Israeli police and soldiers swept aside resistance at two Jewish settlements in the West Bank on Tuesday in the final act of a historic withdrawal from 25 settlements the government maintained for decades as an expression of its vision of a Jewish state in land also claimed by Palestinians.
Coming just one day after the last of 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip was cleared, the swift closing of four remote settlements on the West Bank meant that in nine days, security forces accomplished a painful task that Israeli officials had warned could take weeks.
"Game over," an Israeli border policeman said with a tight smile, walking briskly away from the spectacular rooftop confrontation that ended resistance here in Sanur, a tiny enclave on a hillock in the middle of a valley dominated by Palestinian villages.
The final encounter involved a choreographed assault by riot police from a pair of shipping containers swaying from cranes and backed by tear gas and a fire hose.
Uniformed security forces overwhelmed the mostly young resistors who made a last stand down the road in Homesh, which, like Sanur, faced an overpowering force of 6,000 police officers and soldiers. Two other settlements, Ganim and Kadim, emptied without confrontation.
"The Israeli Defense Forces operated cleverly," said Amihoy Kinarki, 33, who like many of the protesters in the West Bank on Tuesday -- and in Gaza the previous week -- traveled from other settlements to confront security forces and embarrass Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. "They brought a mass of soldiers and policeman that was invincible. Against each one of us there was maybe 100.
"Our struggle was lost from the beginning. We had no chance."
The end came at 5:30 p.m. as specially trained battalions in Homesh carried the last of dozens of teenage girls from the upper story of a building they had torn the stairs from. It was a fitting conclusion in a confrontation played out in large part by angry young people, many born on settlements, who flocked to the closure sites with the certainty of youth.
One of them, a 9-year-old boy, prowled the roof of the stone public building that dominates Sanur. "You can't kick me out of here," shouted the child, Bnaya Neuman. Alluding to Sharon, he declared: "I'll live where I want to, not where that fat guy tells me to."
Since his initial proposal 18 months ago to "disengage" from Palestinians in Gaza and the northern end of the West Bank, Sharon has weathered intense opposition from within the settler movement that he once championed. Though polls indicated a majority of Israelis supported the Gaza pullout, large numbers of religious Jews opposed withdrawal from any part of the land they believe was promised to them by God in the Bible.
Tuesday's forced evacuations were carried out by the same battalions of specially trained police and soldiers who had done the heavy lifting in Gaza. Approaching on the well-paved roads that wind through the hills of the West Bank, the troops donned flak vests when their buses entered sections where Palestinian guerrillas were considered a threat.
At Sanur, they added helmets, several with new plastic face shields. Officers said that with outsiders pouring in for a last stand, they expected a confrontation more violent than at Kfar Darom, the Gaza settlement where protesters pelted them with paint and corrosive liquid.
But as the morning unfolded, the evacuations produced no violence at Sanur and only sporadic flashes in Heshom, where youths pelted the uniformed services with eggs and, at one point, canned goods. As police and soldiers moved through the neighborhoods, the challenges were the verbal sort that have defined the evacuation from its first hours.
"Don't you have hearts? Why are you expelling Jews from their houses?" a man shouted from the window of one of the modest homes that form a ring around Sanur.
In No. 18, a family of four did its best to ignore more than a dozen blue-uniformed police officers by facing each other across the room's only table, the children rocking rhythmically in their chairs and praying: "God will save us. The King will redeem us the day we call upon him." An hour later they were gone.
"The Holocaust also began with expulsion," read graffiti on one door. The lettering on a sidewalk asked: "Where are the trains?"
By 10 a.m. the security forces were sawing through the bars that welded a couple of dozen hard-liners in Sanur's main synagogue. Police filled one bus with young men carried out bodily. Then police locked arms to make a path for the Torah.
"There was a clash -- not violent, but a clash," said Esther Friedlander, 62, of Jerusalem, who was looking for her son.
The confrontation was so lopsided, however, that at Sanur, the settlers on the roof mocked the sheer number of forces arrayed against them, including police commandos in black jumpsuits.
"What'd you bring SWAT teams for?" a holdout asked over loudspeakers. "We don't have any weapons. We don't have any rocks. We just want to build Israel, the same as you. These images will haunt you forever. It's a disgrace, all these soldiers here to take 50 people off a roof.
"Take your black uniforms off, don't scare the children. No one will throw even a grain of rice at you."
What followed was high theater, at least in terms of altitude. As police deployed a pair of massive cranes and two shipping containers, the protesters brandished mirrors, apparently to blind the vehicles' operators by reflecting the sun. They had better success with 10-foot poles, which at first succeeded in twirling the containers as they hung.
"We are stronger than you and your machines!" a protester cried.
Then the fire engine came forward, an extension went up, and a stream of water sent the protesters scrambling. Tear gas flew from one container as commandos poured out with riot shields and gas masks. It was over in moments.
In Homesh, 30 to 40 protesters stood atop a yeshiva made from a converted bomb shelter. Police lowered them to the ground in the scoop of a bulldozer, with the holdouts flexcuffed for their own security, officers said, and accompanied by two to three police officers or soldiers.
Unlike Gaza, where settlement land is being turned over the Palestinian Authority, the West Bank settlements will be razed but remain under Israeli military control. Nissan Slomiansky, a member of parliament from the National Religious Party, said pro-settlement activists would make efforts "to take back these areas."
Sockol reported from Heshom. Special correspondent Ian Deitch in Sanur contributed to this report.