Gaza settlers to be disarmed

Friday, April 15, 2005 | 
The army plans to disarm settlers slated for evacuation from the Gaza Strip this summer. The aim is to prevent bloodshed, should police and soldiers have to remove them by force from their homes. “It’s insulting,” said Gaza resident Anita Tucker. “We're law abiding citizens, we're doing everything that we can according to the law of the state of Israel.” Nevertheless, some settlement leaders say they'll hand in their guns. "We won't use these weapons to shoot, and if we have to return them we'll return them," Avner Shimoni, the head of the Gaza Coast Settlement Council, told Army Radio. "The weapons were given to us for self-defense only. I, at least, and my friends will turn in these weapons." However, other settlement leaders said they would not hand in their guns--a sign of deepening divisions among the settlement leadership over how to respond to a pullout that appears inevitable.

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