Monday is the first day of Israel's implemetation of the disengagement plan. Hundreds of Jewish settlers must leave Gaza during 48 hours. For most of the Israel citizens it is a painful process, but the Israeli army is promising unflinching openness as it carries out its duty.
The army, which captured the Gaza Strip in 1967 and has for decades protected the settlers' enclaves, is now implementing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's so-called disengagement plan.
That means delivering eviction notices, helping with removal of settlers' possessions and dealing firmly with anyone who thinks they can ignore the government's decision to pull out or violently resist, BBC reports.
And the intention is for all this to take place in the full glare of the domestic and international media.
"We have taken the decision to make the disengagement completely open and transparent," says Capt Jacob Dallal who is helping co-ordinate media access.
Settlers are singing and praying outside the settlement of Ganei Tal, while several meters away, settlement leaders and police officers are negotiating hard. But the negotiation resulted in nothing, and the soldiers waiting to enter the settlement left to the applause of settlers.
Although many settlers have left, and many more are packing, the army expects to evacuate by force half of the settlers and their supporters, about 5000 people, Xinhua says.
Most of them are not likely to use violence against the soldiers and policemen, but Army spokesman Elie Spung acknowledges the pullout won't be an easy job.
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