Knesset Mulls Permitting Israeli Return to Evacuated Samaria Settlements
JNS.org – The Knesset was set to debate a bill Sunday that aims to lift the existing ban preventing Israelis from entering areas in northern Samaria from which Israel pulled out as part of the 2005 disengagement.
In 2005, Israel evacuated all the Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip, 21 in all, and four settlements in Samaria. After the four settlements – Kadim, Ganim, Homesh and Sa-Nur – were evacuated, Israelis were barred from traveling there.
A new bill, sponsored by Habayit Hayehudi MK Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli and backed by several coalition members, calls for the lifting of this restriction.
”Despite the expulsion of the Jewish residents from northern Samaria, no change has taken place with respect to the status of the area or the military presence on the ground,” the bill explains. “Therefore, it makes sense that reverting back to before the disengagement will begin in northern Samaria.”
”To this end, it is proposed to annual the prohibition placed on the entry of Israeli citizens to the area and allow the Jewish settlers to return to the settlements from which they were uprooted,” the bill said.
The bill reasons that “the purpose of the 2005 disengagement was to facilitate a better security, political, economic and demographic reality, but the situation on the ground has proven it created the opposite.”
Habayit Hayehudi has introduced similar bills in the past, all of which were shelved by the coalition itself.