When I first saw this Arutz 7 news flash sent to me by Tomer Devorah, I was alarmed:
"Apartheid Against Jews" in Samaria
24 Tammuz 5768, July 27, '08, 19:11
(IsraelNN.com) Jews who are not residents of Samaria are not allowed to enter the area as of Sunday, according to an order issued by the new Shomeron Brigade Commander, Col. Itzik Bar.
Land of Israel pioneers said the new order was "an arbitrary and illegal order" and called it "apartheid against Jews."
The order reads: "No person shall pass the roadblock unless he has permission from me or from someone whom I have authorized. This is required for security purposes and for maintaining public order." The Jinsafoot roadblock was closed off Sunday morning and the Tapuach roadblock was closed in the same way in the afternoon.
At first, I thought it was a response to the protests in and around the Shilo Area communities. Needless to say I made sure I had my te'udath zehuth (identification card) on me before leaving my house today.
On the way to work in Jerusalem, I asked a source of mine, an officer in the IDF posted in the area, about the above report. He didn't make much of it, and thought that it may have something to do with the hike this week from Homesh in the Northern Shomron to Rekhes Ma'on in Yehudah. I asked him if he thought that was because those in authority suspected that hikers might "try something." He just chuckled and said he didn't know.
I saw no indication of any restriction of movement today nor tonight, not between Jerusalem and Tapu'ah Junction anyway. Further north and west, I have no clue.
I have not seen any news on this in English or Hebrew, nor have the sponsors of the hike reported any news on this issue. This morning's news flash on the Eretz Yisrael Continuing Proudly site suggests that today's stage of the hike as planned, save for one suggestion that the IDF was roaming around areas they are not usually found, at least not during the day.
Please post a comment with any news.
IDF Restricts Jewish Travel in Judea and Samaria
26 Tammuz 5768, July 29, '08, 8:22 AM
(Update thanks to Tomer Devorah)