Israel: August 15, 2005


Some 50,000 Israeli troops and police began removing Gaza settlers who refused to leave. Two thirds of the 8,000 Jewish settlers in 21 Gaza settlements (and four in the West Bank)  have agreed to leave their homes, for about $250,000 compensation per family. Most of the settlers (over 70 percent) were there for economic reasons. The government provided subsidized housing in the settlements to attract settlers to live in these dangerous locations. Most are glad for the economic incentive to get out. But about a quarter of the settlers are true believers in the idea of "Greater Israel" (larger than Israel currently is, how much larger depends on how fanatic you are.) These people will resist rather than leave, and over 5,000 hard-core supporters have joined them in the settlements. 

Two Canadian peacekeepers in Egypt were shaken up when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb along the Gaza border. 

The Palestinian Authority set the next elections for January 21st.  These elections were supposed to have been last month, but the Palestinian Authority delayed them when they realized that Hamas, and other terrorist groups, had a lot more support among the voters than previously realized. Hamas is increasingly popular because they are much less corrupt than the traditional Palestinian Authority, and are seen as more effective in making terror attacks on Israel. 


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