Gunfire killed at least six people and wounded 80 on Monday at a Fatah memorial rally for Yasser Arafat attended by hundreds of thousands of supporters of the defeated faction in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The rare Fatah rally broke up in chaos after gunfire rang out.
The Israeli military lowered the national flag over its headquarters in the Gaza Strip for the last time on Sunday as the government declared an end to 38 years of military occupation and Israel handed over demolished Jewish settlements to the Palestinians.
As Israeli forces removed residents from the last Jewish settlement still to be cleared in the Gaza Strip on Monday, Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sought to win back support from the Israeli right by promising continued expansion of Israel's West Bank colonies and no more unilateral pullouts.
Israeli troops on Monday began removing residents from the final Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip. Soldiers entered the Netzarim settlement five days after a combined Israeli police and army force began the forced evacuation of 21 Jewish settlements in Gaza.
Israeli soldiers sawed down and pried open doors as they forced their way into a nursery filled with Jewish ultranationalists opposed to the Gaza pull-out on Thursday, dragging parents holding screaming children out of the building.
It was to be his last day in Gaza, but Sagi Ifrach planted himself on the roof of the only home he has ever known yesterday morning and declared that it would take the entire Israeli army to move him. His parents and siblings had left two days earlier, resigned to the futility of resisting Ariel Sharon's determination to clear Jewish settlers out of the Gaza Strip.
Thousands of Israeli troops moved into the Gaza settlements overnight for the start of a historic operation to remove the remaining Jewish families from their homes and transfer the territory to Palestinian control. Earlier, police and soldiers confronted hundreds of militant young Jews in the Neve Dekalim, who tried to prevent families from leaving by the midnight deadline.
At the heavy steel gates to Neve Dekalim, a few voices among the crowd of angry young religious Jews were shouting "Nazis" and "Gestapo" at the ranks of Israeli police massing on Monday on the road beyond. The chants disquieted others who favoured singing psalms and heartfelt appeals to Jews not to expel Jews.