Israeli Politicians Rally to Rebuild Evacuated West Bank Settlement

Sa-Nur was one of four settlements in the northern West Bank that were dismantled at the same time as Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005

Bezalel Smotrich, Miki Zohar, Yossi Dagan, Yisrael Katz, Moti Yogev, Haim Katz, Shuli Mualem, David Bitan, Tzipi Hotovely and Oren Hazan at Sa Nur, August 3, 2017.
Tomer Appelbaum

Several ministers and Knesset members gathered at the evacuated West Bank settlement of Sa-Nur Thursday evening to mark the 12th anniversary of its dismantlement and voice support for its reestablishment.

Sa-Nur was one of four settlements in the northern West Bank that were dismantled at the same time as Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005. The ministers and MKs, along with the hundreds of others, voiced support for rebuilding all four settlements, including Homesh, Ganim and Kadim.

A bill to reestablish these settlements was submitted by majority whip David Bitan (Likud) and MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Habayit Hayehudi). Several ministers have said they back the bill.

The politicians present at Thursday’s event included ministers Haim Katz, Ayoub Kara and Uri Ariel, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely and MKs Bitan, Moti Yogev, Sharren Haskel, Nurit Koren, Avraham Nagosa and Bezalel Smotrich.

Katz said he hopes that “next year will be in a rebuilt Sa-Nur.” Bitan added, “The disengagement was a mistake, everyone knows this today. We can’t return to the Gaza Strip, but we can [return] to here. The only way to do so is through a law.”

Several politicians who weren’t present at the event have voiced support for the bill, including Minister Zeev Elkin and Deputy Minister Eli Ben-Dahan.

Currently, Sa-Nur is a closed military zone. Thursday’s event therefore required a special permit from the army, which limited the number of busloads of people that could be brought in.