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Israeli extremists promise strong protests against West Bank evictions

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Israeli extremists promise strong protests against West Bank evictions

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Thousands of former Gaza settlers gathered in Jerusalem last night in protest against Israel’s disengagement plan.

They sang songs of unity and prayed for divine intervention – their final hope of stopping the pullout from the West Bank. Yesterday, Netzarim was the last of twenty-one Gaza settlements to be evacuated from land where Palestinians want a state. Today more clashes are expected at Sanur and Homesh – two West Bank settlements due to be removed. The residents of two other settlements have already left voluntarily. Opponents want to make the withdrawals as traumatic as possible for the troops preparing the eviction. Some 5,000 soldiers have been deployed to deal with an estimated 2,000 right-wing Jewish activists. Settler leaders say they are only planning non-violent protests. But they believe their resistance will make it much harder for the government to ever consider giving up more land in an area where many Israelis believe they have a much stronger biblical claim than to Gaza.