Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Disengagement, 16 Aug. Overview

As reported in Haaretz over the course of the day, significant numbers of settlers are voluntarily leaving Gaza before the midnight deadline that will render their presence ïllegal"and subject to physical removal. On the basis of media reports, it appears that most of the northern settlement blocks of Dugit, Eli Sinai and Nisanit have now been evacuated.

In spite of this up to 4000 settlers likely remain inside Gush Katif with a significant number being hardline supporters from the West Bank and Israel. Today clashes have taken place with Israeli Police and IDF and these can be expected to increase as the Israeli authorities take it upon themselves to remove the remaining settlers and supporters.

Although clashes between settlers and the Israeli authorities may intensify in the next 2-3 days, it is likely thereafter that the situation will calm down as the hardliners are removed. The completion date for the evacuation may even occur within 10 days, as indicated by the IDF today.

Palestinian forces have now deployed around the settlement areas with no reports of clashes with the IDF.

Incursion south of Kfar Darom

One IDF tank and bulldozer moved south of Kfar Darom settlement in the last hour and are currently searching two family homes in the At Tawayshi area. No injuries are reported.

Palestinian Reporting

Erez Crossing

Erez crossing is closed for Palestinian movement but, 37 workers and 255 factory owners were allowed to enter Erez industrial zone. Patients and "humanitarian" cases are being allowed to cross into Israel with coordination from the Israeli DCL.


Palestinian Reporting

IDF Observation Post. Nezarim Junction

The IDF is reported to be in the process of dismantling the Observation Post located east of the Salah el Din road - Nezarim junction.

Palestinian Reporting

Siafa Enclave

Two Palestinian families living in the northern settlement block have been ordered by the IDF to leave their homes to the south of Dugit settlement. The homes have been taken over as observation posts.

Palestinian Reporting

Ongoing evacuation of Gaza settlements

Haaretz is reporting that all families living in Peát Sadeh and Rafiah Yam settlements will have evacuated of their own accord by Tuesday evening. Haaretz estimates that a further 120 families will leave Neve Dekalim while the two remaining families in Dugit in the northern settlement block will also leave. Voluntary movement of families is also being reported from Gadid and Gan Or.

Haaretz

Disengagement Press Links

BBC
Deadline looms for Gaza settlers http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4154952.stm
The Israeli army promises full transparency over the pullout http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4154854.stm

AFP
Defiant Gaza settlers block delivery of eviction orders http://www.afp.com/english/news/stories/050815084429.0w14dzl4.html

CNN
Movie: Settlers feel betrayed
http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/
Gaza pullout in second day http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/08/16/gaza.pullout/index.html

The Guardian
Troops move in as settlers refuse to go quietly http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1549673,00.html

Haaretz
Police dismantle main gate to Neve Dekalim http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/612980.html
Envoy of the UN: Dis. should improve the UN- Israel relations http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/612908.html

Abducted Journalist

The journalist who was abducted in Gaza city on Sunday evening has still not been released, with no knowledge of his current whereabouts. There are reports that contact has been made with the kidnappers, although this has not been confirmed by Palestinian Security Forces.

Palestinian Reporting

Abu Houli junction

Abu Houli junction opened at 6.15 am with movement in both directions.

Palestinian Reporting

Incursion into Mughraqa

At 1 am, 4 tanks and 2 bulldozers moved out from Nezarim settlement into the nearby Mughraqa area, west of Netzarim- Salah el Din junction. A house was surrounded and the family requested to evacuate it. Sand barriers were then constructed around the house with the IDF returning to Nezarim at 4 am. No injuries were reported.

Palestinian Reporting

Attack against Zawayda Mayor

A hand grenade was thrown on Monday night at a jeep carrying the Zawayda Mayor, Hassan Mezyed in the central area of the Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported.

Palestinian Reporting

Demonstrations in Gaza

Demonstrations by Al Aqsa and Islamic Jihad continued throughout the Gaza Strip last night in Gaza city, Rafah and Nuseirat to celebrate the beginning of the Israeli disengagement.

Palestinian Reporting