08.18.05 Update

8.18.2005

Iran credited the Palestinians with forcing Israel to withdraw from the Gaza Strip. (JTA) "The evacuation shows that what was taken by force would not have been retrieved without resistance," Iranian state radio quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi as saying Thursday. He referred to armed Palestinian attacks during the intifada as "legitimate resistance."

Condoleezza Rice expressed empathy for Israel, but said its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was not enough. (JTA) In an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, the U.S. secretary of state called the withdrawal a "dramatic moment in the history of the Middle East" and called on Israel to loosen travel restrictions for Palestinians and withdraw from more parts of the West Bank. She called on the Palestinian Authority to disarm Hamas.

The Jerusalem Post reports that 77 people have been injured during the evacuation of the Kfar Darom synagogue today.

Jewish settler attack against three Palestinians denounced today by Sharon and other political leaders, reports Ha'aretz.

Ha'aretz reports that 16 of the 21 Gaza settlements have now been evacuated.

Reuters reports that stray pets will be rounded up by animal rescuers once Gaza settlements are evacuated.

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