Israelis return to evacuated Samaria community, marking 13 years since disengagement

Israelis returned to Sa-Nur in Samaria, which was evacuated by Israel 13 years ago, demanding that it be resettled. 

By: World Israel News Staff

Some 200 Israelis on Monday night visited the evacuated community of Sa-Nur in northern Samaria to mark 13 years since Israel abandoned the area as part of the Disengagement Plan.

Members of Knesset (MK) Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli and Bezalel Smotrich of the Bayit Yehudi party joined them.

Mualem-Rafaeli noted that Sa-Nur, which is difficult to access, has not been visited in a long time.

She submitted a bill to cancel the 2005 Disengagement Law, but the Ministerial Committee for Legislation vetoes it time after time at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s behest, she said.

“As we mark 13 years to the expulsion, to the complete darkness cast over the Jewish community that was destroyed …we are turning the light back on. We’re still committed to this place,” she stated, according to Ynet.

During the 2005 unilateral disengagement from Gaza, Israel evicted a bloc of 17 communities in the Strip and four communities in northern Samaria. The move, in which 8,600 Israelis lost their homes, remains highly controversial to this day as it is directly linked to increased Palestinian terrorism and rocket fire emanating from Gaza.

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Since the contested move was carried out, activists have been working to cancel the Disengagement Law in order to return to northern Samaria.

Israelis visit the area from time to time in an effort to raise awareness of the issue while demanding that the government allow them to return to their homes.

Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yair Naveh, who commanded the IDF’s withdrawal from northern Samaria in 2005, declared that Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Israeli communities in northern Samaria in 2005 was a “grave mistake.”

“There was no advantage to this eviction. None. Zero. Nothing has changed for the better there. It had no added value to security or to anything else. It was a frustrating event that left a feeling that it was all for nothing,” Naveh said a year ago.

He is now supporting the return to abandoned communities in Samaria.