Hundreds of unarmed Israeli troops and police have entered the largest Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip, and are asking settlers to leave voluntarily as a midnight deadline approaches.
Israeli General Dan Harel said those in the Neve Dekalim settlement who refuse will be forcibly removed Wednesday morning, as Israel moves to clear all 85-hundred settlers from the territory over the next three weeks.
Earlier today, Israeli security forces smashed barricades in Neve Dekalim to clear the way for moving trucks that will load the belongings of those residents who have agreed to move voluntarily. At least 50 protesters were arrested in the melee.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said he expects half of all Gaza settlers to leave peacefully. He also warned that those who do not will lose some government compensation benefits.