Jewish settlers and their supporters have gathered in a last-ditch bid to derail Israel’s pullout from Gaza – just 13 days before it is due to begin. They are staging a rally in the southern city of Sderot. Some are pledging to march on the largest Jewish settlement in Gaza, Gush Katif. Activists are pursuing their battle until the bitter end, sporting the colour orange – adopted by the protest movement.
For them, the Gaza withdrawal is a betrayal of their biblical birthright and a reward for the Palestinian uprising. Two weeks ago security forces stopped a similar protest from reaching Gaza enclaves.
This time round, they are equally determined to prevent would-be marchers reaching the Strip. Israel is withdrawing from all 21 of its settlements in Gaza and four of its enclaves in the West Bank.
The pullout affects around 9,000 settlers – fewer than four percent of the 240,000 who live alongside 3.8 million Palestinians.