Violent clashes in Gaza Strip biggest settlement; Some settlers burn property before leaving
Israeli engineering forces on Tuesday morning dismantled and removed the main metal entrance gate to Neveh Dekalim, the biggest settlement in the Gaza Strip. This came after anti-pullout protesters on Monday prevented Israeli forces from entering the settlement. Hundreds of police and military officers flooded the settlement in order to help settlers pack their belongings.
By midday, violent clashes broke out between settlers and the hundreds of Israeli soldiers and policemen, who entered the settlement. The violence started after right-wing activists attempted to block shipping containers from reaching the homes of settlers who wish to evacuate the community voluntarily. At least three Israelis were wounded in the clashes. Police arrested at least 50 youths. Settlers also assaulted journalists present at the scene.
Elsewhere, three settlers of the evacuated "Pe'at Sadeh" settlement in Gaza Strip set fire to their homes before leaving on Tuesday, and settlers of "Bdolah" set flame to three packing houses in their settlements.
After midnight Tuesday, settlers remaining in the Gaza Strip are to be forcibly removed by Israeli forces.
Most residents of the two northern Gaza Strip settlements - Nisanit and Dugit - had already left by Monday night. Only one family remained in Dugit, while only 31 of Nisanit's 280 families were still there.
In the West Bank, the last settlers of two of the four settlements slated for evacuation, Ganim and Kadim, left voluntarily Monday night, so the evacuation of these two settlements has already been completed.
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)