In other items: Villagers battled police in southern China's Guangdong province in a riot that left several people dead and dozens wounded; Afghan President Hamid Karzai appointed two warlords to influential governorships yesterday in a bid to keep the strongmen happy; and the Japanese government plans to provide every household with pamphlets that describe evacuation...
Peat Sadeh, Gaza Strip
Residents of a 20-family Jewish settlement said yesterday they’ve struck a deal to move to a village inside Israel, giving a boost to the government’s contentious Gaza pullout plan by becoming the first community to agree to be evacuated.
Peat Sadeh, an upscale farming village tucked into the southwest corner of the Palestinian territory about a mile from the Mediterranean Sea, is going against the wishes of hard-line settler leaders, who are mounting a campaign against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to remove all 21 settlements from Gaza and four from a part of the West Bank next year.
In early 2004, Sharon abruptly abandoned decades of support for settlement construction and expansion, calling Gaza’s settlements “untenable” because only 8,200 Israelis live there among more than 1 million Palestinians in the impoverished, crowded seaside territory.
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The Palestinians say Sharon is giving up the Gaza settlements in order to keep the larger settlements in the West Bank. Palestinians want Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem as part of an independent nation.
Da Lang, China
Cause and extent of deadly riot unclear
Villagers battled police in southern China’s Guangdong province in a riot that left several people dead and dozens wounded, newspapers said.
Hong Kong’s Wen Wei Po and Apple Daily newspapers differed widely yesterday over the size of the mob — one said about 1,000 people and the other 50,000 — and what led to the clash Saturday in Da Lang.
Wen Wei Po said the incident began with a dispute over compensation for a traffic accident. The disagreement flared into a riot when local security forces beat to death a relative of the accident victim, the newspaper said. Apple Daily said the security forces sparked the unrest by beating to death a 15-year-old boy for stealing a bicycle.
Karzai gives new jobs to two fired warlords
Afghan President Hamid Karzai appointed two warlords to influential governorships yesterday in a bid to keep the strongmen happy — but outside of his central government.
Gul Agha Sherzai, the former public-works minister, was named governor of southern Kandahar province, a post he controlled once before. Sayed Hussain Anwari, the former agriculture minister, was named governor of Kabul province, which includes the capital city.
Karzai had fired the two men, along with powerful former Defense Minister Mohammed Fahim, as part of a sweeping Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday, earning praise for kicking warlords out of his government in favor of professionals.
A presidential spokesman, Khaleeq Ahmed, said the men had been effective ministers and were dismissed only because they lacked the university degrees now constitutionally required for all Cabinet members.
Japan to distribute evacuation how-to
The Japanese government plans to provide every household with pamphlets that describe evacuation procedures to follow in the event of an attack by ballistic missiles or biological or chemical weaponry, according to government sources.
The pamphlets would be distributed in 2007, giving federal, prefectural and local governments two years to compile the information.
Israel compiled a pamphlet that was said to have minimized the amount of damage caused by Iraqi missiles in an attack during the 1991 Gulf War.