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IDF general signs order allowing Jews to return to Homesh

Reversal of the disengagement ban also annexes the community to the Samaria Regional Council.

The evacuated community of Homesh in northern Samaria, Nov. 17, 2022. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.
The evacuated community of Homesh in northern Samaria, Nov. 17, 2022. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs, head of the IDF Central Command, has signed an order allowing Israelis to Homesh, one of the four Jewish communities in northern Samaria evacuated in the 2005 disengagement.

The order, which was shared on social media on Saturday night, also placed the area within the jurisdiction of the Samaria Regional Council.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant last week instructed Fuchs to sign the order that ends the ban on Jews living in Homesh.

The Knesset in March repealed articles of the law banning Israelis from entering and residing in the four communities. The Gaza disengagement led to the evacuation and destruction of Homesh, Sa-Nur, Ganim and Kadim in Samaria, and 21 communities in the Gaza Strip.

The new plan would see the Homesh Yeshivah moved to nearby state-owned land, legalizing the place of Jewish learning.

Religious Zionism Party leader and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who oversees civilian policies in Judea and Samaria as a minister in the Defense Ministry, praised the move in a Twitter post on Saturday night.

“We promised to regulate the continuation of Torah study in the yeshivah in Homesh and we are keeping it … thanks to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for the cooperation in arranging the yeshiva,” Smotrich wrote.

Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, also praised the move.

“This is a day of celebration, an important day in the history of the State of Israel, a day when historical justice was done for one of the greatest injustices done in this country to the Land of Israel and to Israeli citizens,” Dagan said.

“I congratulate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and this government for this brave and important move that will go down in the history books of the State of Israel, a move by leaders who dared to change the reality and make it right. We turned to the future: to settlement, to construction and to the flowering of the wilderness that was imposed on us.”

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