Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh / Flash 90
Israeli soldiers block the entrance to Homesh, in northern Samaria, on May 28, 2022.

Just two hours before the start of Shabbat, IDF soldiers carried out orders from Defense Minister Benny Gantz to confiscate the solar panels of the Homesh Yeshiva in northern Samaria, damaging the electrical system in the process, the Hebrew-language 0404 website reported.

Likud MK Yuli Edelstein condemned the move, which he pointed out “leaves the yeshiva students in the dark.”


Edelstein, a former Knesset Speaker, said in a statement, “I strongly condemn any harm to the Jewish settlement, of course, but one thing in particular gives me no rest: why does Benny Gantz always send troops just before the start of Shabbat?

“Where does this obtuseness, this disregard for the sanctity of the Sabbath come from?”

Knesset Member Orit Strook likewise attacked the Lapid government for the incident.

“The security chief is busy with. . . Homesh! Leave home alone with such trifles as the riots along the Alon Highway, a shooting attack at the exit from Shechem – and a terrorist who came to collect the weapon afterward – a child who was murdered because of the Civil Administration’s failure to deal with Palestinian drivers.

“Right now, Gantz is sending forces to confiscate solar panels in Homesh so the yeshiva students will not have electricity on Shabbat.

“God willing Homesh will be built and will be prepared! [But] in the meantime, these are the instructions of one who presents himself as a centrist but in fact is completely on the left: Benny Gantz, the new [political] partner of [Gideon] Sa’ar and [Ze’ev] Elkin. It hurts me.”

MK Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the Otzma Yehudit party currently in talks with Religious Zionism head Bezalel Smotrich, called Gantz “the enemy of settlement [and] darling of the Palestinian Authority.”

Ben Gvir accused Gantz of continuing to “serve the interests of his friend and our enemy, the terrorist Abu Mazen.

“Instead of arresting the terrorists who lynched a resident of Kochav Hashachar, he sends soldiers to harass and abuse the righteous in Homesh. After the elections, God willing, we will establish a full right-wing government and we will care for the heroic settlers.”

Religious Zionism party Knesset member Simcha Rothman wrote in a statement: “Have you asked yourself what the partner of Gideon Sa’ar and Ayelet Shaked is doing just before Shabbat? [He is] abusing the residents of Homesh and confiscating their solar panels so that on one of the hottest Shabbats of the year, they will have no fan.

“There is no limit to the obtuseness. Benny Gantz, shame on you!”

Similar statements were issued by MK Uriel Bosso, MK Kati Sheetrit, and MK Shlomo Karai.

The yeshiva’s director, Shmuel Vandi, said in a statement, “Starting with the murder of Yehuda. . . the yeshiva is obsessively harassed – this is the reward for terrorism. Confiscating parts of the yeshiva’s electrical system is a step up in the violation of Homesh, but we do not despair. They will not silence the voice of Torah in Homesh.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.