Israeli media sources reported that a home-made Qassam shell fell in the Gush Katif settlement bloc where settlers are preparing a mass rally against the withdrawal from Gaza Strip.  one soldier was lightly wounded in the hamd.

Settlers hope 100,000 to march in test of strength

Israeli settlers’ movement is planning a mass anti-disengagement rally as a show of strength on Wednesday with a prediction of a turnout of some 100,000 settlers, Israeli media sources reported.

The demonstration is viewed by some Israeli observers as a test of strength in the settlers’ anti-disengagement campaign.

{mosimage}At least 600 busses are hired by the Yesha council of settlements and the campaign against the withdrawal to carry around 30,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip settlements.

Those arriving in their own vehicles are going to be directed by police to park in the same lots near the Kissufim junction that the army has prepared for its own equipment when the evacuation begins.

The Israeli army beefed up their forces ahead of the march in the areas where the settlers will march.  IAF helicopters will accompany the marchers.  Police are preparing for 50,000-80,000 people Wednesday.

Apparently, the anti-disengagement movement is counting on mass demonstrations to put pressure on the government to cancel the plan.

‘If 100,000 people come, the prime minister and his plan will have a problem,’ said Itzik Iliya, deputy council chief in the Gaza Coast district.

Meanwhile, Yesha leader Pinchas Wallerstein said ‘every politician will have to take into account the meaning of the numbers who arrive in Gush Katif.’

The march route takes the settler supporters through the Mawassi, the Palestinian area mostly occupied by the Gush Katif settlement bloc. From there, they will take the beach route to the settlement bloc’s artificial lake, where the main rally will take place.

The settlers are planning a massive presence in the settlements slated for evacuation this summer.

The anti-disengagement forces are predicting that having to arrest tens of thousands of protesters will be too discouraging for the government to go ahead with the evacuation. The army and police are making plans to prevent those tens of thousands from ever getting into the settlement bloc this summer.