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News Brief

June 13, 2005
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Fifty Israeli rabbis opposed to the planned Gaza Strip pullout called on army reservists not to turn up for duty. “The criminal expulsion mission which the Israeli government has imposed on the army makes any service in aid of this crime a serious sin,” the rabbis, most of whom are West Bank and Gaza Strip settlers, said in an edict published during the weekend before Shavuot. Sounding a contrary opinion, former Sephardi Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu last week called for Israeli troops to obey the evacuation orders.

In an unprecedented move, anti-pullout activists traveled to the homes of deputy IDF Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Moshe Kaplinski and Samaria’s commander, Col. Yuval Bazak, last week to serve them with a civil suit demanding $70,000 in damages. Israeli media reports on Sunday said that the suit — rejected by the officers — accused them of wantonly destroying the illegal Givat Shalhevet outpost outside Nablus in January. The incident highlighted fears that Israeli officials could be personally attacked by opponents of the Gaza withdrawal.

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