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"Palm Beach Hotel" Maoz Hayam Hotel in Gush Katif  Attacked by IDF & Closed
 
Refugees Have No Place to Go
IsraelNationalNews.com- June 30, 2005 / 23 Sivan 5765

In a relatively quick but violent action, police and army forces completed the evacuation of the Maoz HaYam Hotel in Gush Katif this afternoon. The refugees, however, have no place to go.


It took about two hours for hundreds of policemen to forcibly evacuate approximately 150-200 residents of the hotel. Televised pictures showed young crying girls wearing orange shirts being dragged away by four and five Border Guard policemen. Some girls were seen with their hands self-bound with orange ribbons.

The residents, who have been there between a few days and a year, were dragged onto waiting buses. One young man on the bus said, "We have been on a bus for over an hour, but no one has told us where we\'re going..."

"The police and security forces came in and beat us for no reason," the young man said. "People here are really hurt. I told them that we live in the hotel legally; we\'re on the other side of the hotel, not in the part that\'s so famous. We are here with all the right permits. But still, we said that we would go out peacefully - and yet they took us away with great force, and hurt us. Now we\'re on the bus, and have been here for over an hour, no one is telling us where we\'re going, we haven\'t been able to see a medic or get something to drink."

The man, speaking with Voice of Israel Radio, said that he and his brother have been living in the hotel for several months. "Our family lives in Gush Katif in Pe\'at Sadeh," he said. Other long-time Gush Katif residents have been living in the hotel for several months as well.

Another woman who was forcibly evacuated spoke with Arutz-7. "They took us by bus to a place around 40 minutes away - and they ju! st dropped us off! In the middle of nowhere, they told us to get back ourselves!" She said that she was able to hitch a ride back to Gush Katif, and because of her ID card showing that she is an official resident of the area, was allowed in.

"Even more of a scandal than just dropping us off in the middle of nowhere," the woman said, "is the fact that this morning the army did not allow the supermarket truck to make deliveries of milk to our children. My children are starving! If the army would have prevented Arab children from getting milk, what a stink there would be!"

The local police commander confirmed that the closure on Gush Katif is only temporary, and "specifically for the purpose of ridding the area of these extremists in the hotel."

Journalists on the scene were skeptical of this claim. "We\'ll see if that\'s what will really happen," said one. "Don\'t forget that today is the last day of school, and if they open Gush Katif, many people will start streaming in."

Nadia Matar, of Women in Green, who now lives in Gush Katif, had strong accusations against the Yesha Council and other officials today: "This was a disgusting deal they made, to go along with the army plans to temporarily close off the area in order to clear the area of so-called extremists. This hotel was to be a critical location both for us and for the army during the coming weeks - and this deal enabled them to take it over."

Despite her fury, she said, "We will continue the struggle. True, we won\'t be able to go back to the hotel, as the army will have taken it over, but we\'ll work from other places."


IDF, Police Forces Clear out Gush Katif Hotel
by Matthew Gutman The Jerusalem Post - June 30, 2005
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1120098355116&p=1078027574097

The IDF and police cleared out the Maoz Hayam hotel in Gush Katif on
Thursday, hours after the IDF declared the Gaza Strip a closed military
zone.

The evacuation of the right-wing stronghold - carried out by hundreds of
policemen and soldiers - was completed in less than 30 minutes, Israel Radio
reported.

There were no casualties in the operation.

Dozens of arrested activists were crammed onto two buses and removed from
the Gaza Strip after the army pulled them out of their stronghold.

Resistance was relatively light, despite expectations of serious fighting.

The hotel was left smoking behind them as tires burned in the empty
building.

OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Dan Harel and police\'s southern district
commander, Commissioner Uri Bar-Lev, were at the site during the raid.

Busloads of hundreds of soldiers and policemen were brought into the Gaza
Strip to help with the evacuation. The buses were carrying ladders and
cranes and squads of men in full battle gear to clear out the hotel taken
over by settlers in recent weeks.
Hundreds of far right activists had holed up in the hotel, changing the name
of the hotel from "Palm Beach Hotel" to "The Seaside Fortress".

Security forces arrested two Israeli journalists for attempting to report
the eviction of radical settlers from the Gush Katif hotel.
Channel One\'s Vicko Atwan told The Jerusalem Post that he and Eddie Yisrael
were attacked by the officers. They were held for an hour and a half with
their hands bound behind their backs and not given any water.

"They totally lost their minds," he said, speaking to fellow journalists
waiting outside the Kissufim crossing to the Gaza Strip.

Netzer Hazani resident Michal Matzliach, came walking out of the Gaza Strip
with suit bags in hand. Her son Eitan was scheduled to get married today at
6:30 p.m. She was crying, saying "I don\'t know if even one of the 200 people
I invited to my son\'s wedding will arrive."

She screamed at the soldiers saying "these are your sons too!" Matzliach
told the press that the settlers were being "treated like dogs."

Police set up checkpoints around the northern Negev to bar activists from
reaching Gush Katif, since the IDF declared the Gaza Strip a closed military
zone Thursday morning.

Traffic was backed up throughout the Negev, especially in nearby Sderot, due
to vehicle inspections aimed at preventing disengagement opponents from
reaching the Gaza settlements.

Any cars that appeared to be transporting anti-pullout activists were
stopped.

Dots of orange were visible among the fields as activists abandoned
motorized transportation and were trekking through
Negev orchards, in order to bypass the checkpoints.

The activists, many in their teens, were equipped with backpacks, sleeping
bags, and water.

Thursday\'s operations constitute one of the IDF\'s final dress rehearsals
prior to the disengagement, which is less than 50 days away.