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Last Jews "disengage" from Gaza

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Last Jews "disengage" from Gaza


Heartbroken to be leaving but going without a fight, the last Jewish settlers in Gaza have said farewell to the place they had wished would be home forever. Netzarim was the final settlement to be cleared in Gaza. Now the last of some 8,500 Jewish settlers have gone; Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s pullout went twice as fast as planned. Only a few settlers refused to obey when soldiers came door-to-door. Building work on one house was a gesture of defiance. The religious farming community was one of the first settlements established in Gaza after the 1967 war. It was a frequent target for Palestinian militants.

More clashes are expected between the Israeli army and settlers at Sanur and Homesh, two West Bank settlements due to be emptied on Tuesday. Fearing an armed rampage by hundreds of youths from the most radical enclaves, security chiefs have advised West Bank Palestinians living nearby to stay at home. Israelis see a much stronger biblical claim to the West Bank than to Gaza. West Bank pullout opponents have sworn to fight hard, to discourage negotiating away any more settlements in the future. All the settlements have been declared illegal by the World Court.
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