Homesh First, a right-wing Israeli organization, has called for the reoccupation of West Bank settlements, evacuated under the terms of the disengagement plan, as a response to the ongoing shelling of Sderot and adjacent locations.Arguing that the Qassam rocket attacks prove that Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was a tactical mistake, the group advocates a return to Homesh, one of the settlements evacuated approximately two years ago, as a means of countering the asserted danger to life presented by this shelling.
Speaking to the Israeli news source ynet, organization member Yossi Dagan stated:
“Today the public understands that returning to Homesh is the answer to Qassams. The public spirit fuels us with great optimism. Today the public understands that the disengagement was a mistake. Even the residents of Tel Aviv must demand Homesh be reclaimed, so that God forbid what’s happening in Sderot and the Gaza-perimeter communities won’t happen in central Israel.’
Calls to reoccupy the Homesh settlement have been echoed by other right-wing groups in recent days. The Yesha council, which purports to represent Jewish communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, has recently launched a public campaign calling for a wholesale review of the disengagement process.
The organization is currently working to gather all right-wing groups under its banner and organize a mass pilgrimage to the site of the evacuated settlement, a pilgrimage that, according ynet, is expected to go ahead with military approval.
According to a Peace Now report, there are approximately 121 official Israeli settlements. These settlements are built on confiscated Palestinian land and, as a direct contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, have been declared illegal by various UN Security Council resolutions and by a number of international legal institutions.