Monday, August 22, 2005

Disengagement, 22 August. Overview

The IDF acknowledged at 7.40 this evening that all Israeli civilians have now left the Gaza Strip. This follows the departure of around 80 families who left Netzarim settlement this afternoon meaning that all 21 Gaza settlements comprising approximately 8500 people have been evacuated in little over one week.

The focus of the Israeli authorities is now on returning those possessions left behind by the settlers, as well as continuing the demolition of homes that began on Sunday. Given the speed with which the settlements have been evacuated over the last week, a completion of the whole process may occur sooner than expected. (The IDF stated towards the end of last week that they expected completion by 2 October).

The French journalist seized on 14 August was released safely in Gaza city this afternoon. There is still little information regarding the identity of his kidnappers and the reasons for the abduction.

Palestinian Reporting

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