In a ceremony held Sunday evening at the Gaza Strip settlement of Shirat HaYam, several dozen settlers declared the establishment of the “Independent Jewish Authority in the Gaza Region.”
Arieh Itzhaky, who refers to himself as the Authority’s temporary chairman, said the move will thwart the evacuation. The residents who took part in the ceremony wore shirts bearing the new Authority’s name.
During the ceremony, Itzhaky said elections will be held in the Authority in 21 days.
“I ask the Israeli government to provide me with defense aid in order to protect the citizens,” he said, and added three thousands Gaza settlers and other supporters are behind the initiative.
The ceremony featured a reading of the “Declaration of Independence,” which among other things noted that Authority residents will remain Israeli citizens. The declaration also said the Authority operates in accordance with international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Settlers assault London Times reporter
One Shirat HaYam resident, Meir Picker, demanded that the ceremony be stopped and said he does not agree to the establishment of such independent authority in his community. Itzhaky and his wife responded by telling him the event was coordinated with settlement officials.
During the ceremony, settlers assaulted a London Times reporter following a report written by one of the newspaper’s correspondents. Locals yelled at him “anti-Semite, get lost,” and shoved him until he was forced to leave.
The journalist, Aviram Zino, said the assault was “a violent act” and added the Times did not publish a series of anti-Israel stories, as the settlers claimed, and certainly does not adopt an anti-Israel position.