Looking east towards Kfar Daroum, Yehiya Ayoub Abu Samra, a brigadier in the Interior Ministry, watched buses and trucks filled with furniture moving out of the settlement where his house was seized five years ago. "I am not dreaming. Nobody can deny that they are leaving," he said. "I do not need binoculars. I am seeing it with my own eyes."
Muhammad Abu Sharia, 34, who sells firefighting equipment, caught the general mood of celebration. "At last!" he said, "I will be able to visit my family and my friends in Khan Yunis without going through any checkpoints."
Abu Samra is heading a committee charged with keeping Palestinians away from the settlements, until the last Israeli soldiers leave. It may well take until late September.