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      IDF Begins Task of Relocating Gush Katif Graves

      The IDF has begun relocating the graves of 45 civilians and three soldiers from the cemetery in Gush Katif in Gaza.



      By Scott Shiloh
      First Publish: 8/28/2005, 5:38 PM / Last Update: 8/28/2005, 4:19 PM

      The first graves have already been relocated to Sderot, in the western Negev, and to Nitzan, a community north of Ashkelon, which is temporarily housing many refugees from Gush Katif.

      Graves, slated to be transferred to the Mt. of Olives, will be removed by the IDF later in the week.

      Hareidi-religious Jews are planning a stormy demonstration tonight in Jerusalem against removing the graves. Using harsh, anti-Zionist rhetoric, a committee usually involved in staging demonstrations against removing or disturbing ancient Jewish graves said, “We will not stay quiet in the face of the malicious acts of an evil government.”

      The committee distributed proclamations calling on its non-Zionist constituency to demonstrate against what they called “desecrations” of Jewish graves in Gush Katif by the government of Israel. The proclamations were distributed in all the Hareidi-religious neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

      The proclamation read, “The government of evil, working with the IDF rabbinate, is at this time, desecrating 48 graves of the holy and pure that gave their lives for the sanctification of G-d’s name.”

      The proclamation went on to say that the state was carrying out acts of desecration so severe, that words could not express their revulsion against them.

      The demonstration, scheduled for 8:00 P.M, is planned for Sabbath Square, a place typically used as a focal point for hareidi-religious anti-government demonstrations.

      Last week, the hareidi-religious community staged a demonstration after a yeshiva student was murdered by an Arab terrorist in the Old City market. Traffic jams developed in all hareidi-religious neighborhoods as dumpsters were set afire and overturned onto roadways. Some observers are expecting a similar type demonstation Sunday night.

      Although the committee claims that removing the graves violates Jewish law, the head of personnel in the IDF, Gen. Eliezer Stern, said the process of relocating the graves will be done according to Jewish law, under the supervision of IDF Chief Rabbi, Brig.-Gen. Yisrael Weiss.

      Under Jewish law, the bereaved families of the relocated graves must go through a second funeral and a one-day period of morning. The IDF is coordinating the reburials of all 48 corpses with the bereaved families. All the coffins will be draped with the flag of Israel on their way to reburial.