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Gaza Arrests Come as Settlers Leave Area

Confrontations erupt as Israeli settlers protest their forced removal from the Gaza Strip. The clashes came as other settlers rushed to leave the area before the midnight withdrawal deadline. At least 50 were detained, according to Israeli officials.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz says that as many as half of the 9,000 settlers have already left Israel's 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip. But some chose to defy the eviction orders handed out Monday.

Military teams began entering settlements to forcibly remove those who had stayed past the deadline, including Neve Dekalim, one of the largest settlements. There, protests took an ugly turn, as settlers threw stones and eggs at soldiers.

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Mike Shuster is an award-winning diplomatic correspondent and roving foreign correspondent for NPR News. He is based at NPR West, in Culver City, CA. When not traveling outside the U.S., Shuster covers issues of nuclear non-proliferation and weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and the Pacific Rim.