Protesters Forced Out From Gaza Synagogues

Jewish protesters were forced from Kfar Darom synagogue after a stand-off with Israeli security forces today.

Police with shields and helmets burst into the synagogue and fired a water cannon at protesters who were gathered on the rooftop. The army set up a special command center. Army Chief, Lieutenant General Dan Halutz oversaw the operation. Soldiers protected him from shouting settlers. Thousands of soldiers entered the settlement at dawn and surrounded the synagogue, along with two nearby buildings.

After failed attempts to negotiate a peaceful surrender, troops began moving into homes. Army cranes raised metal cages to the roof, preparing to carry protesters away. Troops held up shields against a barrage of eggs, milk bags and paint-filled light bulbs.

Protesters were carried out one by one, but women and children were allowed to be escorted out.

On the second day of forcible evictions, troops faced stiffer opposition than the days before. Security officials said they expect to clear out all 21 Gaza settlements by Tuesday, more than two weeks ahead of schedule. By nightfall, police expect 18 settlements to be empty.