Religious services Minister Matan Kahana told Reshet Bet radio Thursday morning that “anyone who thinks this government will build and renew Homesh is wrong.” He added: “What did not happen with the fully right-wing government under a sympathetic American administration, will not happen with this government. And yet the Homesh yeshiva is still standing.”
Immediately following the end of the shiva week for Homesh terror victim Yehuda Dimentman H’yd, and the solidarity march of 15-thousand Israelis through the location of the ambush murder, Israeli security forces raided the outpost and destroyed two homes there. They have since returned several times to demolish structures as well as confiscate vital equipment such as generators.
For PM Naftali Bennett this was not the first time he ordered the demolition of Homesh. On April 30, 2020, on the orders of then-Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, the study hall and the boarding facilities at Homesh were destroyed, as well as the homes of families who had moved back to Homesh.
On the thirtieth day’s anniversary of the murder, thousands are expected to arrive on Thursday at 6:30 PM for a demonstration in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. The demonstration takes place as part of a protest tent set up by the heads of the Judea and Samaria municipalities, demanding that the Yeshiva of Homesh not be destroyed, that the settlement not be harmed, and that the state lands in Judea and Samaria and the Negev not be abandoned.
Somewhere during the protest, someone should mention that the bulk of the blame for the way things stand today at Homesh rests with former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The first time Homesh was destroyed was under the Ariel Sharon government, on August 23, 2005. Benjamin Netanyahu was Sharon’s finance minister and voted yes on the uprooting of Jews from Gaza and Samaria every time save one. The then-legal settlement was evacuated with three other legal Jewish communities in Samaria as part of the Gaza disengagement plan. The Homesh homes were destroyed by the IDF and the ruins were removed, except for the water tower that was left intact and later served as a backdrop for photo-ops of visiting right-wing politicians who vowed to resettle the place and then drove home to have a nutritious sandwich. The army also left intact the basic infrastructure, such as sidewalks, roads, dirt roads, and stairs.
So, what could the Netanyahu government have done to resettle Homesh in its decade-plus in power? A whole lot. For one thing, it could revoke the Disengagement Plan Implementation Law, 5765-2005 which makes an unauthorized stay in the evacuated areas a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment.
In 2007, a Kfar Saba Juvenile Court ruled on the arrest of a young woman in Homesh that visiting at the site—as opposed to settling there—is permissible. But that did not remedy the capricious Sharon government’s destruction of the settlement where on a clear day visitors—and future Arab terrorists with rocket launchers—can see clear through to the beach panorama in Tel Aviv.
From March 2009, when he became Prime Minister again, through June 2021, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud had plenty of time to kill the shameful disengagement law, especially since most of the damage it had inflicted was irreversible – Israel left the Gaza Strip and two years later it became a Hamas Heart of Darkness-type terrorist state. In any event, Netanyahu didn’t, when he had the support of domineering, right-wing coalitions for 12 years, give or take a few months.