making violent arrests
Officers operating without ID tags
shoving protesters onto buses
WorldNetDaily | August 17, 2005
By Aaron Klein
NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza - Breaking several recent pledges that Israeli evacuation forces would wear nametags during the Gaza withdrawal, more than 1,000 unidentified police officers and soldiers this morning entered the largest Jewish Gaza town and began making violent arrests of residents and protesters.
Police officers and Israeli Defense Forces soldiers arrived last night in Neve Dekalim. Hundreds more forces streamed in this morning and have been arresting residents and protesters who infiltrated Katif the past few weeks to attempt to stop the withdrawal.
Some protesters and residents were arrested for starting fires in the middle of roads or for blocking buses brought in to haul off residents who will be forcibly evicted from their homes.
Dozens of protesters were arrested for screaming at officers.
The protesters are being quickly subdued, some violently, and shoved onto buses that will bring them to makeshift prison areas where they will be processed and later judged by mobile court systems.
There have been reports of several protesters, including women and minors, suffering minor to serious injuries during the arrests. One protester reportedly suffered a concussion after enduring a blow to his head. Two male police officers repeatedly shoved a girl who was yelling at them to refuse orders, but the scuffle ended when the officers realized they were being photographed.
Most officers on the ground in Jewish communities are from a special Israeli border police unit trained to carry out the withdrawal. Some are IDF soldiers.
The majority of evacuation forces are not wearing nametags even though their uniforms have plastic slots designated for ID badges. Officers told WorldNetDaily they were instructed not to wear dogtag necklaces or carry identification cards.
Police spokesmen the past few months repeatedly have pledged evacuation forces operating in Jewish communities during the withdrawal would wear ID badges.
''We have nothing to hide. Our forces will carry out the disengagement with sensitivity toward the residents,'' said a police spokeswoman last week.
Residents have been worried about police violence and brutality and say they are dismayed by the missing ID badges.
Katif resident Anita Tucker said, ''The police can come in here and can do whatever they want, and there is no accountability for them. This should not be allowed in a democracy.''
Resident Leib Schiff said, ''It's like we're living in Iran or Syria. Who would think in Israel anonymous forces would be allowed to go around and drag people onto buses. I can no longer recognize the Israel that I love.''