Israeli Minister Calls to Legalize Settlement Outpost After Yeshiva Student's Murder

Justice Minister Sa'ar opposes demolishing the Homesh yeshiva, arguing that a 'wider perspective' on its legal status must take into account Yehuda Dimentman's death in a shooting attack

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A protest vigil in memory of Yehuda Dimentman, calling to legalize the Homesh outpost, in the West Bank, last week.
A protest vigil in memory of Yehuda Dimentman, calling to legalize the Homesh outpost, in the West Bank, last week.Credit: Amir Levy

Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar said on Tuesday he opposes dismantling the settlement outpost of Homesh, following the death of Yehuda Dimentman, who studied at a yeshiva there, in a shooting attack last week in the same area.

In an interview with Israeli news website Ynet, Sa'ar said he believes the yeshiva, which has been evicted many times before, should now be legalized.

“The recent murder of a Jew by an Islamic jihadist on the way to Homesh must be taken into account in the wider perspective,” Sa'ar argued. Sa'ar described the shooting as an act by an “extremist terror organization that carried out a murder.”

Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar in Jerusalaem, November.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Dimentman, 25, left behind a wife and a one-year-old child.

Dismantling the West Bank yeshiva, Sa'ar claims, could be perceived as an "award" for Al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad's military wing that claimed responsibility for the fatal ambush. Sa'ar added that “no harm comes from students learning the Torah there.”

The former settlement of Homesh was evacuated during Israel's 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. Shortly after, however, settlers established the Homesh yeshiva, which acts as an outpost and is populated by a small number of students who move between it and the nearby settlement of Shavei Shomron.

By law, Israelis are forbidden from entering the area, and the outpost is evicted every few months. During the last eviction, the main road leading to Homesh was blocked in an attempt to bar settlers from returning to the site.

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