Gaza Evacuations 70 Percent Complete

Officials at a ministerial committee meeting said that evacuations at the current pace will be completed by Monday or Tuesday, sources said today. About 70 percent of residents have been evacuated, sources said.

Israeli troops have begun dragging away protesters and residents at a hardline settlement. Thousands of troops marched into Kfar Darom this morning to remove settlers.

At mid-morning, they began carrying away protesters who had congregated in shacks and tents at the edges of the settlement. The fiercest resistance is expected over Kfar Darom's synagogue where hundreds of people have barricaded themselves behind rolls of barbed wire, waving Israel flags from the roof.

Teen-age girls confronted soldiers entering another settlement being cleared out but offered no resistance. Elsewhere, settlers have set fire to barricades to try to keep soldiers out. Israel has cleared out eleven of 21 settlements in Gaza since the forcible evacuations began yesterday.