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Gaza Settlers Vow to Resist Israeli Withdrawal

A protester at a nighttime rally in a Gaza Strip settlement holds a sign that reads: "Disengagement = Ethnic Cleansing of Jews." Thousands attended the event.
Julia Buckley, NPR
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A protester at a nighttime rally in a Gaza Strip settlement holds a sign that reads: "Disengagement = Ethnic Cleansing of Jews." Thousands attended the event.
Esther Lillenthal, 68, has lived in the southern Gaza settlement of Neve Dekalim for 14 years. She says she is bitterly disappointed in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who previously championed Jewish settlements in Gaza and is now vowing to dismantle them.
Julia Buckley, NPR /
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Esther Lillenthal, 68, has lived in the southern Gaza settlement of Neve Dekalim for 14 years. She says she is bitterly disappointed in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who previously championed Jewish settlements in Gaza and is now vowing to dismantle them.

The Israeli Cabinet this week approved Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw all Jewish settlements from Gaza and four small settlements in the West Bank.

Some settlers have accepted the government's compensation terms for their homes and farms. But many others have responded with protests, civil disobedience and some even with threats to Israeli leaders.

Sharon calls the step "very painful but necessary." But many settlers don't believe a withdrawal will occur. Indeed, even as the government solidifies plans for disengagement, more houses are being built in Gaza.

NPR's Robert Siegel continues his weeklong series of reports from the Middle East.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.
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