Tuesday, August 23, 2005

They're Done... Chomesh... and All of North Shomron

Well, that's it. All the people are out (except for a two holdouts who climbed up a 100 ft. antenna and are still up there). The planned evacuation of the four northern Shomron settlements is over. God help us all.

An IDF bulldozer clears a burning barricade in the northern Samaria settlement of Homesh Tuesday morning.
Photo: AP
Homesh evacuation completed

The Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four settlements in northern Samaria ended successfully Tuesday when security forces finished evacuating Homesh.

Homesh presented some of the toughest resistance to evacuation seen during the seven days of forced evacuations, but by six p.m. Tuesday soldiers and police had removed virtually all remaining protesters holed up in various locations in the northern Samaria settlement.

Only two anti-pullout activists still held their ground – on an antenna some 30 meters high. Due to the inherent danger of the situation, evacuating forces decided not to attempt to bring the two down by force. Attempts to coax them down were underway.

The main struggle of the day was with the youths who had barricaded themselves in the settlement's Har Shalom Yeshiva, but while security forces were occupied there, a large group of teenage girls took advantage of the "cover" of action to take over an abandoned home, hoping to create an additional focus of resistance to the evacuation.

Out of respect for the girls' modesty, female soldiers and officers initially took charge of evacuating them.

However, some of the girls fought so vigorously against removal that male soldiers were forced to carry them out of their stronghold.

Throughout Tuesday, police and IDF evacuation forces deployed in Homesh entered homes and buildings throughout the settlement, steadily pulling 1329 resisting residents and infiltrators out of 60 buildings.

The standoff between evacuation forces and the youths occupying the yeshiva came to an end shortly after 1:30 p.m. as troops began to pull the youths out. The boys and young men held on to one another on the floor of the yeshiva in an attempt to make their forced removal more difficult.


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