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Gaza Pullout Opponents Gather in Sderot


Supporters of the Jewish settler movement stand behind a fence as police block protesters from leaving the southern Israeli town of Kfar Maimon, near the Gaza Strip
Thousands of Jewish settlers and their supporters are preparing to hold a mass protest in the southern Israeli town of Sderot Tuesday, against Israel's upcoming withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

Israel has put its police and security forces on highest state of alert to block protesters from marching toward the Jewish settlements in Gaza.

The government first banned the Sderot rally but reversed itself late Monday, when demonstrators agreed to march toward Israel's Ofakim town, instead of Gaza.

Opponents to the Israeli withdrawal from all of Gaza and four small West Bank enclaves have vowed to fiercely resist the pullout, which is scheduled to begin later this month. But so far, they have failed in attempts to march to the Gaza communities, which the army last month declared closed to non-residents.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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