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Israeli Police Deny Protest Permit

Israeli police have refused to issue permits for a mass Israeli march Monday on the Gaza Strip. But organizers of the right-wing protest against Israel's upcoming Gaza withdrawal say they plan to go forward with the march, anyway.

Settler leaders and police met Sunday, but could not reach agreement on details of the protest.

The permit denial makes the march illegal and allows police to break it up at any time. Earlier today, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered security forces to use all force necessary to stop protesters from reaching Gaza.

Under plans unveiled last week, pullout opponents were to gather in the Israeli town of Netivot for a three-day march to the Palestinian territory. Protesters were then to join forces with residents in the Gush Katif settlement to resist the mid-August evacuation.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.