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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Israeli settler eviction complete

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Israeli settler eviction complete Israeli settler eviction complete
Israeli troops have completed the evacuation of settlers from the Gaza Strip and West Bank in line with PM Ariel Sharon's withdrawal plan.

After token resistance, the last to leave were protesters at the West Bank settlements of Sanur and Homesh.

All of the 8,500 or so settlers in Gaza were removed in a six-day operation that ended on Monday.

However, about 450,000 settlers remain in about 120 settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

It is the first time Israel has withdrawn from Palestinian land captured in the 1967 war.

But Mr Sharon says he will not give up the main settlement blocks - or halt settlement building as required by the US-backed roadmap peace plan.

The houses of the settlers are being demolished in agreement with the Palestinian Authority, which will assume responsibility for the land once the Israeli army has left.

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