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Thousands Fast at Wall; Police on High Alert

reprinted from Arutz Sheva
16:08 Aug 14, '05 / 9 Av 5765
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Thousands of worshippers sat on the stone floor at the Western Wall (Kotel) Saturday night, lamenting the destruction of the First and Second Temples and beginning a 24-hour Ninth of Av fast.

Police, aided by a helicopter and closed circuit cameras, were on high alert in the wake of plans by Arabs to swarm Temple Mount mosques on Sunday as a result of rumors spread by Moslem clerics that Jews plan to visit the Temple Mount in large numbers. Police have barred Arab men under the age of 45 from entering the Al-Aqsa mosque and plan to ban vehicles from the area.

The Women in Green organization Saturday night led a march from the center of the city to the Western Wall. A large demonstration has been called for Sunday evening opposite the office of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Protesters are demanding that Sharon call new elections or take the expulsion plan to a national referendum.

Tens of thousands of opponents to the expulsion plan are expected to head towards Gush Katif in southern Gaza after the protest in Jerusalem. Police are planning unprecedented maneuvers to barricade the entire southern part of the country, from north of Kiryat Gat to Gaza, in an effort to keep non-residents out of Gush Katif.

Eli Moyal, mayor of the Negev town of Sderot, which has been plagued by constant mortar and rocket attacks by Arab terrorists in nearby Gaza, said expected roadblocks would make life "intolerable."

The area from Kiryat Gat south to Gaza includes mostly agricultural land of kibbutzim and moshavim, dependent on roads to ship and receive produce and supplies. Massive traffic tie-ups are expected.

Sharon, in a last-minute effort to bolster support, will deliver a televised address to the nation Monday night.



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