|District||Judea and Samaria Area|
|Name meaning||Return to Samaria|
Shavei Shomron (Hebrew: שָׁבֵי שׁוֹמְרוֹן, lit. Returnees of Samaria) is a communal village and an Israeli settlement in the northern West Bank, founded in 1977. Located to the west of Nablus (Shechem) on the road to Tulkarm, it is within the municipal jurisdiction of the Shomron Regional Council. As of 2003, it had a population of 604, mostly religious Zionist and Modern Orthodox Jews. Its municipal jurisdiction is 664 dunams, of which 272 dunams are built up.
In late 1976, supporters of the Gush Emunim (Bloc of the Faithful) staged a takeover of the abandoned Sebastia railroad station, located outside an Arab village of the same name. The location is in proximity to the ruins of Samaria, the capital city of the northern Kingdom of Israel, built by King Omri. Using this as justification to secure the Israeli claim to the region, the demonstrators demanded that settlement be initiated in this region. With the support of newly elected Prime Minister Menachem Begin, a residential community was built the following year alongside a military base at a strategically valuable crossroads by residents of nearby Netanya, and with the assistance of the Amana settlement organisation.
The community boasts a swimming pool, ulpan for observant newcomers, and picturesque views of the Samarian hills, which serve to attract a diverse population including many olim from English speaking countries as well as Russian Jews from the former USSR, Yemenite Jews, Bnei Menashe, and almost a dozen Incan Jewish families from Trujillo, Peru that converted to Orthodox Judaism.
Status under international law
The international community considers Israeli settlements to violate the Fourth Geneva Convention's prohibition on the transfer of an occupying power's civilian population into occupied territory. Israel disputes that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the Palestinian territories as they had not been legally held by a sovereign prior to Israel taking control of them. This view has been rejected by the International Court of Justice and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Intifada & Disengagement
Like all Israeli settlers, the residents of Shavei Shomron traveled through and conducted business in Nablus and neighboring Arab villages. However, as tensions increased following the First Intifada, Israeli travel to Nablus was restricted, and new roads were built to bypass certain villages. Twenty-four hundred dunums were confiscated from Palestinian villages to build a bypass road from Shavei Shomron to the Mt. Ibal military installation. In 2002, the Israeli Supreme Court approved the construction of part of the West Bank barrier around the community. Many local residents opposed its construction, fearing that it may become a future border between Israel and a Palestinian state. Others were concerned that an incident like the one earlier in the year, when a terrorist infiltrated the community and targeted the kindergarten with grenades and firearms before being shot by a local resident, could be repeated without such measures.
In August 2005, the community hosted mass demonstrations in opposition to the Israeli government's unilateral disengagement plan, which included the forced evacuation of four settlements to the north of Shavei Shomron, and brought a potential frontier to the settlement's backyard. Following their evacuation and demolition, the community hosted some of the former residents of Homesh and Sa-Nur.
- "The Geneva Convention". BBC News. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- The settlers' struggle BBC News. 19 December 2003
- Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory International Court of Justice, 9 July 2004. pp. 44-45
- Aronson, Geoffrey (Summer 1996). "Settlement Monitor: Quarterly Update on Developments". Journal of Palestine Studies (University of California Press) 25 (4): p. 130.
- Matthew Wagner (April 4, 2008). "Jews with guns". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- (Hebrew) Expansion of the community