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Hancocks: Dramatic scenes from Gaza

Paula Hancocks



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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Unarmed Israeli soldiers entered two synagogues in Jewish settlements on Thursday after hundreds of protestors refused to evacuate the building. The emotional evictions come as Israel ends its 38-year presence in Gaza.

CNN correspondent Paula Hancocks discussed the developments with CNN's Daryn Kagan.

HANCOCKS: We've been seeing dramatic scenes from Gaza for the past few hours. Two particular settlements, which is where the real hard-line protesters are being holed up in two synagogues.

Kfar Darom is where there are a number of protesters are on the roof of a synagogue. Now, police and military forces have sprayed them with water cannons. They have also broken through the front door of the synagogue. It had been barricaded with chairs, with anything that they (the protesters) could get their hands on.

They've stormed that particular synagogue. They are bringing these protesters out one by one. Carrying them, one policeman or military force official on each leg, each arm.

The protesters themselves have been throwing eggs. They've been throwing milk bottles. They've been throwing water balloons and paint balloons at the crowds below of the police and the military forces.

Now, there was a little earlier on, a crate being hoisted up by a crane. That crate was full of police who were going to set the crate down on the roof itself. They were going to storm the roof, we assume, and try and get some of the protesters into the crate so they could get them off the roof.

It was the only way, really, of getting to the roof at that point, as the protesters had put barbed wire around the outside of the roof so that they could not put ladders up and get to them.

We've seen some very emotional pictures of one woman giving her baby to one of the soldiers, shouting, "Look what you are doing to her future!"

So there's no physical attacks, as far as I can see, on the soldiers, but the emotional attacks will certainly be very damaging to these soldiers.

They're very young, these soldiers, between 19 and 21. Very many of them 18 and 21, in some cases.

It's very difficult for them. It's Israelis pulling out Israelis from the synagogues themselves.

And also, in one other synagogue, in the largest settlement in Gaza, Neve Dekalim, we've seen similar pictures. There were about over a thousand protesters holed up in that particular synagogue.

Again, soldiers were going in and taking them out one by one, a painstaking task, an emotionally draining task.

These protesters were linking arms, they were linking legs, and they were chanting things like, "Jews do not expel Jews," trying to persuade the soldiers not to carry out their mission. There was a couple of instances, one that I saw of a soldier leaving the group of soldiers he was with and sitting down with the protesters. It just got too much for him. He gave up ... and he sat down with the protesters. He, as well, was carried away by his soldiers -- soldier colleagues.

Now, the protesters who have been carried out of these two synagogues are being put onto buses so that they can be taken away from Gaza, out of Gaza, into Israel itself.

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