Gaza evacuees: Lax IDF security allows looting
- Gaza evacuees: Lax IDF security allows looting
By Amos Harel and Yair Ettinger Haaretz
1 September 2005
Evacuated Gaza settlers have lodged numerous complaints about property that
has been stolen from their houses in recent days.
The widespread looting was made possible by the fact that soldiers guarding
the Kissufim checkpoint into Gush Katif have been letting people enter
fairly freely - not only evacuated settlers coming to collect their
belongings, but also volunteers and paid workers helping them. All it takes
to pass the checkpoint is an Israeli identity card and a good story about
helping distressed settlers, and this liberal policy has proved a magnet
One former resident of Neveh Dekalim, for instance, said that expensive
electric tools were stolen from his house. Another, Shalom Me'oded, said
that a new MP3 player and tape were stolen when he left them in the street
for a few minutes. Me'oded said he immediately told the nearest army
officer, who responded: "There's nothing we can do."
Some houses have been completely stripped, with even the doors, counters,
faucets and closets being removed.
One man in a skullcap, who claimed to be a resident of the West Bank
settlement of Beit El who had moved to Shirat Hayam, in Gaza, before the
evacuation, was waiting for a ride in Neveh Dekalim yesterday when he
suddenly walked into a house and came out holding a pair of diving fins.
"Oh, I didn't know it wasn't allowed," he told Haaretz, hurriedly replacing
them. "I simply thought that everything here is going to the Arabs."
The Gush Katif security department said that thieves and looters can be seen
in Neveh Dekalim every day. One security coordinator, Moti Ben-Tulila, said
that on Tuesday, a patrol saw a man loading a generator and appliances onto
a truck. They called the military police, which is responsible for
preventing looting in the evacuated settlements, but the man was released.
Meanwhile, the army expects to finish demolishing the evacuated houses
today, despite the fact that 16 army bulldozers and engineering vehicles
were vandalized near Neveh Dekalim Tuesday night. The vandals, whom the army
and police believe were right-wing activists, tried to torch two vehicles
and poured sugar into the engines of the others. Army and police sources
said they think the vandals might have entered under the guise of volunteers
sent by the Yesha Council of settlements.
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