Dozens of police officers will have to pack up well before the authorities remove all Israeli troops and settlers from Gaza starting in mid-August, Israel public radio said on Wednesday, quoting a military source.

 

An Israeli military spokesman was unable to immediately confirm that the orders had already been given.

 

More than 8000 Jewish settlers living in the occupied Gaza Strip and four settlements in the northern West Bank are to be relocated to Israel under a so-called disengagement plan.

 

Public radio said 700 people opposed to the evacuation orders had moved to Gaza settlements in recent months to bolster resistance against soldiers tasked with ousting settlers from their homes.

 

Violence
 

But an Israeli cabinet minister called on Wednesday for the planned pullout of settlers from the Gaza Strip to be postponed following an upsurge in violence in the occupied territory.

 

An Israeli minister has called for
postponement of settler pullout

Health Minister Danny Naveh, a consistent sceptic on the controversial project, said the army and police could not uproot the 8000 Jewish settlers under fire from fighters.

 

"We cannot indefinitely show restraint in the face of Palestinian terrorism, and therefore we must delay the implementation of the disengagement plan for there can be no question that this can take place under enemy fire," Naveh told public radio.

 

Five Palestinians and a Chinese labourer were killed on Tuesday in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on the deadliest day of violence in the occupied Palestinian territories since the start of a de facto truce by resistance groups and Israel in January.

 

Following the fatal shooting of three Palestinians by Israeli forces, Palestinian fighters launched a series of attacks on Jewish settlements in southern Gaza.