Sunday, August 21, 2005

The IDF resumes disengagement in Gaza, completing the evacuation of Aley Sinai (est. 1983, pop. 407, size 488 d., hrs. to evac. 8), Atzmona (est. 1982, pop. 646, size 882 d., hrs. to evac. 8), Katif (est. 1985, pop. 404, size 2,000 d., hrs. to evac. 6) during the day; disengagement protesters who had moved back into Dugit in recent days are also removed. Atzmona settlers leave willingly when troops arrive. Katif settlers set up burning barricades at the entrance to their settlement but leave willingly after holding a final prayer service. In Aley Sinai, 30 remaining settler families leave willingly, but 200 disengagement protesters resist, forcing soldiers to remove them. The IDF also begins dismantling settler homes in Dugit, Nisanit, Pe’at Sadeh. A Palestinian gunman shoots, wounds an IDF soldier nr. Neve Dekalim. The Israeli cabinet approves (16–4) the next phase of disengagement for withdrawal fr. 4 West Bank settlements; the last residents of 2 of these, Ganim (est. 1983, pop. 172) and Qadim (est. 1983, pop. 169), evacuated voluntarily by 8/15. Sanur settlers complete handover of their weapons to the IDF. Outside Sanur, 100s of masked settlers scuffle with IDF soldiers, puncture tires of IDF vehicles; around 50 of them attempt to set fire to several nearby Palestinian homes. A Jewish settler fr. Alfe Menashe shoots, wounds a Palestinian outside his home, nr. a bypass road nr. Qalqilya. Meanwhile, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin. In Gaza City, at least 200 armed al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbrs. surround the PC headquarters, demanding jobs, accusing PA officials of corruption; they disperse when PA security forces intervene. (HA, IMEMC 8/21; IMEMC, NYT, WT, XIN, YA 8/22; PCHR 8/25)