Israeli forces have removed the last of 85-hundred Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip under Israel's plan to end its 38 year occupation of the Palestinian territory. The last settlers, about 500 residents of Netzarim, left Monday. The Israeli army plans to begin dismantling its Gaza bases next week. President Bush called the withdrawal "a courageous and painful step" for Israel that will help revive prospects for Middle East peace. Meanwhile, Palestinian officials say Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas spoke by telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Monday. They say he stressed that the Palestinians are Israel's partners for peace. Meanwhile, Israeli troops have taken up positions outside two West Bank settlements set to be evacuated on Tuesday. As many as two thousand opponents of the pullout are believed holed up in the settlements of Sanur and Homesh.