The forcible evacuation of militant settlers from the northern Sinai development town of Yamit neared completion tonight, as dozens of bulldozers continued to raze the town in preparation for Sunday's turnover to Egypt of the last third of the Sinai.
Israeli Army troops early this morning stormed the roofs of three adjacent townhouses and removed about 200 protesters, most of them Jewish seminary students, who had barricaded themselves behind barbed wire and sandbags.
The troops used foam spray pumped through hoses brought up to nearby roofs to distract the militants, and then rushed up assault ladders to contain the youths. Wire mesh cages were hoisted up to the roofs, and the protesters were lowered to waiting buses.
But a half dozen followers of Rabbi Meir Kahane, head of the extremist Jewish Defense League, remained barricaded inside an underground bomb shelter, where they had vowed to commit suicide if the withdrawal from the Sinai were not halted. The Israeli government yesterday agreed to allow the Kahane supporters to stay there until Sunday, when Egypt is scheduled to regain control of all of the Sinai.
Also, about 10 militant settlers remained ensconced atop a 100-foot memorial spire to Israeli soldiers killed in the region in the 1967 war, and vowed to fight off attempts to evacuate them. Army command sources said they will probably be removed Friday.