Daily Israel Report

In and Around the Struggle Against the Disengagement

A week-long march by MK Aryeh Eldad... Two large events next week... Protest vigils tonight... and more...
First Publish: 4/21/2005, 3:21 PM / Last Update: 4/20/2005, 3:34 PM

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) continues his 12-day march from the Shomron to Gush Katif, marching today from Beit Dagan in the Tel Aviv area to Bilu Junction near Rehovot. He advances some 18-20 kilometers a day, and the public is invited to join. Some 30 marchers - including musician Ariel Zilber playing an organ on an accompanying wagon - joined him today. The goal is to reach Gush Katif by next Wednesday, in time for the event described immediately below.

Two large pro-Land of Israel events are scheduled for next week's Intermediate Days of Passover (Chol HaMoed): On Wednesday, 100,000 people are expected to take part in a coastal road march in Gush Katif, which will pass by several of the communities. Musicians, MKs and rabbis will take part.

O.C. Southern Commander Maj.-Gen. Dan Har'el has recommended to Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz that the event not be held, as he fears that it will be a target for terrorist attacks. Mofaz will issue his decision in the coming days, but the Gush Katif organizers are confident that the event will be held.

On Thursday, a central event will be held in Chomesh, one of the four northern Shomron communities slated for demolition under Sharon's plan. Musicians Ariel Zilber, Aharon Raz'el and the Shalhevet band will be there as well.

A small group of pro-Land of Israel tire-burning activists stopped traffic on the Jeruslem-Tel Aviv highway briefly on Tuesday evening. Many police cars arrived on the scene within minutes, as did a police helicopter, and the traffic jam was relieved within ten minutes. The activists, who did not remain at the scene to see the fruits of their labor - and in fact no one was arrested - see the intense police reaction as a "warning sign" to the police of how they can be similarly occupied this summer during the disengagement.

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind plans to lead a solidarity mission to Gush Katif - his second in less than three months. After bringing 45 people for a 3-day visit to all the Jewish communities of Gaza in March, he hopes to bring hundreds more for a similar trip on June 5-8. "We hope we will not be prevented from entering Gaza, so we can stand in unity with the men, women and children in Gaza," he said. The visitors are "committed to emotionally fortifying the 8,500 individuals during this dark and desperate period."

Quiet protest vigils will be held today outside many local police stations throughout northern Israel, against the expulsion from northern Shomron and Gush Katif. The protestors will hand petitions to the police chiefs calling upon them not to carry out the "violent expulsion acts forced upon you by the Government of Israel."

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon responded today to reports that IDF snipers will be stationed not far from the center of action of the disengagement. He said that the policemen and soldiers involved in the disengagement will be unarmed, but that other forces will be stationed in an outer ring to protect against Palestinian terrorism. It was widely reported this morning that a reserve soldier told Radio Kol Chai that his sniper unit was informed it would be drafted this summer. He said that his unit's job would be to aim for the "lower limbs" of Jewish residents in the event that the situation gets more stormy than expected.

The Disengagement Authority has announced that the issue of memorial monuments for terrorist victims in Gush Katif has been "solved." The plan is to build one large memorial area near Netiv HaAsarah, just to the north of Gaza. All the individual monuments will be placed in a nearby forest area. The families have expressed objections. The price of the project: 700,000 shekels ($160,000).

Palestinian terrorists fired a mortar shell at the Jewish town of Rafiach Yam in Gaza this morning; no one was hurt and no damage was caused. Last night, Arabs from Gaza fired at IDF outposts in Gush Katif on several occasions, wounding no one.