Thousands of people plan to take part in a march to the dismantled settlement of Homesh in the West Bank on Tuesday, despite initial objections from the military.
Among the expected attendees are lawmakers from the far-right Religious Zionism party, including its chairman Bezalel Smotrich.
The Israeli army had warned organizers that it would not be able to secure the event, which is due to start at Shavei Shomron settlement at 11 a.m. and travel 14 kilometers (about 8.5 miles) through several villages Palestinians.
But later Monday, Haaretz reported that organizers at the Homesh yeshiva had reached an agreement with the Defense Ministry, which will ensure the IDF secures the march as settlers pass Palestinian villages, despite fears of the army that the event does not trigger new clashes in the West Bank. .
Homesh returned to the headlines last December when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire on a convoy bringing back yeshiva students, killing Israeli Yehuda Dimentan.
The deadly attack sparked new calls from ultranationalist lawmakers to resuscitate settlements dismantled in 2005.
The march will violate military law, which prohibits Israelis from returning to the grounds of the four settlements the government evacuated in 2005 as part of the Gaza disengagement. In practice, the law was barely enforced, with the yeshiva operating illegally atop Homesh Hill for 15 years, often enjoying IDF protection. Court rulings granting Palestinian farmers access to their land in evacuated settlements have also rarely been implemented.
In a recent letter to the organizers of the march at the Homesh yeshiva, Samaria Regional Brigade Commander Maj. high for terrorist attacks across the West Bank.
Zweig warned organizers that they were “knowingly endangering a large group of people who are unfamiliar with the many security threats involved”, while “misleading the public into believing that the event is approved and secure”.
He added that “those who choose to bypass the IDF forces located in the area and walk on dangerous roads inside and near villages are putting their lives at risk.”
But organizers said they still plan to go ahead with the event whether or not the military secures the march.
According to the national religious news website Kipa, the parents of several settlers killed in terrorist attacks, in a letter to the prime minister and defense minister on Monday, said they were surprised that the army was complaining about a understaffed while devoting “significantly larger forces to allow for Muslim holidays,” and while removing the West Bank closure for the Palestinians.
“Is a festive protest march by the Israeli people on Passover worth less than Muslim celebrations? they asked.