Chronology 16 August-15 November 2005


 At midnight local time, the grace period runs out for Jewish settlers in Gaza to ‎withdraw voluntarily in compliance with Israeli PM Ariel Sharon's disengagement ‎plan; at least 50% of the estimated 8,500 settlers have already left, including all settlers ‎fr. Dugit (est. 1990, pop. 70, size 245 dunams [d.; 4 d. = 1 acre].), Nisanit (est. 1980, pop. ‎‎1,100, size 1,610 d.), Pe'at Sadeh (est. 1989, pop. 110, size 935 d.), Rafiah Yam (est. ‎‎1984, pop. 130, size 574 d.), Shalev (est. 2001, pop. 50). Gaza and the n. West Bank ‎remain closed military zones to Israelis for the duration of disengagement (see 6/30, ‎‎8/15). Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers prepare to forcibly remove the settlers who ‎remain and the estimated 5,000 disengagement protesters (mostly West Bank settler ‎youth) who snuck into the Strip. Meanwhile in Gaza, the IDF searches Palestinian homes ‎nr. Bayt Lahiya, in Wadi al-Silqa; occupies a Palestinian home in Dayr al-Balah as an ‎observation post. Jewish settlers fr. Gaza's Gush Katif bloc, burn animal food storage ‎bins in al-Mawasi. In Khan Yunis, 1,000s of Hamas supporters rally to celebrate the ‎pending disengagement. In the West Bank, the IDF detains, beats a 16-yr.-old Palestinian ‎who throws stones at troops outside Tulkarm; conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‎villages around Hebron and in Qabatya nr. Jenin; demolishes an animal farm outside ‎Hebron for construction of the separation wall; occupies 1 Palestinian home nr. Hebron, ‎‎1 nr. Tulkarm as observation posts. Jewish settlers fr. the West Bank settlement of ‎Homesh (to be evacuated under disengagement) occupy, vandalize 2 Palestinian homes ‎nearby; the IDF removes them. (BBC, IMEMC, XIN 8/16; PR 8/17; PCHR 8/18)‎
 Before dawn the IDF moves troops into Gaza en masse to begin the forcible ‎evacuation of Jewish settlers and disengagement protesters who have not yet left, ‎begins demolishing settler homes in n. Gaza. By the end of the day, evacuations of ‎Bedolah (est. 1986, pop. 220, size 1,456 d., hrs. to evac. 6), Ganei Tal (est. 1979, pop. ‎‎350, size 2,050 d., hrs. to evac. 11), Kerem Atzmona (est. 2001, pop. 24, hrs. to evac. 6), ‎Morag (est. 1972, pop. 220, size 1,300 d., hrs. to evac. 7), Tal Katifa (est. 1992, pop. 60, ‎size 183 d., hrs. to evac. 5) are completed; most residents of Gadid leave voluntarily. ‎Settlers in Atzmona agree to evacuate voluntarily by 8/21, those in Netzarim by 8/22. ‎Settlers who have not arranged their evacuation with the government will be housed ‎temporarily in hotels, mobile homes: e.g., more than half of Morag's settlers take up ‎temporary residence in the West Bank settlement of Ofra; Israel's Jerusalem ‎municipality temporarily houses 1,000 Neve Dekalim settlers who have left voluntarily ‎in a Jerusalem hotel. Generally there is little strong resistance; the IDF optimistically ‎says it hopes that the evacuations could be completed within days instead of wks., as ‎earlier estimated. During the day, some scuffles btwn. soldiers, settlers are reported; in ‎some areas settlers set fire to tires and in garbage bins to prevent soldiers fr. entering ‎settlements; at least 2 settlers set fire to their homes before leaving. In Morag, a female ‎IDF soldier is stabbed with a syringe, lightly injured by a disengagement protester. (In ‎total, 13 Israeli soldiers and police are lightly injured during the day.) Gaza settlers and ‎protesters also attack Palestinians: some 200 Kefar Darom settlers rampage through ‎nearby Palestinian areas, set fire to a Palestinian house; 20 Neve Dekalim settlers march ‎through al-Mawasi, spread nails on roads to damage Palestinian cars, try to provoke ‎Palestinian residents (the IDF intervenes, removes the settlers); other Jewish settlers fire ‎on Palestinian homes, vandalize Palestinian greenhouses in the same area. The IDF also ‎demolishes a Palestinian home, conducts arrest raids in al-Mawasi. Meanwhile, ‎Palestinians in Khan Yunis begin returning to their homes on the edge of town facing the ‎settlements, which they had fled since the start of the intifada in 9/00 because of IDF ‎gunfire. Islamic Jihad mbrs. in some 50 boats, carrying banners and weapons, hold a ‎seaborne victory parade off Gaza to celebrate disengagement. Some disengagement ‎protests in Israel turn violent: a disengagement protester tosses a grenade at an IDF ‎checkpoint in s. Israel, wounding 5 IDF soldiers; a female settler fr. Keddumim in the ‎West Bank sets fire to herself during a demonstration in Netivot, is seriously injured. In ‎the West Bank, a Jewish settler fr. Shvut Rachel steals a gun fr. an Israeli security guard ‎at the industrial area of Shilo settlement, fires on Palestinian workers, killing 4 ‎Palestinians, wounding 1. Sharon denounces the attack as "Jewish terror"; Palestinian ‎Authority (PA) PM Mahmud Abbas calls on Palestinian factions to maintain calm, ‎refrain fr. retaliation. At Sanur (to be evacuated under disengagement), 600 Jewish ‎settlers hold an antidisengagement rally. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches ‎in and around Hebron and in Nur al-Shams refugee camp (r.c.), Tulkarm. Also in Hebron, ‎‎4 bedouin children herding goats are injured when they accidentally trigger an ‎unexploded IDF phosphorus shell; the IDF says it uses the shells only in training. A 9-‎yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received when she accidentally triggered unexploded ‎IDF ordnance nr. Karmil. (Arutz 7, BBC, HA, IMEMC, NYT, REU, USA Today, WP, ‎WT, YA 8/17; Voice of Israel, VOP 8/17 in WNC 8/18; BBC, HA, NYT, PCHR, WP, ‎WT 8/18; MENA 8/18 in WNC 8/19; NYT 8/20; PCHR, PR 8/25; IMEMC 9/22; HA ‎‎11/10)‎
 In the morning, the IDF says that 70% of Gaza settlers have been evacuated, ‎most Gaza residents have not resisted the evacuation, most protests and resistance are by ‎West Bank settler youth (and some American Jewish youth) who have come to Gaza ‎in recent wks. to block the withdrawal. During the day, the evacuations of Gan Or (est. ‎‎1983, pop. 350, size 1,692 d., hrs. to evac. 5), Kefar Darom (est. 1989, pop. 490, size 276 ‎d., hrs. to evac. 12), Kefar Yam (est. 1983, pop. 15, hrs. to evac. 3), Netzer Hazani (est. ‎‎1973, pop. 460, size 250 d., hrs. to evac. 5), Neve Dekalim (est. 1983, pop. 2,700, size ‎‎1,443 d., hrs. to evac. 35), Shirat Hayam (est. 2001, pop. 40, hrs. to evac. 5) settlements ‎are completed. An increasing number of settlers set fire to their homes and to ‎greenhouses as they leave to prevent them fr. being turned over to Palestinians. For the ‎‎1st time, 1 armed resident in Kefar Yam, 4 armed disengagement protesters in Shirat ‎Hayam threaten to shoot IDF soldiers if they follow orders to remove settlers, but only if ‎soldiers fire first; the incidents defuse without violence. Some Shirat Hayam residents ‎also throw rocks at Palestinians in Mawasi as they evacuate. In Kefar Darom, 65 resident ‎families agree to leave, but as many as 2,000 outside protesters refuse, many of them ‎barricading themselves inside and on the roof of a synagogue; for the 1st time during the ‎disengagement, the IDF uses water cannons against protesters and 2 IDF soldiers refuse ‎to obey their orders, are removed by fellow soldiers; 58 Israelis are injured in clearing the ‎synagogue, including at least 3 IDF soldiers, 27 border police (1 seriously when he falls ‎accidentally); protesters throw paint thinner at IDF Southern Command chief Maj. ‎Gen. Dan Harel, several soldiers. In Neve Dekalim, some 1,500 disengagement ‎protesters hole up in 2 synagogues, refusing to leave even after residents have ‎voluntarily evacuated, but are eventually extracted. Jewish settlers in s. Gaza spread ‎nails along the coastal road in al-Mawasi to prevent movement of Palestinian vehicles. ‎Meanwhile, Palestinians fire a rocket at Netzarim (still inhabited), lightly injuring an ‎IDF soldier; 2 mortars at Gadid settlement (still inhabited), 3 mortars at Morag ‎‎(evacuated) causing no damage or injuries. Palestinian gunmen fire on IDF troops nr. ‎Kefar Darom, lightly injuring 1. The IDF conducts arrest raids in al-Mawasi; fires on ‎residential areas of Bayt Lahiya, seriously injuring 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, ‎Jewish settlers fr. Homesh and Sanur attempt to break into a Palestinian home in nearby ‎Asa'sa village; the IDF intervenes to stop them. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim throw ‎stones at Palestinian shops, cars nr. Qalqilya. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house ‎searches in Dura, nr. Tulkarm; confiscates 500 d. of agricultural land nr. Eli settlement ‎nr. Nablus. In Israel, disengagement protesters block roads nationwide. (AP, BBC, HA, ‎Israeli Radio, ITV 8/18; NYT, WP, WT 8/19; PCHR 8/25)‎
 The IDF completes the evacuation of Gadid (est. 1982, pop. 350, size 1,600 d., ‎hrs. to evac. 3); halts operations at sundown for the Sabbath, planning to resume on 8/21; ‎starts demolishing homes in Kerem Atzmona; begins digging 8-ft. trench around Gush ‎Katif settlements to prevent Palestinians fr. entering before evacuation is complete. ‎During the day in Gadid, where almost all residents left on 8/17, some 200 ‎disengagement protesters set fires, erect roadblocks to block troops. Palestinian ‎gunmen fire on Gadid, causing no damage or injuries. Also in Gaza, 2 Hamas mbrs. are ‎injured when a roadside bomb they are planting explodes prematurely. In the West Bank, ‎disengagement protesters set fire to a gas station outside Sanur. Jewish settlers take ‎over 2 Palestinian homes nr. Homesh as lookout posts to help nonresident settlers ‎infiltrate the IDF closed military zone to protest the disengagement; the IDF ousts them ‎later in the day. A pig's head, presumably left by disengagement protesters, is found in ‎the Hassan Bek mosque nr. Jaffa. Meanwhile, the IDF occupies a 3-story building under ‎construction nr. Kiryat Arba in Hebron, closes 21 stores attached to the building; ‎conducts patrols in Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai in Hebron, throw stones, ‎bottles at Palestinian homes, injuring an 8-yr.-old Palestinian boy. Jewish settlers fr. ‎Sha'ar Hatikva nr. Qalqilya throw stones at nearby Palestinian cars, set fire to agricultural ‎land and several greenhouses. Unidentified gunman fire on the car of West Bank ‎Hamas political leader Shaykh Hasan Yusuf; Yusuf was not in the car, his bodyguards ‎were but are not hurt. (BBC, HA, IDF Radio, ITV, JP 8/19; NYT, WP, WT 8/20; PCHR, ‎PR 8/25)‎
 The IDF occupies a Palestinian home in Badala nr. Tulkarm as an observation ‎post, demolishes a store next door; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Til nr. ‎Tulkarm; completes a segment of the separation wall nr. Qalandia crossing s. of ‎Ramallah. Some 50 armed Jewish settlers fr. Homesh raid Burqa village, stone ‎Palestinian homes. Jewish settlers fr. Beit Hadasah in Hebron attack international peace ‎activists on a solidarity visit to Palestinians, lightly injuring 4. (PCHR, PR 8/25)‎
 The IDF resumes disengagement in Gaza, completing the evacuation of Aley ‎Sinai (est. 1983, pop. 407, size 488 d., hrs. to evac. 8), Atzmona (est. 1982, pop. 646, size ‎‎882 d., hrs. to evac. 8), Katif (est. 1985, pop. 404, size 2,000 d., hrs. to evac. 6) during the ‎day; disengagement protesters who had moved back into Dugit in recent days are also ‎removed. Atzmona settlers leave willingly when troops arrive. Katif settlers set up ‎burning barricades at the entrance to their settlement but leave willingly after holding a ‎final prayer service. In Aley Sinai, 30 remaining settler families leave willingly, but 200 ‎disengagement protesters resist, forcing soldiers to remove them. The IDF also begins ‎dismantling settler homes in Dugit, Nisanit, Pe'at Sadeh. A Palestinian gunman shoots, ‎wounds an IDF soldier nr. Neve Dekalim. The Israeli cabinet approves (16–4) the next ‎phase of disengagement for withdrawal fr. 4 West Bank settlements; the last residents of ‎‎2 of these, Ganim (est. 1983, pop. 172) and Qadim (est. 1983, pop. 169), evacuated ‎voluntarily by 8/15. Sanur settlers complete handover of their weapons to the IDF. ‎Outside Sanur, 100s of masked settlers scuffle with IDF soldiers, puncture tires of IDF ‎vehicles; around 50 of them attempt to set fire to several nearby Palestinian homes. A ‎Jewish settler fr. Alfe Menashe shoots, wounds a Palestinian outside his home, nr. a ‎bypass road nr. Qalqilya. Meanwhile, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. ‎Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin. In Gaza City, at least 200 armed al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade ‎‎(AMB) mbrs. surround the PC headquarters, demanding jobs, accusing PA officials of ‎corruption; they disperse when PA security forces intervene. (HA, IMEMC 8/21; ‎IMEMC, NYT, WT, XIN, YA 8/22; PCHR 8/25)‎
 The IDF completes the evacuation of settlers fr. Gaza, with residents of the last ‎inhabited settlement, Netzarim (est. 1972, pop. 496, size 1,760 d., hrs. to evac. 7), and ‎‎300 disengagement protesters leaving willingly after holding final prayer service, with ‎only minor scuffles with soldiers; Netzarim residents say they have applied to the Israeli ‎government to move to the West Bank settlement of Ariel. The IDF also raids, searches ‎houses in al-Mawasi. Overnight, 10s of armed Jewish settlers protesting ‎disengagement march through at least 8 West Bank Palestinian villages nr. Homesh and ‎Sanur, firing in the air, occupying the rooftops of Palestinian homes, vandalizing ‎property; the IDF intervenes to remove them. During the day, the IDF conducts arrest ‎raids, house searches nr. Hebron, occupying 2 houses as observation posts; conducts ‎house searches, interrogations nr. Jenin, occupying 2 Palestinian homes as observation ‎posts. Jewish settlers fr. Eli stone, lightly injure 2 Palestinians. Jewish settlers fr. Einav ‎attack Palestinians, damage Palestinian crops and homes in Ramin village nr. Nablus. A ‎French sound technician kidnapped in Gaza on 8/14 turns up at a PA police station in ‎Gaza City; no group claims responsibility, though there are rumors that he was kidnapped ‎by a prominent clan and was released only after Abbas freed 6 family mbrs. fr. jail. (HA, ‎IMEMC, XIN 8/22; HA, NYT, WP, WT 8/23; PCHR, PR 8/25; NYT 8/28)‎
 The IDF completes the settler disengagement in the West Bank with the ‎evacuation of Homesh (est. 1980, pop. 228, hrs. to evac. 7) and Sanur (est. 1982, pop. ‎‎105, hrs. to evac. 8), permitting the IDF to withdraw fr. its military positions in the 4 ‎West Bank settlements and in Gaza over the next 2–5 wks. Most residents of the 2 ‎settlements left before disengagement began; those who had remained generally go ‎willingly, but some 2,000 disengagement protesters at the two sites put up mild resistance ‎against some 12,000 soldiers, with 1 female protester in Homesh stabbing, lightly ‎injuring a female soldier. IDF dismantlement of settler homes is underway in 13 of the 25 ‎evacuated settlements; some protesters manage to infiltrate cleared settlements, but the ‎IDF removes them again. Elsewhere in the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches, ‎interrogations in Hebron (occupying a school as an observation post) and around Jenin; ‎fires on residential areas nr. Jenin; bulldozes several tents, animal pens set up by bedouin ‎in an IDF "training zone" nr. Bethlehem. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim severely beat a ‎Palestinian nr. Qalqilya. (BBC, HA, IMEMC 8/23; NYT, WP, WT 8/24; PCHR, PR 8/25; ‎MEI 9/2)‎
 A day after completing disengagement fr. 25 Jewish settlements, Israel confirms ‎plans to seize some 1,588 d. of West Bank Palestinian land to complete 10 mi. of ‎separation wall around the southern part of Ma'ale Adumim settlement, to add 3,500 ‎housing units there (more than twice the number of units removed under disengagement), ‎to build a police headquarters in the E-1 area btwn. Ma'ale Adumim and Jerusalem. In ‎Gaza, the IDF raids, searches, occupies 2 Palestinian homes in Khan Yunis as ‎observation posts; raids, occupies a Palestinian home in Dayr al-Balah. In the West Bank, ‎IDF undercover units raid Tulkarm r.c, fatally shooting `Adil Abu Khalil al-Ghawi ‎‎(Islamic Jihad), Mahmud Ahadib (AMB), and Majdi Attiya (AMB), also killing 2 ‎bystanders and wounding 3; local Hamas military cmdr. Ribhi Amara, also possibly a ‎target, escapes unharmed. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around ‎Hebron, nr. Jenin, and in Nablus, Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, a Palestinian stabs 2 ‎ultra-Orthodox British Jews, killing 1 before escaping. (HA, JP, REU 8/24; VOP 8/24 ‎in WNC 8/25; BBC, HA, JAZ, PCHR, WP, WT 8/25; MENA 8/25 in WNC 8/26; HA, ‎NYT 8/26; al-Quds 8/26 in WNC 8/27; HA 8/30; PR 8/31; PCHR 9/1; MEI 9/2; HA 9/7; ‎DS 10/10)‎
 Following the 8/24 IDF assassinations, Gaza Palestinians fire rockets at Sederot ‎and the Negev for the 1st time since disengagement was completed, causing no damage ‎or injuries. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus, in and around ‎Hebron, and in al-Khadir nr. Bethlehem. Jewish settlers rampage through a shopping ‎district of East Jerusalem, vandalizing Palestinian stores, chanting "We don't want ‎Arabs," threatening to expel Palestinians. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai in Hebron ‎stone, vandalize a Palestinian home, tear down a fence outside the home; the IDF ‎observes but does not intervene. (IMEMC 8/25; NYT 8/26; PCHR 9/1)‎
 The IDF arrests a Palestinian on the Gaza beach in al-Mawasi for no apparent ‎reason; imposes a day-long curfew on `Azun nr. Qalqilya, searches several homes, arrests ‎‎1 Palestinian; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Marda nr. Nablus. A Jewish settler ‎who set herself on fire on 8/17 to protest the disengagement dies of her injuries, marking ‎the only fatality of the disengagement process. (WP 8/27; PCHR 9/1)‎
 The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches, interrogations in Hebron, al-Ma'ni ‎in Gaza; occupies a Palestinian home nr. the Kissufim settler bypass road as an ‎observation post. (PCHR 9/1)‎
 Citing retaliation for the 8/24 assassination of an Islamic Jihad mbr., an Islamic ‎Jihad suicide bomber detonates a device outside a bus depot in Beersheba, Israel, killing ‎only himself, seriously injuring 2 Israeli security guards, lightly injuring at least 8 other ‎Israelis; Abbas quickly denounces the bombing as a "terrorist attack" that undermines ‎Palestinian national interests. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. ‎Bethlehem, Hebron, Qalqilya. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron (btwn. Nablus and ‎Qalqilya) throw stones at local Palestinians, lightly injuring 1. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat ‎Yishai burn Palestinian olive trees, grape vines in Hebron. (IMEMC 8/28; NYT, WP, WT ‎‎8/29; IMEMC 8/30; PR 8/31; PCHR 9/1; MEI 9/2)‎
 The IDF completes demolition of empty settler homes in Ganim, Qadim; informs ‎the PA that the 4 evacuated West Bank settlement sites will remain classified as area C ‎‎(under full Israeli control). The AMB, Islamic Jihad claim joint responsibility for the ‎‎8/28 suicide bombing. A Palestinian gunman fatally shoots an IDF soldier nr. the ‎evacuated Morag settlement. The IDF imposes a day-long curfew on, patrols in Fasayil ‎nr. Jericho; conducts house searches in villages around Jenin, nr. Tulkarm. (JAZ 8/29; PR ‎‎8/31; PCHR 9/1)‎
 An Israeli interministerial comm. decides that the Israeli Palestinian victims ‎of the 8/4/05 suicide attack by an AWOL IDF soldier in Shafa `Amr will receive a lump-‎sum compensation payment fr. the state but will not be recognized as "terror victims," ‎who receive a lifetime monthly government stipend. Israeli law only recognizes as "terror ‎victims" those who were killed by "enemy forces." (HA 8/30; Guardian 9/1; HA, MEI ‎‎9/2; NYT 10/24)‎

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