A surprising move: IDF forces have sealed off the northern West Bank as the disengagement has officially commenced.
The army decree declaring northern Samaria a closed military zone went into effect at midnight, and on Monday morning security forces will be knocking on the doors of local residents and informing them they have 48 hours to leave their homes.
Gaza sealed off; pullout under way / By Ynet reporters
Gaza’s Kissufim crossing sealed off at midnight, signs in Hebrew and English warn against entering Strip; pullout expected to start with ‘easy-to-evacuate’ communities. Evacuation operation to get under way at 7 a.m. Monday. About 25,000 soldiers, police officers ready for action
Until now, IDF Central Command Head Yair Naveh refrained from signing the closure decree, as opposed to IDF Southern Command Head Dan Harel, who signed it earlier. Last week, the settlements of Ganim, Kadim, and vicinity were declared a closed military zone in an effort to prevent infiltrators from reaching the two communities, slated for evacuation.
The two West Bank settlements slated for removal where most infiltrators are found are Homesh and Sa-Nur, while only few families remain in Ganim and Kadim, with most residents leaving earlier. The families that are still in the communities have announced they will leave voluntarily once soldiers knock on their doors.
'Immoral and undemocratic order'
Meanwhile, Homesh and Sa-Nur residents have prepared in advance for the closure. Dozens of families joined the two communities recently and have stocked up on food, baby food, water, and medical equipment.
The new residents have organized grills, pitched tents and have brought in portable toilets and showers. They plan to stay and resist evacuation.
Sa-Nur residents have recently constructed an additional five wooden structures and have said, "We were here before (Prime Minister) Ariel Sharon, and we will remain here afterwards."
Residents said Sunday in response to the closure that they are shocked by Naveh's decision to sign the "Jewish expulsion order" on Tisha Be'av.
"We are talking about an immoral and undemocratic order that reminds us of a dark period when Jews were forbidden to set foot in Israel," Sa-Nur resident Yossi Dagan said. "The order will not discourage us; we are optimistic and will continue to be optimistic. We will continue to live our lives as usual and will get through all the obstacles."