8/20/2005

Abbas Decree Claims Evacuated Settlements - Yahoo! News

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas signed a decree Saturday appropriating Jewish settlement land for public use once
Israel's evacuation of Gaza is complete, and he scheduled postponed Palestinian legislative elections for Jan. 25.

Both measures are meant to ease suspicions among Abbas' political rivals over the intentions of the
Palestinian Authority and encourage them to hold their fire during the pullout.

The withdrawal paused for the Jewish Sabbath, but Israeli officials said they planned to speed up next week's timetable. The last Gaza settlements should be empty by Monday, and the army plans to begin clearing two settlements in the northern
West Bank on Tuesday, they said.

Military officials said some 2,000 anti-withdrawal protesters had slipped into those two settlements, and some were armed. They said police anticipated stiffer resistance than they encountered in Gaza, where the evacuation went swiftly and with relatively little violence.

Officials said the army was trying to stem the flow of protesters into the area, though the terrain was open and difficult to control.

Abbas Decree Claims Evacuated Settlements - Yahoo! News

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