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Palestinians Celebrate Impending Israeli Withdrawal from Gaza

Thousands of Palestinians celebrated Israel's impending withdrawal from the Gaza Strip at a rally Friday along a tiny stretch of waterfront in Gaza.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas addressed the joyous crowd, telling them "today Gaza, tomorrow Jerusalem." He was referring to Palestinian dreams of having Jerusalem as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told an Israeli newspaper, Yediot Ahronot that his government could eventually remove more settlements in the West Bank than originally planned.

In the interview, Mr. Sharon was asked whether Israel would pull out of several small West Bank settlements in addition to the four already slated for withdrawal. He responded that not everything would remain and said the issue would be raised during future negotiations with the Palestinians.

Israel is to begin a full withdrawal Wednesday from its 21 settlements in Gaza.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.