The Israeli prime minister has lashed out at what he described as the “wild behaviour” of ultranationlist Jews who are trying to stop the pullout from Gaza. Ariel Sharon accused those radical settlers who have clashed with troops of endangering Israel as a Jewish, democratic state: “I especially warn against attempts by a small, lawless minority, like we saw a few days ago on the Gush Katif sea shore, using violence against the army.” Despite his warnings it promises to be a long, hot summer in southern Gaza. Sharon wants to begin the withdrawal from all 21 settlements in the coastal strip in mid-August. But the radical Jews who have taken over derelict buildings near Gush Katif have again been clashing with soldiers. One person was injured. Local Palestinians have been stirring the hornet’s nest by throwing stones at both the military and settlers, some of whom are young ultranationalists who have recently arrived from Jerusalem. Meanwhile the American-born soldier who disobeyed orders to take part in the demolition of the empty buildings on Sunday has been sentenced to 56 days in jail.
Sharon slams 'wild behaviour' of ultranationalists