Palestinians near Homesh outpost repopulated by Israeli settlers share fears of attack
Palestinians living close to the Homesh outpost near Nablus have spoken of their fear of attack by Israeli settlers who have recently reoccupied to the site.
Settlers who moved to the outpost in the occupied West Bank last month have already begun launching near-daily attacks on the village of Burqa — leaving Palestinians in the area worried that attacks could be even worse than those conducted up until the outpost was shut down in 2005.
"The form of settlement shifted from theft of land and construction to carrying out terrorist attacks, killing and arson," Burqa resident Abd al-Hadi Hajjah told The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
"Today, they launch mass and focused attacks on nearby villages, carrying weapons and shooting with them, storming homes and burning them with people inside, and burning shops and pens with livestock that they kill or steal."
The Homesh outpost, which sits atop the Burqa hill, was evacuated in 2005.
In March, the Knesset passed a law repealing the 2005 ban on Israelis residing in Homesh and three other settlements in the northern West Bank, and a military order was issued implementing the legislation.
Settlers have since gone on the rampage, with more than 20 Palestinians injured on Sunday night alone after they confronted the settlers in Burqa.
CCTV footage shared on social media showed masked settlers storming the village and attacking homes.
Palestinians in the Homesh area who spoke to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed said the 2005 evacuation was a "lie", and that settlers have maintained a near-constant presence there ever since.
Settlers at the Homesh outpost last week built a yeshiva, or Jewish religious school.
The Yeshiva’ construction was condemned by Israeli rights group Yesh Din.
The group wrote a letter to an Israeli attorney general demanding a criminal investigation into Israeli ministers Yoav Gallant and Bezalel Smotrich for authorising construction at the illegal outpost.
Michael Sfard — one of the lawyers who filed the letter on behalf of Yesh Din — stated that the incident was one of the worst violations of the rule of law he had encountered, The Times of Israel reported Sunday.