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Police Agree to Leave Terror Victim in Kfar Darom Until Friday


Police officials have agreed not to force terror victim Hannah Bart from her Kfar Darom house until Friday. Bart, who is bound to a wheelchair, refused to be expelled following reports from neighbors that the government did not provide them with decent housing arrangements. The police agreed to let her stay Thursday night after being warned they would be responsible for any harm that might come to the terror victim. And several residents of Gush Katif said Thursday night they would set up a refugee camp in two weeks after learning that the government has not provided them with suitable housing. Rabbi Shimon Cohen, who lived in N'vei Dekalim 22 years, said the residents want to make sure that "Gush Katif will not leave the hearts of the people of Israel," who also must remember the acts of an "evil government."

Security Forces Take Kfar Darom Synagogue Rooftop


Israeli security forces seized control of the roof of Kfar Darom's synagogue Thursday evening, as they moved to oust die-hard protesters, hours after troops stormed the inside of the building to remove illegal infiltrators.

Some 58 people were injured in the operation - among them at least 27 police officers, 14 protesters and 3 soldiers. The police officers were taken for tests at Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva, after acid was thrown at then during the evacuation. Later reports said it was not acid but a form of kerosene. One of the policemen sustained moderate to serious injuries when he slipped on oil thrown by protesters to deter security forces, and fell from the second story of the synagogue.

Maj. Gen. Dan Harel said several troops were wounded by acid and were sent to hospital. "What we saw here crossed all boundaries," he said. "Everybody who was now on the roof will be arrested and put in prison." Some 225 of the protesters were arrested. Eighty-five of them have been detained at a Be'er Sheva jail. The detainees will be questioned during the night, on suspicions of barricading themselves and participating in the violent clashes with police.

Police Chief Moshe Karadi said the security forces' patience had worn thin after the display of violence at Kfar Darom. After two days of gentle persuasion, "from the moment when the dialogue ended, restraint also ended."

Troops placed ladders against the walls of the synagogue to reach the demonstrators, who poured oil, paint and sand onto the climbing forces and used sticks in an attempt to push the ladders away from the walls. A riot-control vehicle below sprayed colored dye on the protestors in a possible effort to mark them for future prosecution. On the roof, police and soldiers grappled with protesters, who continued to hurl paint at troops. One young demonstrator clung to the arm of a soldier and wept.

Border Policemen had briefly hovered at roof level in special cages hoisted by cranes, but the IDF decided against landing the containers on the barbed wire adorned roof, for fear it would collapse. According to the army, the roof is designed to hold only up to 120 people. Some troops later landed on the roof via the container and bundled protesters inside for removal.

Troops in riot gear entered the synagogue early Thursday evening, after the houses in the hardline settlement had all been evacuated. Hundreds of settlers and their supporters sat underneath tables and linked arms in a bid to stop forces from prying them apart and evacuating them. As in other Gaza settlements, hundreds of unarmed security forces had marched into the settlement at daybreak Thursday, the second day of forcible evacuation. Soldiers turned a water cannon on rooftop protesters, after they were pelted from above with milk, eggs, paint and even watermelons.

Television images showed forces carrying out prayer shawl-draped protesters from the synagogue, where illegal infiltrators have been barricaded since the early morning. Some protesters, however, were seen walking out of the synagogue and calling to those outside as they left. Police and Israel Defense Forces succeeded Thursday afternoon in seizing control of the settlement's secretariat, where pullout opponents tossed paint at soldiers.

Earlier, 100 illegal infiltrators were removed from a Torah study hall and 72 were evacuated from a factory in the settlement. They were taken away from Kfar Darom on buses. By mid-morning, Kfar Darom residents had acceded to requests by the IDF and settler leaders to leave the synagogue and return to their homes, police said - leaving only the infiltrators inside. Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz visited the settlement under heavy security to oversee its evacuation. Residents booed him as commanders at the site briefed him. Residents threw eggs at security forces as they approached homes set for evacuation.

Earlier in the day, troops forcibly evacuated about 100 pullout opponents from a religious school for girls at Kfar Darom. The protesters passively resisted evacuation. Security forces also evacuated protesters holed up in a nursery school, where one protester threatened soldiers with a syringe she claimed to be infected with the AIDS virus. Special forces were called in to remove her. An additional 72 right-wing activists were evacuated from the Alei Katif factory in Kfar Darom, which produces insect-free lettuce and other vegetables for Orthodox Jews. One of the activists was arrested after breaking a windowpane.

An IDF reservist soldier assigned to remove protesters from the Kfar Darom synagogue refused evacuation orders and was taken away from the scene by fellow troops. The soldier halted near the synagogue, put on phylacteries, and - in front of television cameras - refused to follow military orders. The IDF said he would face disciplinary action. Crowds of settlers cheered the soldier, and he was praised on the settlement's public announcement system.

US Sees Gaza Pullout as Catalyst for Further Peace Moves

By David Gollust (VOA-State Department)

The Bush administration said Thursday it expects the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza to be followed by actions by both Israel and the Palestinians to fulfill peace-making commitments. The tone was set by Secretary Rice, who in a New York Times interview Thursday, hailed the courage of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the sacrifice of Israelis in bringing about the disengagement, but also said the process cannot be Gaza-only.

While the Israeli leader has spoken of a cooling-off period after the Gaza pullout, Rice told the newspaper that Israel should take further steps soon, including loosening travel restrictions and withdrawing from West Bank towns it reoccupied amid recent violence. At the same time, the secretary said the Palestinian Authority must take its own steps, moving quickly to disarm Palestinian factions intent on breaking the current cease-fire including the radical Islamic group, Hamas.

At a news briefing, State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said the secretary's comments were no policy departure for the administration. He said the United States envisages a horizon beyond the Gaza withdrawal, including action by both sides on the "road map," and on pledges that. Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas made at their Sharm el-Sheikh summit in Egypt in February.

"We support the road map as a political way forward so the two parties can achieve what they both want: two states living side by side in peace and security," McCormack said. "We also stand by the Sharm el-Sheikh understandings as well. Again, this is a matter for the two parties to work out. No one can want peace more than the two parties want peace. We stand ready to assist the two parties, as do members of the 'Quartet' and other countries in the region."

The Middle East Quartet, the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia, issued the road map in April of 2003. It calls for reciprocal steps by Israel and the Palestinians leading to a comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by the end of this year, a target officials acknowledge is no longer realistic.

In another development Thursday, the State Department said it had complained to the United Nations over the Palestinian Authority's apparent use of U.N. funds for propaganda activities related to the Gaza withdrawal. Palestinian marchers in Gaza were photographed early this week with banners carrying the logo of the U.N. Development Program saying, "Gaza Today, the West Bank and Jerusalem Tomorrow."

American Jewish groups and members of Congress lodged complaints, as did the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton. Spokesman McCormack said the UNDP has admitted the Palestinian Authority misused its funds, ostensibly provided to support Palestinian media. "The UNDP has indicated that the Palestinian Authority was responsible for the content of the campaign. The United States takes very seriously the need for the UNDP to maintain complete political neutrality," he said. "In this case, the UNDP provided assistance to a political campaign which was, by its very nature, not neutral. And as Ambassador Bolton said yesterday, funding this kind of activity is inappropriate and unacceptable."

U.S. Jewish leaders said the United Nations has a history of violating political neutrality with regard to the Palestinians, including the latest case, and urged U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to investigate. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fl) said it was outrageous that instead of alleviating poverty, the UNDP had allowed Palestinian radicals to spread messages of incitement, during the heat and emotion of the Israeli withdrawal.

A UNDP spokesman said the agency has sought assurances from the Palestinian Authority that no further such materials would be produced with funds he said were provided for official communications efforts.

What Israel is Willing to Do

By Steve Sharon (Commentary)

Just to placate a Jew-hating peanut farmer, Israel willingly gave away more than half of itself, including numerous settlements, a key military army-navy outpost, resort property which today is worth billions of dollars, and a top of the line air force base.

The land in question of course was the Sinai Peninsula or Sinai Desert, in its entirety, when on March 26th 1979 Menachem Begin signed all of this away to Egypt following up on his commitment to surrender this land in September of 1978 at Camp David. All Jimmy Carter had to do was threaten the supposedly stoic, rigid, tough, strong-willed Begin that if he left Camp David without giving all this away, Carter would hold a press conference blaming Israel for dumping Anwar Sadat and the entire peace process down the drain. Carter would vilify Israel, causing serious ramifications to its relationship not only with the United States but also with the rest of the world. Pressed into this uncomfortable spot, Begin happily ceded everything to Egypt, and made promises related to the treatment of the land of Gaza and Judea and Samaria. Begin let Carter get away with this Jew-bashing even though at the time Carter's own party was critical of the way the Carter administration was treating Israel, and the Republicans were becoming a very pro-Israel group willing to bash Carter on his treatment of Israel, led by the fundamentalist Christians who still stand with Israel to this day.

Fast-forward to today. More than a quarter century later, another administration has made demands on Israel based on a couple of serious threats - basically political blackmail. Led by a Secretary of State who once would never have acted this way, the Bush Administration gave an ultimatum to another supposedly stoic, rigid, tough, strong-willed Israeli leader, Ariel Sharon: Move all of the Jews out of Gaza in a manner Reinhard Heydrich would appreciate, and do it in double-time or else. Else what you may ask? Well, many observers not naïve enough to think that Israeli soldiers attacking Jews in a synagogue and dragging thousands of Jews from their own homes is probably not a good thing that it all comes down to three letters: BPI. Boost-Phase Intercept.

Israel believes this technology is its only guarantor of its survival from nuclear missile attack. Yes, the Arrow II looks to be an outstanding anti-missile defense system, but the problem is space--not space as in sky, but space as in landmass. Every time Israel gives away another bit of itself it becomes more vulnerable to nuclear attack because even if Arrow II were successful in downing every missile headed its way, the fallout would still be devastating. This is why Israel is rightly obsessed with Iran's nuclear program, and the Saudi-Chinese missile relationship.

Boost Phase Intercept changes the parameters because the BPI defense would explode the attacking missiles over the space of the attackers instead of Israel. BPI development stalled because of its enormous costs and difficult development tasks. Then Israel came to the rescue with a way to combine BPI with its UAV technology. The United States military fell in love with the idea and the project has became a US-Israel project. The problem for Israel is that it is far more an American project because of its superior knowledge and finances. Israel cannot do this on its own. The United States can.

Therein lies the theory of the Gaza Judenrein exercises of this week. It can not be proved, as of yet, but if you are a betting person, put your chips on BPI Blackmail, and you are very likely to cash in on Israel's misery. You will find yourself standing right behind newly crowned King Abdullah, the man who really pulls the strings behind the veil of America's foreign policy.

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