Israeli settlers at the gates of Atzmona made their feelings known as around 1,000 Israeli troops arrived to empty one of the last remaining settlements in the Gaza Strip on Sunday. Atzmona’s 400 inhabitants have reportedly been joined by around 200 activists but there was no violence as the soldiers moved through the town, house by house.
However, there were some protests. The Harush family only completed their house two months ago. They wore yellow stars of David, a reminder of the stars the Nazis forced Jews to wear in the Second World War. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, extremist Israeli settlers in Sanur came to blows with soldiers and attacked their jeeps, slashing tyres.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon described such acts of violent resistance to the pullout as “hooliganism”. The forceable removal of settlers in 21 Gaza communities began on Wednesday, more than a year after Sharon said that Israel could no longer defend its 38-year occupation of the coastal strip which Palestinians claim as part of a future state.