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On the roof in Sa-Nur
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Photo: Efrat Weiss
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Troops enter Homesh
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Yair Naveh
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Rooftop showdown over
Dozens of youths on roof of Sa-Nur lowered through containers – ending the clearance of the last pocket of resistance against the disengagement. Rabbi Lior, who led the activists, and left the roof in the last container with a Torah scroll in his hands, said that "physically the struggle was not decided in our favor, but I have no doubt that the nation of Israel will return here and only then will we see peace and security”

(VIDEO) Sa-Nur fortress falls: Police forces have removed all pullout foes from the roof of the old British police fortress in the northern West Bank settlement of Sa-Nur using containers. 

 

The operation passed off without major disturbances, according to officers taking part in the clearance. One senior officer who too part in clearances said that “as opposed to Kfar Darom, those who fortressed themselves here set an excellent example.”

 

All of Sa-Nur’s and Homesh’s remaining residents have been evacuated and placed on buses. During the operation to clear Sa-Nur, an IDF female soldier was lightly injured from a stabbing with a Japanese knife by one of the evacuees. The soldier was taken to hospital, and woman suspected of carrying out the attack has been arrested and is being questioned by police.

 

The last container to be lowered from the roof contained rabbi Dov Lior, who hugged a Torah scroll. Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad and head of Binamin Council Pinchas Walerstein were also in the lowered container, marking the end of the evacuation of Sa-Nur.

  

Earlier, the IDF began lifting containers to the roof of the fortress, with 20 Border Guard forces in each container, while pullout objectors awaited the troops with sticks in their hands in an attempt to destabilize the containers.

 

The force's commander informed the settlers, using a megaphone, that they were taking part in an illegal gathering. A Ynet reporter lifted to the roof with the troops heard settlers yell back: "We'll do everything in our power to prevent you from committing this crime."

 

Troops seperated public figures from others on the roof. Kiryat Arba and Hebron Rabbi Dov Lior sat on the roof, with many pullout objectors around him, while holding on to a Torah scroll. The youngsters on the roof prayed and did not offer resistance to the officers who were evacuating them.

 

The rabbi and Knesset Member Arieh Eldad were the last ones to be lowered from the roof.

   

Troops evacuate Homesh (Video: Channel 2)

 
Forces began dismantling the tents set up on the roof and remove the equipment brought in by settlers. A senior officer said that "as opposed to (events) in Kfar Darom, the conduct of those barricaded on the roof is exemplary."
 

Overall, 15 settlers were detained and another 15 were stopped for questioning since the northern Samaria evacuation got under way, while 15 police officers and soldiers were injured.

 

A female soldier sustained light injuries after being stabbed by a female settler armed with a box-cutter in Sa-Nur, while a male soldier escaped injury in Homesh after a settler attempted to stab him.

 

Meanwhile, forces evacuated about 50 youngsters from a yeshiva in Homesh. The pullout foes, who hurled insults at the troops and called them traitors, sat on the floor and hung on to each other in the face of evacuation efforts. The youngsters also yelled out anti-Sharon slogans, but no violence was reported

  

Police chief optimistic

 

Police Chief Moshe Karadi said the developments in both Homesh and Sa-Nur were not as violent and serious as expected.

 

"Several hoodlums are attempting to create drama," he said, referring to illegal infiltrators, and added "we should be thinking about how their parents sent them here."

 

Karadi added that the evacuation operation does not constitute any particular challenge for security forces and estimated the evacuation will end by Tuesday evening.

 

'Some will walk away, others will be dragged away'

 

At 11:15, the forces' commander at the Sa-Nur fortress used a megaphone to call on pullout foes to refrain from offering resistance.

 

"We'll evacuate them one by now, some will leave walking, others will be dragged away," the commander told the troops, before they stormed the fortress.

 

In Homesh, troops clashed with pullout foes in a vacant building where 40 girls barricaded themselves on the second floor. Forces used ladders and stormed the floor after a short battle that saw the girls hurl flour, paint, and other substances at the troops.

 

Eventually, Border Guard troops were able to reach the girls, who offered passive resistance, and started evacuating them.

  

Troops evacuate Sa-Nur synagogue (Video: Channel 2)

  

 

Tuesday morning, about 8,000 soldiers and police officers reached Sa-Nur and Homesh and surrounded them ahead of their evacuation, before breaking through the communities' entry gates using bulldozers.

 

In Sa-Nur, 20-30 members of the Hassidic Chabad-Lubavitch movement barricaded themselves in a mosque that has been turned into a synagogue before being removed by troops.

 

Evacuation forces commander Meir Ben Yishai turned to their rabbi and proposed that the youngsters leave voluntarily with the Torah scrolls, but the youngsters refused the offer.

 

The Lubavitchers, however, only offered passive resistance to the evacuation while carrying the Torah scrolls and singing.

 

Earlier in Sa-Nur, settlers hurled eggs at evacuation forces who arrived at their homes, but the troops continued their advance and started evacuating residents.

 

In the morning, settlers placed spikes on roads and burned tires at the entrance to Sa-Nur ahead of the troops' arrival. In Homesh, several pullout foes poured oil on the road in a bid to impede the forces. However, large Border Guard forces had no trouble entering the community and started dismantling infiltrators' tents, before turning their attention to residents.

 

At 8:00 a.m., forces began the evacuation of homes in Sa-Nur, with soldiers and police facing the houses and calling on residents to leave.

 

 

Reporting from the field:

Efrat Weiss, Sa-Nur

Ilan Marciano, Sa-Nur

Aya Ben Amos, Homesh

Ahiya Raved, Homesh

Hanan Greenberg, with the troops

 

 

 


First published: 22.08.05, 20:35
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