Israeli army preparing to re-evacuate Homesh

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
Following the march of thousands to the former Samarian settlement of Homesh, some 250 right-wing activists remained early Tuesday morning. The Israeli army and police are preparing to evacuate the protesters who are there illegally.

The Israeli army closed all access routes to the area and was set to make a joint decision with police, making evacuation for either late Tuesday morning or Wednesday.

On Monday, nearly 2,500 people arrived at the site of the former northern Samaria settlement to protest the withdrawal of its residents in 2005. Most left before dawn and the Israeli army provided transportation back to the Tel Aviv area.

Sources said Monday that they expected several hundred "hard-core" activists would remain on the hilltop overnight but that they would be evacuated on Tuesday morning. Three battalions of Israeli troops and border policemen were on standby for the operation.

“We have no interest in violence,” a senior officer said. “But if they don't evacuate on their own then we will have to use force to remove them.”

“We’re not the violent ones here. It's the police and the IDF - they're the ones who will set the tone,” Boaz HaEtzni of Kiryat Arba warned.

No buildings remain in the former settlement except for an old water tow

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