Jewish settler leaders have called off a fresh attempt to march on the Gaza Strip after thousands of protesters were again stopped by Israeli police.
The ultra-nationalist demonstrators have been penned in a farming village in southern Israel by security forces for three days. They wanted to reach the main settlement bloc in Gaza, Gush Katif, to try to disrupt Israel’s planned withdrawal from the occupied territory. Gaza is currently out of bounds to all non-residents for that reason. Elsewhere, the Israeli parliament voted against delaying the withdrawal from Gaza, quashing the last political bid by settlers to stall Ariel Sahron’s scheme. The Israeli premier has already delayed the pullout by three weeks to avoid a Jewish mourning period. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, Jewish settlers stabbed a Palestinian boy to death, according to witnesses. The 12-year-old was ambushed near his village home, outside the Palestinian-ruled city of Nablus. Israel Radio said it followed a march by settlers into the village.