A senior Israeli army officer has warned against underestimating the force of resistance expected to be offered by settlers during the upcoming Gaza Strip and West Bank pullout, according to Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

The officer expected that settlers may shut down country, clash with Arab-Israelis
‘Those guys aren’t suckers. There are many among them who are veterans of the most elite army units and know exactly what they’re getting into,’ the army official said.

‘During the evacuation, protesters will arrive at intersections and shut down the country,’ he said.

‘The settlers’ resistance will surprise the IDF.’ He concluded. 

The officer also predicted that anti-pullout activists may block the Wadi Ara thoroughfare in northern Israel, leading to clashes with Arab-Israelis.

The officer predicted that in such case, the thousands of police officers slated to take part in settlement evacuation would be forced to return to central Israel, leaving army the unsavory task of evacuating settlers.

Concerning violent resistance, the officer said that radical West Bank settlers who plan arrive in Gaza in a bid to foil the pullout, would constitute the main threat.

‘This radical minority may even resort to the use of weapons,’ the officer warned.

Some army officers has recently called for a parallel evacuation of Gaza Strip and West Bank settlements in order to avoid such a scenario.

According to the officer, the army believes the northern West Bank settlement of Sa-Nur is the most difficult to remove, with local residents planning to barricade themselves in the face of approaching troops.

‘Sa-Nur residents are already stockpiling water and food,’ a senior army officer said.