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20 of 21 Gaza Settlements Evacuated

Earlier, an emotional memorial ceremony was held for Katif settler Tali Hatuel, 34, and her four children, ages 2-11, who were killed in May 2004 by Palestinian gunmen who ambushed them on a Gaza road.

Mourners surrounded five plastic chairs, each bearing a handwritten note with the name of the dead and the orange ribbon of pullout opponents tied to the back. A memorial candle was placed on each chair, and crying women lit the candles as men swayed back and forth in prayer. Hatuel's sobbing husband, David, was comforted by family and friends.


Palestinian Interior Minister Nasser Yousef reviews Palestinian security forces standing at attention during his visit with Egyptian army officers at a base in Gaza City, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2005. Egyptian officers are helping train 5,000 new Palestinian policemen to be deployed in the areas evacuated by Israel following its pullout from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank. (AP Photo/Hatem Mousa)
Palestinian Interior Minister Nasser Yousef reviews Palestinian security forces standing at attention during his visit with Egyptian army officers at a base in Gaza City, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2005. Egyptian officers are helping train 5,000 new Palestinian policemen to be deployed in the areas evacuated by Israel following its pullout from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank. (AP Photo/Hatem Mousa) (Hatem Moussa - AP)

In Atzmona, outside the home of the Harush family, stood a mock cemetery with cardboard tombstones bearing the names of the Jews' foes across the ages _ Pharoah, Titus, Haman, Hitler and Arafat.

An empty grave marked by a blank tombstone "was dug for anyone who expels Jews from their homes," explained 14-year-old Yehoyada, from the West Bank settlement of Efrat, who refused to give his family name.

Soldiers entering Slav encountered no resistance from the few remaining families. Most left earlier to avoid being evicted.

Security forces also entered the northern Gaza settlement of Elei Sinai, where residents planned to leave on foot and walk to a gathering place in nearby Israel. Troops were going house to house there telling people to leave.

Security officials expect violent resistance this week during the forcible evacuation of two northern West Bank communities, Sanur and Homesh, where some 2,000 anti-pullout opponents camped out preparing for a fight.

Dozens of Jewish settlers traded blows Sunday with Israeli soldiers outside Sanur. Witnesses said settlers slashed the tires of an army jeep and attacked a TV cameraman.

"We expect some harsh resistance there," an army spokeswoman, Maj. Sharon Feingold, told The Associated Press. "We know that some of them are armed, and we're still in dialogue with them."


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© 2005 The Associated Press