A report in Britain’s Sunday Times details how one group of orthodox Jewish girls are preparing to possibly kill Israeli troops who by Aug. 17 will come to evacuate Gaza settlements. Dubbed the “Commando Girls,” these young militants are led by Nadia Matar, of the anti-Oslo Accord group Women in Green. None of the Commando Girls are native to the Gush Katif settlement bloc, whose leaders have called for resistance to the evacuation to be non-violent in nature. The Commando Girls live in tents like many of the mostly young 4,000 evacuation resistors that have managed to infiltrate the Gaza Strip, often let in by sympathetic Israeli security forces. They are mostly settlers from the West Bank and “New York Jews from a wealthy Messianic sect.” An informant said they have access to “inside information from government security forces,” and that it was Matar who had earlier tipped off radicals who took up residence in a took up residence in a Gaza hotel that Israeli forces were about to raid the place. Some of the 40-odd girls say they will merely taunt the troops; others are more threatening:
“If any soldiers come, we will attack them,” said one, sitting on the beach at a dusk campfire. “There is no choice. We will kill them or use other terror tactics.” The speaker did not elaborate.
Matar was on hand to support military historian Aryeh Yitzhaki, a settler living in the Gaza settlement of Kfar Yam, as he declared the establishment of “The Jewish Authority” of the Gaza Strip on Aug. 14. “According to international law, when an occupying force leaves territory that it held, local residents become sovereign rulers of that territory,” Yitzhaki said at a press conference. Yitzaki says that many residents support the new “Jewish Authority,” promised to hold elections within 21 days, and asked for international recognition, and for Israel to arm his new government. Yitzaki hinted at various plans to resist the evacuation but would not disclose “tactical secrets.” (Ha’aretz, Aug. 14) At the conference, a reporter for the London Times was assaulted by settlers. They shouted “anti-Semite, get lost” until he was shoved outside. (Ynet, Aug. 15). According to Ha’aretz, Yitzhaki’s supporters have also threatened to inject mounted security forces’ horses with atropine when they come to evacuate them.
As the midnight deadline for the evacuation passed (there will be two-day grace period before troops come for settlers), hundreds of settler youth in Neve Dekalim in Gaza rioted, slashing tires on an army jeep and lighting bonfires. They also surrounded a group of soldiers. Some of the youth tried to attack a rabbi that asked them to disperse. The teens also “ransacked the contents of the jeep and burned it by the side of the road.” (JPost, Aug.14)
In the occupied West Bank, an Israeli army officer broke his arm in a clash with 200 militant settlers on the road to Sanur, a mountainous settlement in the northern West Bank slated for evacuation (Ha’aretz, Aug. 16). Sanur is preparing to resist. Israeli forces plan to blast heavy rock music at resistors, a tactic borrowed from the US army. They also plan to use a collection of “non-lethal” weapons like “sponge bullets” that they have have trying out all summer on Palestinian, left-wing Israeli, and international activists at non-violent demononstrations against Israel’s separation barrier in the West Bank town of Bilin (Ha’aretz, Aug. 13). It is feared up to 10,000 resistors may join the 600 settlers in Sanur. Sanur is in the Dotan valley, where supposedly Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt, and is full of militant settlers. A mosque in Sanur converted into a synagogue has a sign posted that reads “No dogs, no Arabs.” (CTV, Aug. 14) An Aug. 9 AFP article says of Sanur:
Security sources warned there was an outside possibility that a lone radical, like the 19-year-old religious deserter who shot dead four Arab Israelis last week, could shoot at police.
Given the religious interdiction of firing on a fellow Jew, extremists may single out Druze, Bedouin, Christians, even the odd Muslim target among the ranks of border police, security sources said.
Beatings are considered a greater possibility. Security sources say they have intelligence about groups being trained in the arts of judo, karate and stick fighting.
Sanur is now the home of Aryeh Eldad of the ultra-right party National Union, which supports the “transfer” of Arabs from Israel and the territories. Eldad has promised resistance to the evacuation. “It will be the Stalingrad of Samaria,” he said.(BBC, June 25) See a film that he and his National Union colleagues have made opposing disengagement.
See our last post on the Gaza pullout.
Note: an Israeli reader suggests the Sunday Times has been fed disinformation by settlers, to make the disengagement sound more threatening. Their source is never named.