Despite repeal of Disengagement Law, Netanyahu bans evicted Israelis from returning to their homes

The prime minister clarified – after harsh rebuke from the U.S. – that despite the repeal of the Disengagement Law, the destroyed Jewish communities will not be rebuilt.  

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

As his right-wing coalition partners celebrated a successful repeal of the 2005 disengagement law that saw Israelis forcibly evacuated from communities in northern Samaria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified that settlers would not be permitted to return to their former homes.

“The decision by the Knesset to nullify parts of the Disengagement has brought an end to the law which discriminates against Jews living in parts of northern Samaria, a part of our historic homeland,” Netanyahu said in a media statement on Wednesday.

But, Netanyahu noted, the change to the law does not mean that settlers will be allowed to reside in those evacuated communities or reestablish them.

“With that, the government has no intention of establishing new communities in these areas,” the premier clarified.

Considering that Netanyahu essentially stated that people evacuated from those towns will have no right to return, it appears that the new legislation is basically a symbolic victory for the settlers.

Netanyahu’s comments came shortly after the legislation sparked international controversy.

In a rare move, the State Department summoned the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog to express “concern” over the legislation.

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A State Department spokesman said the Biden administration was “extremely troubled” by the “particularly provocative” legislation and that Israel had violated long term understandings between Washington and Jerusalem.

National Missions Minister Orit Strook of the Religious Zionism party told Israel National News that “our first step will be to legalize the Homesh Yeshiva and then we will gradually renew settlement [in northern Samaria.]”

Strook said that she believes “at the end of the day, the sin of the disengagement will be reversed,” though she said she is unsure of a timeline for such a move.

“Sadly, a return to the Gaza Strip will involve many casualties, just as the departure from the Gaza Strip came with many casualties,” she added.

“But ultimately, it is part of the Land of Israel, and a day will come when we will return to it.”