The Israeli anti-pullout movement is determined to carry out their mass-activity slated to start Tuesday evening in the Negev town of Sderot, with the settlers renewing promises that tens of thousands of them would manage to reach Gush Katif in bid to foil the planned disengagement.

Israeli police source said overnight talks with the settler leaders, to end the action in Sderot.

Operations officer Asher Levy said, ‘We received a promise that at the end of the rally in Sderot, all [participants], with no exceptions, would board buses for Ofakim.’

‘By Friday, the fifth of August, at 11 A.M., they will disperse’ to their homes, Levy added.

However, Yesha Council official Pinchas Wallerstein denied reaching any deal with the police and said the action is set to start in Ofakim to reach Gush Katif.

‘We will continue on as planned to Ofakim, where, at night, we will get organized for the continuation, on to Gush Katif,’ Wallerstein said.

Yet, settlers who did not take part of the negotiations with the police do not care if an agreement has been reached or not, and do not feel bound by anything with the police.

‘I guess that whoever signed the agreement will live up to it,’ said MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) on Tuesday.

Eldad, known to be a strong anti-pullout Member of Knesset, told Israel Radio he is planning to enter the Gaza Strip with the protestors and he would be spending the day at Kissufim junction on the Israel-Gaza border, waiting for protesters to enter the closed military zone illegally so he could join them.

Police are expecting a tough confrontation with the settlers.  At least 30,000 soldiers and police will be deployed in the western Negev to prevent anti-disengagement protesters in Sderot from reaching Gush Katif.

Israeli sources revealed recently that there are at least 2000 Israelis currently staying in Gush Katif illegally, as they are not residents of the settlement.  They came in earlier and never left.

Another security concern, said the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, was that protesters would march in the direction of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s private Sycamore Ranch, which is located near Sderot.

However, Yesha Council head Bentzi Lieberman said that settlers promised not approach Sharon’s ranch during their Monday night talks.


Organizers of the demonstration hope that if enough anti-pullout settlers manage to get to Gush Katif, the planned evacuation of settlers will become almost impossible.