Gush Katif Closed to Non-Residents

In advance of the planned uprooting of Gush Katif towns, the Israeli government has just now closed off Gush Katif to non-residents.

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During a high-level meeting of senior security establishment officials Wednesday night, the IDF expressed support for iimposing restrictions on entry to Gush Katif at this time, despite the manpower demands to enforce the policy.

The IDF's 7th and 188th brigades were being brought into Gush Katif Thursday morning, together with three other battalions.

The final government decision became clear at noon Thursday (Today, June 30, 2005). The final decision was made by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

The decision comes following a day of cat-and-mouse rock-throwing attacks and struggles over the new Jewish outpost in the Mouassi area adjacent to the Gush Katif seashore. More than 40 people were arrested at the new outpost of Tal Yam Wednesday.

The government may be imposing only a partial closure. One scenario could be limited to the closing of the beachfront communities of Maoz HaYam (the Gush Katif hotel) and Tal Yam (the outpost in the Mouassi area housing Jews for 48 hours earlier this week). Another scenario would be the checking of ID cards at the entrances to Gush Katif and the barring of known activists from entering the area. Updates will follow as more information becomes available,

“The moment they restrict Jews from entering Gush Katif based on what is written on their identity cards – that is D-day,” Moshe Feiglin of Manhigut Yehudit - the Jewish Leadership faction of the Likud party - which is associated with the mass civil disobedience movement Bayit Leumi (National Home) told Arutz-7. “The residents of Gush Katif and those coming to support them should all refuse to present their identity cards upon entrance. When a Jew is barred from Gush Katif, the Disengagement has begun.”