Homesh Yeshivah Moved to Permanent Site on State-Owned Land


Israelis erect the structure for a new yeshivah in the outpost of Homesh, Monday. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

The Homesh yeshivah was relocated overnight Sunday to a new and permanent location, days after the IDF revoked a military order preventing Israelis from residing in the area.

Before dawn, yeshivah students and volunteers moved the yeshivah several hundred meters off of disputed land.

Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan marked the occasion by affixing a mezuzah to the entrance of the yeshivah’s beis medrash.

“This is a historic moment, a step toward rectifying the injustice of the expulsion from the Shomron. We have been working day and night to rectify the injustice against not only those displaced, but the entire people of Israel,” said Dagan.

“Two months ago, the Knesset correctly removed the Mark of Cain of the expulsion from Israeli laws. We will also reach Ganim, Kadim and Sa-Nur,” he added.

In 2005, Israel unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip. In the process, Israel also evacuated four communities in northern Shomron: Homesh, Kadim, Ganim and Sa-Nur. Those communities were declared military zones which Israelis were banned from entering.

In March, the Knesset repealed articles of the 2005 law banning Israelis from entering and residing in the four Shomron communities, and in May, IDF Central Command head Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs signed an order allowing Israelis to re-enter Homesh.

Yesha Council chief and Gush Etzion Regional Council Mayor Shlomo Neeman on Monday hailed the “emotional” move and praised the government.

“This is a historic and emotional morning for all the people of Israel. After almost 18 years since the terrible expulsion, this morning, the students of the yeshivah finally got to recite the blessing of the return [to the land of Israel],” said Neeman.

Meanwhile, the United States last week harshly criticized Israel’s decision to walk back the legislation barring Israelis from entering Homesh.

“We are deeply troubled by the Israeli government’s order that allows its citizens to establish a permanent presence in the Homesh outpost in the northern West Bank, which according to Israeli law was illegally built on private Palestinian land,” said U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

“Advancing Israeli settlements in the West Bank is an obstacle to the achievement of a two-state solution,” he added.

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