Expulsion: Facts and Numbers

Some 850 families have left Gush Katif as of this afternoon, says the Disengagement Authority. 15,000 police and soldiers are engaged in the expulsion, and ten buses of expellees have left today.

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Hillel Fendel, | updated: 13:44

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The people of Netzarim, an isolated community in central Gaza, have been informed that the army forces will arrive to expel them this Monday. As far as is known, not one family in Netzarim has begun to pack. They have informed the army that they will not leave on their own, but neither will they forcibly resist.

In Atzmonah, the pre-military yeshiva academy held a parting ceremony yesterday, including prayers, and then left voluntarily. The forced expulsion of the residents in their host community began today. Most, if not all, the residents there did not pack their belongings beforehand.

A group of some ten youths is threatening to burn themselves if the expulsion continues. They are holed up in a bomb shelter in the buildings of the Tohar Seminary for Girls, two blocks from the main synagogue complex. A few dozen soldiers are surrounding the shelter at present.

Many of the remaining families in Bdolach, near Atzmonah, barricaded themselves in the local synagogue today. They resisted the soldiers and were dragged out, using no violence.

Army forces entered Ganei Tal today, but as of 2 PM, had not begun the forced expulsion. Several families left yesterday, but none have left since then. This correspondent was in the midst of a phone conversation with the daughter of the town's Rabbi Gabi Kadosh when she said, "If you don't mind, I'd like to get off; the soldiers are about to arrive at our house."

It later developed that the soldiers who entered the house treated the rabbi with undue violence. They dragged him out violently, and the people standing around reacted with crying and yelling. The residents, including Rabbi Kadosh, then made their way to the synagogue for a parting prayer service.

One prominent Ganei Tal resident is MK Tzvi Hendel, who has fought the disengagement tooth and nail in the Knesset ever since it was first announced 20 months ago. He has long claimed that the author of the plan, Ariel Sharon, is totally corrupt and was motivated only by his own personal interest.

Sha'ul Goldstein, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, spoke from N'vei Dekalim today, and said, "The Disengagement Authority has issued false announcements for months, and the fact is that many families simply have not received the minimum level of proper attitude. There are families who agreed to leave, then went to the hotel they were promised and found that it was either substandard conditions or that the hotel even denied that they were supposed to be there in the first place."

Goldstein took advantage of the opportunity to say that he would not support Binyamin Netanyahu. "We support those who have been consistently in our camp, not those whose actions enabled the disengagement plan and then rush to wink in our direction," he said.

Minister Matan Vilnai (Labor) visited N'vei Dekalim today, and was greeted with yells and jeers. When an egg was thrown and landed on his bald head, his aides hurried him off to his vehicle. Former Minister Uzi Landau (Likud), a leader of the anti-disengagement camp, also arrived at around the same time, and was received enthusiastically.

A woman, approximately 50 years old, arrived this morning in downtown Netivot, a city in the Negev that serves as a center for anti-disengagement protests. She held a sign against the disengagement sign and said that Prime Minister Sharon must be put on trial. After a while, she poured flammable liquid upon herself and set herself on fire. Eyewitnesses said she then began to run as if she was a "flaming torch." Policemen put out the fire, and the woman is now being treated in Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva.
Girl cries at sight of eviction

Singing as expulsion troops approach house

Arrestee pokes head out of bus window. Solider guards below.

Soldiers guard bus tires to prevent puncturing in Neve Dekalim

Protest sign in Neve Dekalim

Policeman sings with residents, soon to be expelled

Last gathering in Neve Dekalim Synagogue