Friday, August 19, 2005

The IDF completes the evacuation of Gadid (est. 1982, pop. 350, size 1,600 d., hrs. to evac. 3); halts operations at sundown for the Sabbath, planning to resume on 8/21; starts demolishing homes in Kerem Atzmona; begins digging 8-ft. trench around Gush Katif settlements to prevent Palestinians fr. entering before evacuation is complete. During the day in Gadid, where almost all residents left on 8/17, some 200 disengagement protesters set fires, erect roadblocks to block troops. Palestinian gunmen fire on Gadid, causing no damage or injuries. Also in Gaza, 2 Hamas mbrs. are injured when a roadside bomb they are planting explodes prematurely. In the West Bank, disengagement protesters set fire to a gas station outside Sanur. Jewish settlers take over 2 Palestinian homes nr. Homesh as lookout posts to help nonresident settlers infiltrate the IDF closed military zone to protest the disengagement; the IDF ousts them later in the day. A pig’s head, presumably left by disengagement protesters, is found in the Hassan Bek mosque nr. Jaffa. Meanwhile, the IDF occupies a 3-story building under construction nr. Kiryat Arba in Hebron, closes 21 stores attached to the building; conducts patrols in Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai in Hebron, throw stones, bottles at Palestinian homes, injuring an 8-yr.-old Palestinian boy. Jewish settlers fr. Sha’ar Hatikva nr. Qalqilya throw stones at nearby Palestinian cars, set fire to agricultural land and several greenhouses. Unidentified gunman fire on the car of West Bank Hamas political leader Shaykh Hasan Yusuf; Yusuf was not in the car, his bodyguards were but are not hurt. (BBC, HA, IDF Radio, ITV, JP 8/19; NYT, WP, WT 8/20; PCHR, PR 8/25)