Powered by WebAds

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Amona Homesh

Three battalions of IDF troops and a detail of border police are currently awaiting orders to 'evacuate' 'several' hundred revenants who remain on the former site of the Jewish town of Homesh, whose Jews were expelled by the Sharon-Peres government - the Olmert-Peretz-Livni government's predecessor - in 2005. The revenants are the remainder of a group of some 2500 or more who made the march to Homesh yesterday on foot from Shavei Shomron, some six kilometers away.

All is not well, and what we are witnessing now may be the calm before the storm. IDF troops have prevented food from reaching the revenants although they claim to be allowing water supplies through. There is no electricity and it was quite cold last night - the revenants slept in sleeping bags and tents on the exposed hilltop. It is widely expected that the troops will attempt to forcibly remove the revenants, and visions of Amona (where a couple who met in last year's bloody expulsion married yesterday) are flashing through people's minds. A 'senior officer' in the IDF claims that the army has "no interest in violence," but some of the revenants at Homesh say that they will not leave voluntarily. The Jerusalem Post reports that the IDF will expel the revenants this morning, while YNet reports that if things 'stay calm' and their presence in the area 'appears to be temporary,' then they will be allowed to stay until tomorrow morning.

The left reacted with fury to the IDF's decision to allow the revenants to proceed to Homesh. They'd rather see heads bashed in as happened last year in Amona. One of the apparent differences is that this time the IDF seems to be taking the lead rather than the border police. It was the border police who perpetrated most of the violence at Amona. Having not heard of anyone 'refusing orders,' I have to believe that the IDF is not using religious units for this 'operation' - they would be too likely to include troops who are revenants themselves.

West Bank Mama reports that a brit mila (circumcision) of the son of a former Homesh resident took place there yesterday.

For those who have forgotten, the boy whose picture appears at the top of this post with a black eye is my son's former classmate Yaakov Tessler. He was beaten last year at Amona. The police who perpetrated the violence at Amona received disciplinary hearings rather than criminal charges.

Yesterday, the IDF announced that Roi Klein HY"D of Eli has been nominated for the medal of valor, which has been awarded just forty-one times in Israel's history (and which has not been awarded since the Yom Kippur War). Klein covered a grenade during the battle of Bint Jbeil last summer, killing himself but saving most of his troops. (One of the other soldiers killed in the same battle was Amihai Merhavia. Some of you may recall that afterwards pictures of Merhavia being beaten by police circulated on the internet and were published on this blog). The proposed posthumous award to Klein was viewed as a way for the IDF to try to make amends with the revenant community, which provides a disproportionate number of the IDF's officers and elite unit members, and which has had a lot of ambivalence towards the IDF since the expulsion. If there is violence today in Homesh, all bets are off.


Post a Comment

<< Home