Disengagement, 17 August. Overview
The lastest figures available from Haaretz indicate that 8 of the total 21 Gaza settlements have now been evacuated. Significant among those evacuated today is Morag where strong resistance had been predicted. A further 3 settlements - Gadid, Kfar Yam and Rafiah Yam now have a total of 8 families remaining . While 158 families have now departed Neve Dekalim, 249 families are still present (Israeli web sources). It is also reported (Israeli web sources) that 600 foreign workers - primarily Thai and Nepalese - will shortly be evacuated to youth hostels in Israel.
Late afternoon, 3 Palestinians were shot dead by an Israeli in an industrial estate in the north West Bank settlement of Shilo. Hamas has since stated that it will avenge the attack thus potentially jeopardising the calm that has prevailed between Palestinian and Israeli forces in the last 48 hours. It can be assumed that both sides will do their utmost through such forums as the joint coordination room, recently established at Erez to ensure that conflict does not break out.