Mon 29 May 2023 3:52 pm - Jerusalem Time

Returning to "Homesh"... the good nail in the coffin of the two-state solution

All the lackluster international condemnations and stances, led by the "fragile" American position, which does not go beyond "casting dust in the eyes", did not succeed in dissuading the Israeli occupation state from its gradual and rolling decision to return the settlers to the evacuated "Homesh" settlement, north of Nablus, which is considered a final blow. The nail in the coffin of the "two-state solution", effectively eliminating the last chance for the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state.

Last Thursday, the Israeli Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant, instructed his soldiers stationed at the entrance to the "Homesh" settlement to allow the settlers to bulldoze and pave an area of land within the borders of the settlement and to install a number of mobile homes in it, to serve as the first building block for building a religious school inside it, which actually means He executed the decision to evacuate the settlement, which was made in 2005.

And the former Prime Minister of the occupying state, "Ariel Sharon", had unilaterally implemented that year an evacuation plan for four settlements in the north of the West Bank, in conjunction with the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and these settlements are: "Homesh", "Ghanim", "Kadim" and "Sanor". ".

Specialists believe that the return to "Homesh" and other evacuated settlements will lead to further fragmentation and dismemberment of the Palestinian land, separating the northern West Bank governorates from each other, and opening up the settlers' appetite to control more neighboring lands under various pretexts based in many cases on Alleged religious and historical narratives and legends claiming their right to this land.

The decision to return to "Homesh" is a victory for the extremist religious Zionist ideology that actually controls the current occupation government, and here is the leader of the extremists and the current Minister of Finance "Smotrich" bragging, saying: "We promised to settle the continuation of teaching the Torah in the religious school in "Homesh", and here we are implementing that".

Specialists believe that the steps to revive the "Homesh" settlement and other settlements will take place with great acceleration, especially in light of the presence of an Israeli government that supports these steps, with a pale and fragile international position that can only be seen with one eye, the harshest of which is what was stated by the US State Department spokesman, "Matthew Miller, who considered that "encouraging settlement in the West Bank is an (obstacle) to the issue of a two-state solution," as well as the French position that called on Israel to examine this decision again, and also in light of a weak and shaky Palestinian position that is unable to accept or confront.

It is noteworthy that last March, the "Knesset" approved the "Repeal of the Separation Law" law, which provides for the abolition of the classification of the "closed military zone" that classified the areas of the four evacuated settlements (Homesh, Ganim, Kadim, and Sanur).

Palestinian citizens sense the danger of settlement ambitions in the area between Nablus and Jenin. In this context, the community activist and former head of the village council of Barqa, Sami Douglas, calls on the Palestinian Authority, the government, the PLO, and factions of all affiliations to deal with the issue seriously.

Douglas warned of "three major risks" facing the West Nablus area, the first of which is the reconstruction in the evacuated "Homesh" settlement, noting here that in addition to the buildings and tools that were conjured to establish a religious school in the settlement, the occupation authorities began paving a racist settlement road for the use of Settlers only. It extends from the entrance to Jabal Al-Qubaybat, on which “Homesh” stands, to the entrance to “Shavei Shomron” settlement. It is a 4-kilometer road parallel to the main Nablus-Jenin road. He explains that, for this purpose, 2,200 dunums of citizens' lands were confiscated in the neighboring villages and towns of Cyrenaica, Sebastia, Naqoura and Deir Sharaf.

Douglas added that the second danger is the attempt to control the Hijaz Railway (Al-Masoudia station), and the survey and planning stages have already begun at the site.

He continued that the third danger is the control of the antiquities area in the town of Sebastia, pointing out in this regard that the occupation government allocated about two weeks ago an amount of 29 million shekels to control the area under the pretext of developing it.

It is noteworthy that the controversial "Homesh" settlement was established in the early 1980s on top of the "Qubaibat" mountain, which includes thousands of dunums, most of which are owned by the people of the village of Burqa. Three Palestinian governorates, namely Nablus, Jenin and Tulkarm.

In 2013, the people of Burqa celebrated their decision by the Israeli Supreme Court to recover about 1,200 dunums of their agricultural land that the occupation confiscated from them in 1978 to establish the "Homesh" settlement at the time, without realizing at the time that the decision would be nothing more than "ink on paper."

About 18 years have passed since the Israeli army evacuated the "Homesh" settlement, but the owners of the lands in that area were unable to access and work there freely, due to the return of a number of settlers to reside there semi-permanently under the protection of the Israeli army, in addition to the inability of farmers themselves to reclaim their lands in that region with their own efforts, after the absence of official and institutional support and the policy of neglect for this vital region.


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Returning to "Homesh"... the good nail in the coffin of the two-state solution