status of the fledgling town built on the site of the former town of Homesh.

The left-wing petitioners cited the existing Disengagement Law in their appeal to the Supreme Court to have the Homesh outpost evacuated.

In response to the brief filed by Galant and Smotrich, the far-left Yesh Din organization accused the new government of breaking international law.

“Recognizing the outpost community is a violation of international law and will deepen the oppression and dispossession of the Arab residents who own land there,” he said.

Homesh gained prominence in the news last year when a student of its yeshiva was murdered by a terrorist. Yehuda Dimentman, 25, was killed and two others injured by Islamic Jihad terrorists in a drive-by shooting near his home in Shavei Shomron in December 2021.

Six months later, during the premiership of Naftali Bennett, the IDF’s Civil Administration demolished a monument in the victim’s memory that was inaugurated just a day before at the site of his murder.

Source: World Israel News

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