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Cablegate: Idf Blocks Homesh Entrances, but Allows Settlers

VZCZCXRO4533
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1569 2081554
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271554Z JUL 07
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8516
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001569

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE AND IPA, NSC FOR ABRAMS/SINGH/WATERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KWBG IS PBTS
SUBJECT: IDF BLOCKS HOMESH ENTRANCES, BUT ALLOWS SETTLERS
TO CONTINUE GATHERING AT FORMER SETTLEMENT

1. (SBU) Israeli settlers continue to gather at the site of
the former Northern West Bank settlement of Homesh,
dismantled as part of the Disengagement plan in August 2005.
Several thousand settlers have visited the site or stayed
overnight since the July 24-25 Tisha B'Av holiday,
commemorating destruction of the First and Second Temples.
Despite standing military orders that forbid Israelis from
visiting the former settlement, the IDF is allowing settlers
to remain in the area if they are not creating a disturbance.

2. (SBU) PolOffs visited the site, northwest of Nablus, on
July 27, encountering two settler families picnicking on the
ruins and a large IDF presence. The IDF patrol prevented
ConGen vehicles from fully exploring the area, saying it is a
closed military zone. There are no evident caravan trailers
or construction materials at the site. The only remaining
structure is the settlement's water tower, which settlers
have painted bright orange.

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3. (SBU) PolOffs also visited former Sa Nur settlement, also
dismantled in August 2005. Sa Nur is abandoned, with all
structures except the central "artists' colony" courtyard
demolished. The central courtyard has been stripped of all
fixtures and is uninhabited. There are no reports of current
settler activity at Sa Nur or Kadim and Ganim, the other West
Bank settlements removed as part of the 2005 Disengagement.
WALLES

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