[Israel Resource News Agency asked the Israeli government as to why they ordered ALL residents of the Katif Hotel to be forcibly evicted. The goverment referred us to the following statement, which does not provide an answer – db]

â€01/07/2005 12:10

IDF Spokesperson Announcement

Temporary limitation of entry to the Gaza Strip following radicalization of the activities of factors opposing the disengagement plan.

During the past 24 hours, factors opposing the disengagement have radicalized their activities in the Gaza Strip, including repeated violations of the law and order, as well as harm to Palestinian residents of the area, and to the security forces.

Updated information exists regarding additional groups of Israelis that are moving towards the Gaza Strip, in an attempt to provide backup for the rioters and to act to further escalate the situation.

A further escalation of this course of action taken by radical elements may have grave effects on the region.

In light of this situation, the GOC Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Dan Harel, signed an order regarding a temporary limitation of entrance and presence in the Gaza Strip. Entrance to these areas will be allowed to Israelis working in the area, providing essential services, to Israelis who are listed as residents of the area, and to others whose entry is permitted by the authorities.

The IDF and the Israeli Police forces plan to act in the near future in order to restore calm in the area. Upon completion of this activity, the order limiting entry to the area will be removed.

It should be noted that this order is not the order of limitation to be issued by the political echelon as part of the preparations for the implementation of the disengagement plan.

The IDF and the Israeli Police are in continuous contact with the leaders of the Gush Katif communities, and are updating them regarding all developments. The IDF and Israeli Police are making every effort to minimize the harm to the residents’ daily lives.