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Israeli Troops Meet Stiff Resistance on Second Day of Gaza Evacuation


Israeli security forces met stiff resistance Thursday in the second day of the evacuation of Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip. Many anti-disengagement activists barricaded themselves inside synagogues. One Gaza protester has armed himself with a rifle and refused to leave his home.

It is a worst case scenario - one that security officials had wanted to avoid. In the seaside outpost Kfar Yam hundreds of Israeli soldiers and police surrounded a home where a settler armed with an M-16 rifle threatened to open fire on troops.

Police said the presence of at least four other armed settlers in the enclave had led to a decision to temporarily suspend forced evacuations there.

Elsewhere policed stormed the synagogue in Neve Dekalim where evacuation opponents have barricaded themselves and began physically removing them one by one.

Israel began evicting settlers from Gaza Wednesday in an operation that officials say is going faster than expected. Some 80 percent of the 8,000 Jewish settlers are now out of Gaza and the withdrawal of all them could be completed in days rather than weeks as originally envisioned.

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