Right-wing activists who spent last Saturday in ruins of evacuated settlement of Homesh blame security forces for 'violent eviction';
meanwhile, IDF slams rightists, says their presence jeopardized human lives
Published: 05.19.10, 19:00 / Israel News
Right-wing activists who spent last Saturday in the former settlement of Homesh claim that IDF and Border Guard forces evicted them in an "abusive and violent way."
They also blame the IDF for desecrating the Shabbat by transporting them to an Ariel police station in a police car during the Jewish day of rest.
Since the evacuation of the West Bank settlement during the disengagement, various right-wing activists have been visiting the site and occasionally trying to rebuild it. Their presence in the area is considered illegal and forces the IDF to perpetually clear the site.
However, the latest evacuation prompted grave allegations by both sides.
The activists claimed that security forces had behaved violently and confiscated their personal belongings including wallets, a Torah scroll and various religious artifacts, "without a warrant or legal justification." The rightists said they received their belongings only on Tuesday, after the intervention of Interior Minister Eli Yishai, MK Uri Ariel, (National Union) and MK Zeev Elkin (Likud).
'Crossing a red line'
The IDF, however, painted a wholly different picture and pointed a finger at the settlers themselves.
IDF officials said the rightists' presence in Homesh not only jeopardized their own lives but those of security forces as well.
"The IDF regrets having to desecrate Shabbat on this particular operation," an IDF source added.
As to the claim of illegal confiscation of possessions, army officials said forces are allowed to hold equipment seized during illegal activities for up to two weeks.
MK Elkin, who also serves as chairman of the Judea and Samaria Affairs Subcommittee in the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that the IDF's conduct was in violation of guidelines.
"The eviction of settlers on Shabbat eve crossed a red line," he told Ynet.
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