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Officials try to stop protesters -

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Officials try to stop protesters

Reporter: Matt Brown

QUENTIN DEMPSTER: In Israel, police and soldiers are trying to contain tens of thousands of
Orthodox Jews protesting against next month's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The
demonstrators had hoped to march into Gaza settlements in a show of support for the 8,500 Israelis
who are soon to be evicted. But officials are determined to stop them and have deployed 20,000
security personnel to head off the march. Middle East correspondent Matt Brown reports from the
Israel-Gaza border.

MATT BROWN: As morning broke the protesters and soldiers turned their minds to another day of
conflict. For some, this is a potent mix of religion and national destiny. Many have brought their
children into the midst of this confrontation. They're negotiating with police who say they must
not try to reach their goal, the Jewish settlements in the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

DR EMI ROSENBLUM, PROTESTER: This camp is a camp of people who decided they wanted to do a
three-day march to protest the Government's policies, the policy of expelling Jews from their land,
from their homes, for having done absolutely nothing wrong.

MATT BROWN: Overnight, the protesters found their path blocked by line after line of soldiers and
police. They sent a mix of religious and nationalist songs and urged the soldiers to disobey their
orders. At times the protesters surged and broke the cordon, but their march to the border with the
Gaza Strip was halted at least temporarily. Tens of thousands of them had assembled in a bid to
thwart their Government's plan to evacuate the Jewish settlements in the middle of next month.

EHUD OLMERT, ISRAELI VICE PRIME MINISTER: What these protesters want is not just to express a
political view, which is legitimate certainly, but to sit in for weeks and maybe months and to
block the possibility of Israel to carry out its policies.

MATT BROWN: Thousands of soldiers and police lay await in fields along the protest route. For
Lionel and Ruth Feiglin, who are originally from Melbourne, the use of the military is especially
disturbing.

LIONEL FEIGLIN, PROTESTER: Our sons, who've all served in the army, are all in a terrible dilemma
because they feel a great allegiance to the army, they want to obey the instructions of the army.
But on the other hand, this is just absolutely against any morality.

MATT BROWN: The activists are now considering how to pursue their goal and stop the Government
handing all of the Gaza Strip back to the Palestinians.