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Israeli far right outraged as security forces raze buildings in Homesh

Several structures, including the yeshivah, were demolished several hours after a memorial service for terror victim Yehuda Dimantman.

Family and friends attend the funeral of Yehuda Dimentman at Har HaMenuchot Cemetery in Jerusalem, on Dec. 17, 2021. Photo by Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90.
Family and friends attend the funeral of Yehuda Dimentman at Har HaMenuchot Cemetery in Jerusalem, on Dec. 17, 2021. Photo by Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90.

Right-wing lawmakers expressed outrage on Friday after Israeli security forces demolished several buildings—including the local yeshivah—in the Homesh outpost in Samaria. The demolitions took place just hours after a memorial service in honor of Homesh resident Yehuda Dimantman, who was murdered in a terrorist attack on Dec. 16.

The Religious Zionist Party released a statement accusing Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana and Yamina Knesset member Nir Orbach of “loss of values, selfishness, deceit and falsehood.” 

“They understand that the energies of the devoted public who went up to Homesh, and with them the believing public—traditional, Orthodox, secular—can overthrow the government they formed with the extreme left and terrorism-supporting Arabs” the statement said.

The statement went on to say that Bennett and Shaked had “switched sides” just as former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had once done, and that they would stop at nothing to preserve their seats, “including destroying settlements in Israel.”

The Samaria Regional Council said in a statement that “This morning’s destruction gives a boost to terrorists who want to harm us. We demand that the government not give in to this disgrace and immediately change its policy.”

“There are no words,” said the Homesh yeshivah in a statement. “The terrorists achieved their goal through a contractor: the Israeli government.”

Earlier in the day, MK Ram Ben-Barak, who chairs the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, told Army Radio, “There is a large group in Homesh who exert pressure and want to legitimize illegal actions—I find it unacceptable. If the government decided that there will be no settlement there, then there won’t be a settlement there.”

On Dec. 20, Dimantman’s widow, Ettya, sent a letter to Bennett imploring him not to allow Homesh to be demolished. 

“Don’t complete what the terrorists began, don’t destroy what we have built at Homesh,” she wrote. “Don’t kill my life’s work, that of Yehuda and our friends at Homesh.”

This is an edited version of an article that first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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