Wednesday night, ex-residents and other supporters burst through IDF roadblocks to infiltrate the former town, with some barricading themselves on the rooftop of a fortress in the settlement.
IDF officials said the settlers nearly ran over a number of troops, but said the eviction was completed at around 3 a.m.
Families and yeshiva girls
The infiltrators, most of whom are students at a girls yeshiva, made their way to Sa-Nur - evacuated in the framework of the disengagement plan three weeks ago - in convoys. However, some were blocked along the way when their vehicles ran over spikes that were scattered along the road near the IDF roadblocks.
Eventually some 70 settlers, mostly teens, made it to the settlement.
Avraham Friedlander, a former Sa-Nur resident who barricaded himself on the fortress roof, told Ynet, “There are families from Sa-Nur here, in addition to teenagers. Some have barricaded themselves on the roof, while others are in other places (in the settlements).”
“The police told us they plan to evict us. There are mostly girls here, so we demanded that female officers and soldiers be brought in to evacuate the girls, but they are not complying,” he said.
“We will not leave. We will not let the Palestinians defile the name of God."
Not the first time
Apparently this is not the first time the settlers have returned to Sa-Nur in recent weeks.
One former resident told Ynet, “I have visited the settlement twice since I was uprooted from my home. We will return and rebuild Sa-Nur.”
Unlike Gush Katif, the northern West Bank cannot be completely sealed off. Moreover, the settlers prepared maps and entry routes into the settlement prior to the August evacuation.
The battle and the war
On August 23, dozens of youngsters who had barricaded themselves in the Sa-Nur fortress were evacuated by security forces. Among those who were evacuated at the time were Rabbi Dov Lior, Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad and settler leader Pinchas Wallerstein.
Rabbi Lior said during August evacuation, “I have no doubt in my mind that, educationally speaking, this evacuation is advantageous. True, physically we lost the battle, but we will become stronger in spirit.”
“I have no doubt that the people of Israel will come back (to Sa-Nur); only then will we achieve peace and security,” he said.
Sharon: 'nothing to worry about'
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who is currently visiting New York for the U.N. General Assembly summit, said in response to the incident, “If anyone entered an area that was closed off by the IDF – this area will be evacuated. There is nothing to worry about.”
“Those who believe they can block roads and scatter spikes (on the road) are wrong. They will go to jail,” he told Ynet. “We cannot live like this, I will not allow it.”
Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report