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Netanyahu Rips Gaza Withdrawal
By VOA News
Former Israeli Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu urged the Knesset to scrap next
week's evacuation of the Gaza Strip, saying the territory would become a Palestinian
terrorist base after the pullout is completed. Speaking Wednesday, Netanyahu told
lawmakers they remained the only ones capable of stopping the withdrawal, which he
referred to as "this evil." Sunday, Netanyahu quit the government of Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon, to protest the disengagement. He joined the fragile ruling coalition late last
year as a tentative backer of the plan. Wednesday's address coincided with new polls
showing Netanyahu would win a contest with Sharon to head the right-wing Likud party, if
polls were held today. For his part, Sharon noted his rival's shift to oppose the
withdrawal he once supported, and called the resignation an "evasion" of responsibility.
Mass Prayer Rally Against Expulsion Fills Jerusalem's Old City
By IsraerlNationalNews.com & Ynetnews.com
More than 250,000 people attended a massive prayer rally at the Western Wal, Judaism's
holiest site, Wednesday to beg God to have mercy and annul Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's
expulsion decree. See the video at
Right wing activists reportedly are planning to use the rally and the masses that
attendedaism's holiest site, in order to force large police forces to remain in the Temple
Mount area. Activists said they were planning to hand out leaflets inviting the public to
another Kfar Maimon-style event. However, this time settlers are invited to stay in a tent
city in Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter for a lengthy period of time, from which they will
attempt to proceed to the Temple Mount.
Flyers have been handed out calling on those who have been unable to reach Gush Katif
to arrive with tents and food supplies at the Old City's Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem. A
right wing protest organizer told Ynet that "whoever cannot reach the Gaza Strip or
Northern Samaria is invited to do their part in Jerusalem. We are talking about a public
cry for help to prevent a loss of control over the place holiest for the Jews. We want to
make it so the police come and pray with us in Jerusalem instead of evicting Jews in
another place. On the day they close Gush Katif, we will close Jerusalem," threatened the
On Thursday, the Yesha Council plans on holding a mass rally at Tel Aviv's Rabin
Square, and the protest's organizers are holding coordination talks with police.
The protest in Tel Aviv will take place under the banner, "Gush Katif, I swear to be
there," and instructions will be handed to the general public, detailing plans for Tisha
B'av, the day of mourning commemoration of the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem,
which falls one evening before the disengagement plan.
The possibility of a flyover featuring anti-disengagement signs attached to planes is
being considered, and throughout the protest, there will be a live broadcast from Gush
Katif, which will be scene to a human chain which will envelop the settlements around the
Gush. The head of Mount Hebron's Regional Council, Tzviki Bar Hai, will give instructions
to the masses who are expected to arrive at Thursday's Tel Aviv rally, and explain to them
what will take place following the end of Tisha B' Av, during which a mass afternoon
prayer will take place at the Western Wall.
Israeli Army Holds Final Drill on Gaza Pullout
By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)
The Israeli army has held a final drill in preparation for the upcoming pullout from
the Gaza Strip. But in an attempt to prevent violence, some settlers are handing in their
weapons. Thousands of Israeli soldiers rehearsed a scenario that is set to begin next
week, removing settlers from the 21 Jewish communities in Gaza.
Soldiers posing as settlers climbed onto rooftops and barricaded themselves inside a
synagogue, shouting slogans and throwing stones. Troops scaled the building on ladders.
The protesters were loaded into a container which was evacuated by a crane.
In another scenario, mock Palestinian mortar fire fell on the area, sending soldiers
running for cover. Then, soldiers posing as Palestinian gunmen infiltrated the settlement
and took several hostages, prompting commandos to rush to the scene.
With fears of violence looming, the army and settlers are taking steps to prevent
bloodshed. Residents of two of the four West Bank settlements slated for evacuation are
handing in their guns, following the lead of several Jewish communities in Gaza. "People
don't want violence," said settlement activist Eve Harrow. "The fact that the army has
been put in this terrible situation that instead of protecting Jews they have to go and
pull Jews out of their homes is the fault of the prime minister, and everybody on all
sides deeply resents it. But nobody wants violence and nobody's going to hurt any
Couple Arrested, Children Remain Alone
By IsraelNationalNews.com & Ynetnews.com
Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz has issued a military restraining order against a couple
from the slated-for-destruction community of Sa-Nur leaving the family's children
alone in their house.
It occurred in the late hours of Tuesday night. Policemen attempted to serve Miriam and
Yaron Adler with papers forbidding them from entering their home in Sa-Nur, in the
northern Shomron. The couple, which was staying at Miriam's parents' home in N'vei Daniel
in Gush Etzion, refused to accept the papers. The policemen then brutally arrested them,
and the couple's six children - aged 1 to 9 - were left alone in their home in Sa-Nur.The
police originally claimed that the couple had attacked the police. Arutz-7's call to the
Shai (Samaria/Judea) Police District produced no further comments.
The Adler family was one of the first to arrive in Sa-Nur following its abandonment by
most of its permanent residents some three years ago. The Adlers have been very active in
bringing new families to live in the community. The military orders state that Miriam and
Yaron Adler must return to their home in Kiryat Arba where they have not lived for
Miriam's sister, Michal, was witness to the arrest. She said afterwards that
plainclothes policemen burst into her parents' home at 11:45 p.m. without presenting any
warrant. Her parents, who were Prisoners of Zion in the former Soviet Union for 10 years,
attempted to find out what the policemen wanted. Michal said that the policemen merely
pushed them aside and made their way to the second floor. Only after a while did they
present the family with the warrant they had in their possession.
Yaron, Miriam's husband, refused to sign the order, and the couple was arrested. At one
point during the police raid, the commander of the force allegedly banged Miriam's head
against the floor, dragging her out bare-headed and barefoot. The Adlers had planned to
return home to their children in Sa-Nur after visiting Miriam's parents, but the policemen
refused to allow them to do so. Nor did the police or other authorities send a welfare
worker to look after the abandoned children.
And in a related story, a court has remanded Etti Medad, arrested on Wednesday, until
Thursday. She remains in a cell in the police station with three children, ages 5, 2.5 and
8 months. Etti is the wife of Zangi Medad, the head of the Honenu Foundation that gives
free legal advice and counsel. A few months ago, she was acquitted of charges on her part
in the Hill 26 affair in which women protested the destruction of Nati Ozeri's house after
he was murdered in front of his wife and children. The prosecutor has appealed the
decision. People in Hebron reacted saying, "This is a state of Sodom where even an
innocent person can not sit in quiet."
And in special speech Wednesday, President Moshe Katsav has apologized on behalf of
State for asking settlers to leave homes. He said he was touched by some anti-pullout
protests "On behalf of the State of Israel, I ask you, the settlers, for forgiveness, over
the demand that you leave after dozens of years of construction and victims."
The president's speech was carried live by local television networks. Katsav chose to
address the settlers first, and only then turned his attention to other Israelis.
"My brothers, the residents of Gaza and northern Samaria, we are facing one of the most
fateful decisions since the Declaration of Independence," he said. "In several days you
will be asked, in accordance with government and Knesset decisions, to evacuate the Gaza
and northern Samaria region. I sympathize with your pain. Many within the nation,
regardless of political affiliation, certainly sympathize with your pain."
The president added, "We know your settling in the territories was an act of conscience
that was also carried out in accordance with Israeli governments' decisions. You have
established thriving settlements and raised generations of children and youths who glorify
Israel. We are in awe of how you have heroically faced the dangers the thousands of
bombs, Kassam rockets and terror attacks. You have risked your families' and your own
lives for the ideal and faith, and you have known pain and bereavement. After a year of
hard-fought battles and intense deliberations the time has come. You must respect
the authorities' decisions."
Katsav said that any act of violence by those attempting to thwart the disengagement
was illegitimate."The right to protest and cry out, the plea to replace the government -
they do not justify the use of unacceptable means. I was impressed, and even moved, by
some of the anti-pullout protests. But there are limits to the struggle. You must refrain
from making extreme comments, as some people may be quick to reach conclusions."
The president also addressed the recent wave of insubordination by anti-pullout troops,
saying, "Those who believe that anything beneficial will come out of insubordination are
gravely mistaken; insubordination may lead to disaster. You (settlers) must save your
strength for the battles that are awaiting us. Even those who support the pullout realize
the real fight is over the eastern border."
A spokesman from the Hamas terrorist group announced on Wednesday that plans are being
made for the festivities to take place after the expulsion of the Jews from Gush Katif.
The spokesman emphasized that the festivities would not be military in nature, but rather
cultured as appropriate for " our victory."
Heat Dashes Palestinian Quest for Longest Sandwich
Palestinians abandoned a quest to build the world's longest sandwich on Wednesday after
health officials told them their 2,436-foot-long construction risked rotting in the West
Bank summer sun. Hundreds of volunteers spread the 750-meter bun on tables along a dusty
roadside in the West Bank city of Jenin, long a hotspot of Israeli-Palestinian violence.
But the attempt was called off for health reasons before volunteers got a chance to add
396 pounds of mortadella meat, 770 pounds of tomatoes and 550 pounds of green peppers.
Organizers had planned to serve the sandwich to the poor, and said they were aiming to
beat a record set in Portugal in 2004 for a 2,060-foot-long sandwich. "We were planning to
add the mortadella and stuffing at the last minute to rule out any possibility of
rotting," chef Ahmed Nazzal told Reuters. "There must be a conspiracy against us by other
Disengagement - The Computer Game
Internet games whose subject is disengagement have become a hot item on the
The "disengagement game" on the Nana Website puts the player into Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon's shoes. Sharon, sitting in a bulldozer, has to remove orange-clad children
protesting the pullout. Behind him, dozens of cars are waiting to pass. The prime minister
has to run into a protesting child with the bulldozer's shovel. Every child caught becomes
part of a kind of sticky mass, and Sharon has to move as many of them as possible to the
roadside, where a police car will pick them up. Sound effects are a bizarre evil laugh of
the horror-movie genre.
The prime minister has a few other tools at his disposal. He can use a club or a kick
to disperse the children, or release a herd of pinkish-purple pigs, which puts the pious
kids on the run. Sharon's doomsday weapon, after he has collected 75 young protesters, is
to "explode" himself from anger, at which point the children fly in every direction. The
object of the game is to collect as many points as possible, awarded by the number of
"For me, its the playing that matters," said the game's originator, Alon Shimi. "The
settlers always win this game. It's not a political statement." Shimi said he thought it
up a month ago when he heard about the threatened road blockages. "I started thinking how
I would unblock the roads, and I figured I'd use a bulldozer with a mattress attached, so
as not to hurt anyone."
The first game to deal with evacuation is "Wild West Bank." The player has to evacuate
outposts and settlements that pop up on the screen in masses, with every two trailers
becoming a permanent home, then a neighborhood, after which soldiers arrive to guard it.
The game was originally intended as a marketing tool protesting the occupation; its
home-page features a link to a site called "Back to Israel" dealing with anti-occupation
Nissim Duek, owner of the communication and advertising firm Unique, originator of the
game, said it was invented as a low-budget marketing tool. "If the message is successful
enough, you turn every person who gets the game into a sales agent," Duek said. "It got a
lot of media exposure, and in a week and a half 100,000 people had downloaded it." The
Yesha Council of settlements said in response, "It is shocking that the suffering of the
Gush Katif residents can become a source of amusement for political rivals. It is
Netvision, which operates Nana, said in response, "The disengagement game was selected
because of its current-events value and its humor. It was not intended to hurt anyone's
feelings or take a political stand." Netvision said 50,000 people have downloaded the game
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)