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NEAR GAZA, SETTLERS & ISRAELI TROOPS GO EYE BALL TO EYEBALL

Israeli Settlers: 'We're Not Giving Up, Sharon Has Usurped Our Democratic Rights'

Withdrawal Supporters: 'Settlers Who Clash With IDF Or Police Should Be Arrested And Prosecuted'

In Gaza Strip, Palestinians Launch More Qassam Rockets As Israeli Standoff Continues

Settlers vs IDF

Tens of thousands of Israeli protesters vow not to give up their battle against the Gaza withdrawal; but Sharon pull-out supporters say the disengagement cannot be stopped.

Eyeball to eyeball near Gaza... tension is running high as tens of thousands of settlers are being barred by throngs of Israeli troops and policemen from approaching the Gaza Strip. The protesters are being kept at bay in a settler tent camp a few miles from the entrance to the Gaza Strip; it is the flashpoint of the ongoing confrontation in Israel over Sharon's.controversial disengagement. Yesterday, scores of buses were due to transport thousands of settlers to a huge demonstration at the settlements inside Gaza. However, the Israel Police scared off the bus drivers by warning them the demonstration was illegal and they would be prosecuted if they drove the protesters. In any case, an estimated forty thousand withdrawal opponents converged near the Gaza Strip where they were blocked by cordons of troops and policemen. The protesters accuse the Prime Minister of violating their freedom of movement and expression; Sharon's supporters charge the settlers are threatening civil rebellion by trying to overthrow the cabinet and the Knesset decision to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements. Meanwhile, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have reduced the number of Qassam rockets they've been firing at Israeli targets, but they still keep coming amid reports of fresh clashes between Palestinian security forces and the terrorists.

 

David Essing

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