The two-day "Hand to Brothers" operation ended at midnight, and the stage of forced expulsion is now underway in several Gush Katif communities.

As the forces made their way to the synagogue complex in N'vei Dekalim, the worshipers there began removing the Torah scrolls from the synagogues. The sad procession made its way out of the synagogue to the grassy areas below.

Hundreds of girls gathered in the Ashkenazi synagogue tearfully and spiritedly sang Ani Maamin - "I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even if he tarries, I will wait for his arrival every day."

Some families are packing, while others still refuse to do so. Some residents are trying to destroy their homes themselves, while others say they will leave peacefully, and others say they will leave only if dragged. In some neighborhoods, soldiers began to accompany - or drag - people out of their homes. In one case that was typical of dozens of others, five female soldiers carried out a girl who was crying and screaming, "How can you do this? How can you do this?"

Very large forces were also on their way this morning to Ganei Tal (home to MK Tzvi Hendel), Morag (an enclave in southern Gush Katif), Atzmona (where no one has yet packed), Tel Katifa (along the beach in northern Gush Katif), and several others.

In Morag, many families and yeshiva students prepared themselves this morning for the large police and army forces they knew would arrive. One of the residents, Yuval Unterman, was asked what he plans to do. He said, "I am personally not able to leave on my own. If no one carries me out, I'm staying." He said that this would be an important lesson in commitment for his children.

One woman in Netzer Hazani said, "I just want all of Israel to know: We have two simple questions that no one has been able to answer me - why, and to where. No one has the answer to these questions."

Her husband said, "Let us remember that this is the third time that Gaza has been evacuated of Jews in recent history. So we hope that once again, soon, we will be able to help our beloved IDF return there very soon, and evacuate Khan Yunis, Dir el Balah, and all the rest."

Televised scenes of the expulsion in various communities showed the same images: sad soldiers, tearful residents, arguments and last-minute attempts to persuade. In one case, a Channel Two camera panned over the faces of a line of soldiers, with the announcer saying, "It appears that they are choked up and can barely speak" - and as if on cue, one of the soldiers turned away and wiped his eyes. Several of them were wearing sunglasses.

Several soldiers, male and female, as well as policemen, were unable to control their emotions and were seen with tears in their eyes. In one instance, a female soldier was shown on television sitting behind a structure, crying uncontrollably.