newsIsrael at War

Six Israeli resettlement activists arrested at Gaza border released

The six were part of a group that set up camp at the Erez Crossing in a call for a Jewish return to the Gaza Strip.

Families celebrate Shabbat at the Erez Crossing to demonstrate their support for Jewish resettlement of the Gaza Strip, March 2024. Credit: Honenu.
Families celebrate Shabbat at the Erez Crossing to demonstrate their support for Jewish resettlement of the Gaza Strip, March 2024. Credit: Honenu.

Six men detained by the Israel Police at the Erez Crossing on Friday were released on orders of the Beersheva Magistrate’s Court on Sunday night.

The six, who were arrested during a Sabbath night meal, are part of a group that set up camp at the crossing on the northern edge of the Gaza Strip in a call for a Jewish return to the enclave.

(In 2005, Israel evacuated 8,000 Jews by force as part of the Gaza disengagement, an event which led to Hamas control of the Gaza Strip a little less than two years later.)

Police requested that the detainees be held for an additional five days, but the court denied the request, releasing them on bail.

Attorney Nati Rom from Honenu, a Zionist legal aid organization, argued that the six men, none of whom had a prior criminal record, had not been presented with any order requiring their removal from the site, and were arrested seemingly at random, while dozens of other protesters present were not arrested, according to the Arutz 7 news site.

The attorney noted that soldiers at the crossing even took part in the Sabbath meal.

Families and teenagers who were not arrested remained at the Erez Crossing through the Sabbath. According to a statement they released on Saturday night, “On Friday, families and dozens of righteous youth arrived at the terminal at the crossing in order to be there on a very uplifting and successful Sabbath, out of a call for and belief in Jewish settlement in Gaza.”

The activists noted that the terrorists entered the same crossing on Oct. 7, in which thousands of Arab workers came every day. “We must work to make Gaza Jewish and of course not employ the enemy,” the statement continued, noting that on Oct. 7, Hamas terrorists had entered Israeli territory via the same crossing, and that thousands of Gaza residents had also entered Israel through it every day prior to Oct. 7 for work.

They also protested against the return of Gaza residents to the northern Gaza Strip, arguing that it “clearly endangers our soldiers and the entire people of Israel, and even makes a mockery of the achievement of conquering the north of the Gaza Strip.”

Remarking on the six mens’ arrest on Friday night, they said Israeli decision makers “do not know how to distinguish between enemy and friend, and between victory and loss,” and suffer from “the same delusional agendas that brought upon us the [Oct. 7] Holocaust, prevent us from winning and bring moral and security disgrace upon us all.”

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