Saturday, August 20, 2005

Media Info in Disengagement

IDF yesterday began digging eight-meter-deep trenches around the evacuated Gush Katif settlements in the Gaza Strip in a bid to prevent Palestinians from reaching the settlement bloc prior to its complete evacuation.

Troops will renew operations on Sunday as an activity was halted for the Israeli weekend (Sabbath).

Defense officials said IDF forces will remain in the strip for several weeks to complete the removal of outposts and the demolition of the settlements.

On Sunday, the cabinet will vote on the evacuation of four northern West Bank settlements, almost entirely abandoned, in the northern Gaza Strip Following the vote, the IDF will be able to move forward with the latter's demolition.

Also on Friday, demolition works commenced in the Gaza Strip settlement of Kerem Atzona as cranes hoisted caravans and demolished permanent houses. The IDF plan to continue the works next week.

Defense Ministy bulldozers will knock down the house walls, and demolition will be completed by Palestinian and Egyptian construction companies by the World Bank after Israel completes its withdrawal from the Strip.

After demolition works are completed, part of the rubble will be used for construction of Palestinian houses in the Gaza Strip. The remaining rubble is to be buried in the Sinai or in the strip.

Haaretz Reporting

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