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News Brief

July 19, 2005
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Israeli police blocked dozens of buses ferrying right-wingers to a mass march on the Gaza Strip. In what legal experts described as an unprecedented law-enforcement move in Israel, police stopped hundreds of activists opposed to the upcoming Gaza withdrawal from taking buses Monday to the southern town of Netivot, where the march began. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said the measure was necessary to prevent the march, which she described as aimed at breaking an army blockade on the Gush Katif settlement bloc in Gaza. At least 6,000 activists still made it to Netivot and set off on the three-day march.

Gaza Strip terrorists continued shelling Israeli targets despite a plea for calm by the Palestinian Authority. At least a dozen mortar bombs fired by Hamas struck the Gush Katif settlement bloc Monday, while a rocket landed in the Israeli border town of Sderot. There were no casualties. Hamas called the salvoes “retaliation” for Israel’s recent killing of several Hamas members, but insisted it was still committed to an internal truce brokered by P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas over the winter.

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