Israeli police are a planning “undemocratic measures,” including the halting of protest buses, to disrupt a rally and march to Jewish Gaza this week expected to draw tens of thousands, a senior military source present at a planning meeting told WND.
The Yesha council announced it will hold an anti-Gaza withdrawal rally Tuesday in the Negev town of Sderot, a few miles south of Gaza. Afterwards, protesters will leave from three nearby sites in an attempt to march to Gush Katif, the slate of Gaza’s Jewish communities scheduled for evacuation August 17.
The council last week headed a three day march to Katif with tens of thousands of supporters. The event ended after nearly 20,000 security forces barricaded protesters at their overnight rest stop in a gated farming community.
Yesha leaders said they learned from last week’s mistakes.
“We shouldn’t have marched from only one site, because the police can concentrate all their energy there,” said a Yesha leader.
Tuesday’s marches will leave from Sderot and the southern towns of Ofakim and Netivot in an effort to spread the security forces thin.
A military source who took part in a contingency meeting Friday with senior police officers said police are planning “undemocratic measures” to stop protesters from reaching the marching sites.
“Police are going to block buses from leaving Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the West Bank. They are going to set up mass roadblocks throughout the country. They will do everything in their power, even if it includes questionable practices, to stop this march from happening,” said the source.
“One police chief suggested forces on the streets in the West Bank and Jerusalem should tell protesters they were given the authority to halt buses even if they don’t have the authority,” the source said.
During last week’s attempted march, police stopped over 350 buses from reaching a kickoff rally even though organizers secured required police permits and coordinated the rally with security forces. Still, tens of thousands of supporters made it to the starting point of the police roadblocks and walked several miles to join the massive protest.
The decision to stop the buses last week earned wide criticism in many circles. The Organization for Citizens’ Rights called it a “blow to the freedom of speech and protest.” The American-based Orthodox Union council of rabbis earlier this week demanded answers from Israel’s American Ambassador Danny Ayalon concerning what it termed the “denial of civil rights and discrimination against observant Jews opposed to the expulsion plan.”
Former Tourism Minister Benny Elon told WND, “I saw with my eyes last week how police took licenses from drivers, and illegally took out people from buses. Israel is not a real democracy. Only in a tyranny can this be allowed and go unquestioned. We heard nothing from the leftist media. Nothing from leftist human rights groups.”
Yesha Council chairman Bentzi Lieberman said, “The Israeli nation is still trying at the last minute to act against this dangerous and destructive plan. It’s not enough to try to silence this cry, this protest, but they also want to uproot the democracy [by blocking buses]?”
The Land of Israel Jurist Forum said yesterday if buses are halted this week it would appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court.
Top police commander are set to discuss tomorrow the completion of preparations to prevent Tuesday’s marches and rally from taking place.
Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra said, “We will do all we can to prevent people from reaching Kisufim and Gush Katif.”
A Yesha leader explained the importance of the marches.
“If large numbers reach Gaza and we get inside, the evacuation will not be able to happen, Sharon’s government will fall, and Israel is going to have new elections.”
Editor’s note: “ISRAEL BETRAYED?” – the July issue of WND’s acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine – is devoted entirely to an in-depth exploration of the controversial forced removal of thousands of Jewish residents from Gaza planned for August, and the likely creation of a Hamas-run terror state many believe will follow. Read more about “ISRAEL BETRAYED?”