Israeli Forces Evacuate Structures at West Bank Outpost After Murder of Settler

The death of Yehuda Dimentman on Thursday sparked the attempt to reestablish Homesh, which Israelis are forbidden from entering since it was dismantled in 2005

הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf
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Yehuda Dimentman's funeral, this week.
Yehuda Dimentman's funeral, this week.Credit: Moti Milrod
הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf

Israeli Border Police finished removing prefabricated structures from the Homesh settler outpost in the northern West Bank on Sunday morning, near the scene where yeshiva student Yehuda Dimentman was murdered on Thursday.

In response to Dimentman's killing, the buildings were erected overnight Thursday near an existing yeshiva in an effort to revive the Homesh settlement, forcibly evacuated by Israel in 2005 as an extension of its Gaza disengagment plan.

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Officers removed settlers from the new structures before the evacuation began. While the yeshiva building remains in place, soldiers blocked entry to the yeshiva Sunday morning.

Students at Homesh yeshiva charged that "instead of destroying the terrorist's house, they decided to destroy the spiritual home of the man murdered."

They further demanded the government recognize the yeshiva in order to "fulfill Yehuda's will" and "bring life back to Homesh," a call echoed by right-wing politicians, including Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich, at Dimentman's funderal on Friday. 

Despite the settlement's initial evacuation 16 years ago, local settlers often visit the area and operate the yeshiva, which in practice serves as an outpost, with yeshiva students moving between it and the nearby settlement Shavei Shomron.

Dozens of settlers spent the weekend at the outpost, managing to evade the heightened security presence and the Border Police roadblock in order to bring in equipment to put up the buildings.

According to the Israeli army, clashes broke out at the site between settlers and security forces trying to prevent the passage of building materials.

As a rule, the yeshiva is not guarded by IDF soldiers due to its location among Palestinian villages, far from other settlements, and it is forbidden for Israelis to be present there.

Right-wing WhatsApp groups called for more people to come to the outpost during the seven-day mourning period for Dimentman. A fundraiser following Dimentman’s murder managed to gather 300,000 shekels ($95,602).

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