08/18/2005, 00.00
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Unarmed soldiers remove settler activists from Gaza synagogues

Israel's evacuation of the Gaza continues as loudspeakers atop synagogues blare out protestations, threats and prayers. For some observers, many resisters are Jewish extremists who infiltrated the settlements, not long-time settlers.

Gaza (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Unarmed Israeli soldiers stormed today two of the most important synagogues in the Gaza Strip and started forcibly removing settlers—an estimated thousand in Neve Dekalim and 300 in Kfar Darom—who had barricaded themselves inside. Police began carrying people out one by one in a climate of tensions and grief.

With soldiers and police dragging young protesters out, some of them still wearing their prayer shawls, loudspeakers blare warnings: "God sees you and your soul shall be stained for your whole life" and "Do not dare touch this House of the Lord".

In Kfar Darom, security forces used water cannons against hundreds of young rooftop protesters, trying to cross the steel wire placed around the place of worship in anticipation of the police raid. This has led some to think that protesters are not local residents but Jewish extremists who have illegally moved to the Gaza Strip settlements in the previous few weeks.

Despite the resistance, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza would be completed by Monday.

The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday 1,523 settlers—659 in Neve Dekalim—and a few hundred outside activists had been removed.

Only 35 per cent of the pre-disengagement Jewish population is said to be left and nine of the 21 settlements have been already emptied of their residents.

In Nisanit in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, demolition of settlers' homes has started. The same is happening to the small settlement of Kerem Atzmona, which was evacuated yesterday.

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See also
Gaza: the clearing out is over; tomorrow evacuations start in Cisjordan
Israelis feel "hurt" but are "in favour" of Gaza pullout
The uncertain future of Israel and the Gaza Strip
Israeli air strikes in Gaza
Uri Avnery: Gaza, from 'second Singapore' to open-air prison
09/06/2018 09:05


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