Hundreds of Israeli soldiers have stormed a hotel in a Gaza Strip settlement to evict radical Jews, who barricaded themselves inside to protest Israel's planned evacuation of the territory.
Police smashed through doors of the hotel a short while after the government declared Gaza's Jewish settlements a closed military zone, to prevent anti-pullout extremists from entering the area.
No serious injuries were reported in the raid, which was completed in less than an hour. Authorities said some of the 150 evicted extremists belonged to the outlawed Israeli ultranationalist Kach movement.
The raid comes one day after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon vowed to prevent gangs from disrupting the Israeli withdrawal, which is set for August.
Wednesday also saw clashes in Gaza between pullout opponents and Israeli troops, as well as mass arrests inside Israel of protesters who blocked key roadways across the country.