Cabinet OKs last phase of Gaza pullout

Aug. 21, 2005 at 6:08 PM

TEL AVIV, Israel, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says leaders who encouraged resistance to the Gaza pullout caused settlers "so much pain."

"There was a very severe phenomenon of the infiltrators and it seems some of them did things I would define as wild acts that I think border on crimes," Sharon said in a statement to the Israeli Cabinet Sunday, the New York Times reported.

By Sunday, 20 of the 21 settlements had been emptied. Residents of the last remaining one, Netzarim, agreed to leave peacefully on Monday, although some appeared likely to be carried out of their homes by soldiers, the Times said.

The Cabinet voted 16-4 in favor of the final phase of withdrawal, which includes four small settlements in the West Bank. In Sanur and Homesh, scheduled for clearance on Tuesday or Wednesday, officials expect resistance.

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