THE JERUSALEM POST Mar. 18, 2005
OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Dan Harel has signed a decree prohibiting the relocation of Israeli citizens into the Gaza Strip.
According to the IDF, the decree was signed in accordance to the decision made by the political echelon and as part of the preparations to implement the government decision to carry out the disengagement plan.
A sharp rise has been recorded in the number of people who asked to move to the areas slated for evacuation, whether in Gaza or northern Samaria.
According to official figures, between November and January, 238 people signed up as residents of these settlements, of them 195 in Gush Katif.
Meanwhile, with the disengagement four months away and after receiving a long-awaited budget supplement, the police on Thursday unveiled the latest line in new police vehicles, weapons and uniforms set to be used during the evacuation from the Gaza Strip.
Expecting severe resistance from settlers during the pullout, police are not taking any chances and have purchased 12 new Chevy pickup trucks with enough horsepower to each tow two German-bred horses to be used by the police’s cavalry unit during the pullout.
While some 5,000 policemen will participate in what police have called the evacuation’s “inner circle” where they will evacuate settlers, a horse is the equivalent of 100 policemen, Asst.-Cmdr. Amos Carmeli explained.
“Horses will play a fundamental role in the evacuation from Gaza,” said Carmeli, from the police s Technological and Logistics Department. “We plan to use between 50 and 60 horses.”
Another vehicle unveiled Thursday was the Tomcar an all-terrain 4×4 two-seater which will become operational in the coming days. The Tomcar, to be used by Border Police forces guarding Green Line communities and Jerusalem, is Israeli-made and has the ability to climb stairs, flip over forwards, roll over sideways, and keep on going.
The Hummer jeep, made famous during the Gulf War, was also recently purchased by the police. The jeep is used by the Border Police and would be operational during disengagement, police said. It carries a small observation post on its back which seats five policemen. The jeep also carries its own radar system and surveillance equipment which allow for observation of a target from a safe distance.
A tear-gas rifle with the ability to hold up to five canisters was also recently purchased by the police to be used in hostage situations, as well as unruly demonstrations. But, as police said, “We don t plan on having to use this rifle during the disengagement.”
While right-wing elements have accused the police of planning to remove identification tags from their uniforms during the evacuation to prevent evacuees from filing complaints against them, the uniforms on display Thursday proved that accusation false.
“All policemen involved in the evacuation will wear work uniforms which have the policeman’s identification tag hanging from the shoulder,” police said.
Settler leaders expressed shock on hearing that German horses would be used during the evacuation.
“The use of German horses during the evacuation of Jews from their homes is very scary,” said Emily Amrusi, spokeswoman for the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
“I just hope that they won’t use German-made weapons as well.”