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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Is this trip really necessary?

Isn't there a better way to spend Israel's defense budget then deploying four battalions of IDF to secure this march?
Last update - 10:29 12/06/2007   
By Nadav Shragai and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents

The Israel Defense Forces said Tuesday it will deploy four battalions of Israel Defense Forces troops to secure a march to the former West Bank settlement of Homesh planned for Tuesday.
The IDF spokesman told reporters the march "was coordinated with the Yesha council and approved at the state level. The IDF and the Police will work together to keep the peace and secure the event."
The spokesman added that the IDF will not allow anyone to seize or resettle any of the territory of the former settlement and will require all rally participants to leave the area by nightfall.
Some senior IDF officers have harshly criticized the decision to allow the march and to provide security for it, saying that instead of focusing on fighting terror, the IDF is wasting its time providing security for political demonstrations by settlers.
Over the past year, numerous illegal rallies and marches have been held at Homesh, which was evacuated during Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip and four settlements in the northern West Bank.
Tuesday's rally is being organized by groups headed by the Yesha Council. It will leave from the old train station of Sebastia, a symbolic place as the site of the first post-1967 Jewish settlement in the West Bank, and head for Homesh where participants will be addressed by MKs and public officials. Thousands are expected to take part in the march, mostly members of youth groups.
Rally organizers have purchased shovels, brooms, rakes and hoes, and participants have been asked to bring tools to help "prepare the place for occupation, or at least give it back its previous appearance, with paths, roads and vegetation."
The Homesh First organization, which was behind the previous protests at the site, is not participating in the rally and is planning a separate march aimed at permanently resettling the site.

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