Israeli troops have completed the evacuation of the Gaza Strip settlement of Gadid, one of the last pockets of resistance to the government-ordered withdrawal from the Palestinian territory. Officials say unarmed troops removed about 90 people Friday. The operation went off relatively peacefully, in contrast to Thursday's evictions at two other settlements (Neve Dekalim and Kfar Darom) where resisters threw objects and chemicals at Israeli soldiers. After Gadid was evacuated, Israeli forces suspended withdrawal operations for the Jewish sabbath. They are to resume on Sunday. Military officials say 17 of the 21 Gaza settlements have now been emptied.
Also Friday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told hundreds of joyous Palestinians that Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip after a 38-year occupation is the result of their sacrifices. He also promised his people jobs and homes and encouraged them to refrain from violence.