Homesh yeshiva destroyed, rabbis, students detained

Monday, December 7, 2020, 17:46 On the afternoon of Monday, December 7, border police, Civil Administration and police forces arrived in Homesh with a bulldozer. They interrupted the classes, detained two rabbis and several students, then destroyed several of the yeshiva’s buildings. The detainees were taken with the yeshiva’s sefer Torah to the Ariel Police Station. The rabbis and their students were forced to hold the sefer Torah until they reached the police station so that it would not be desecrated.

Destruction at Yeshivat Homesh; Video credit: Yeshivat Homesh
Approximately two weeks previously border police and Civil Administration forces destroyed the beit midrash (study hall) of the yeshiva. During the destruction the Holy Torah Ark was destroyed and holy books were thrown to the ground and desecrated. Subsequent to the incident Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau sent a letter to Defense Minister Binyamin Gantz: “It has come to my attention – with photographs – that respect for holy items was not shown during today’s evacuation of the yeshiva in Homesh. The photographs of the desecrated Holy Ark and of holy books strewn on the ground are sights that do not befit a Jewish state.”
Honenu Attorneys who are assisting the detainees and working towards their release asked: “The harassment of yeshiva students in Homesh is incomprehensible. The yeshiva has been in operation for over 15 years. Many Knesset members and ministers have visited to show their support, every one of them with GSS bodyguards. Also the IDF and the police have been very respectful of the yeshiva. So what happened now? Who gave this surprising order and why?”

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