"The penal chapter of the Disengagement Law has completed its role, and therefore suspects cannot be brought before a court based on it," Judge David Gadol of the Juvenile Court in Kfar Saba ruled recently.
Gadol, who presided in a hearing on the remand extension of a teenage girl who was arrested after visiting the evacuated settlement of Homesh, said that the girl did not commit a criminal offense because the law in question – which bars Israelis from visiting the former settlement - was no longer valid.
Ever since the evacuation of the West Bank settlement during the disengagement in summer of 2005, thousands of right-wing activists and settlers have tried marching to Homesh and visiting there. In recent months, the army has repeatedly evacuated teenage activists from the place.
According to Gadol, the law, which was passed in 2004, states that during the evacuation of settlements, the entrance of people who might interfere with the pullout should be barred. "I learned that these clauses, in terms of their legal purpose and rationale, were meant to ensure the evacuation," the judge wrote.
"I'm certain that no one will dispute the fact that the evacuation, as part of the disengagement plan, was completed two years ago… the government's decision was carried out and the disengagement is over," he added.
Gadol noted that the legal status of Homesh needed to be defined.
Right-wing activists from the Homesh First organization said in response, "The court's ruling proves that those who march to Homesh are not breaking any law, not even the disengagement's laws of Sodom. It is the government that is trying to stop them because of political considerations."
The IDF's Spokesperson Unit declined comment, stating that the Justice Ministry and the State Prosecutor were in charge of the matter.