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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 August 2005, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
Settler diary: Pesach Aceman
Pesach Aceman, a 63-year-old Jewish settler from Ganei Tal, begins a diary for the BBC News website of his experiences of the process of disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

We have ordered six million black flags with the face of Sharon on them to be flown by Israelis as a reminder of this capitulation.

There have been many tanks, troop carriers and other military vehicles parked by our settlement for the last two weeks.

They've been stationary despite the daily bombardment of rockets and mortars. I've begun to feel they're there for me, to be put into action when and if the expulsion begins.

63-years-old widower, physician and father of a teenage daughter
Resident of Ganei Tal, Gush Katif
First came to Israel from Canada in 1973

Hundreds of Palestinian workers have been coming into the settlement greenhouses to work. Except now they are dismantling the greenhouses. These are now empty, but a short time ago they were filled with plants, vegetables and flowers. These poor Palestinians are losing their jobs and their lives may be in danger because they worked here.

We are going and they are staying. We never launched rockets at them. We used to shop in the Palestinian areas, go to the pharmacy there. Then the intifada came. How hate destroys. But is it we who are leaving and not them.

We hear that the Palestinians are preparing thousands of flags to fly from the abandoned Jewish houses, synagogues and shops. How disgusting and how painful this will be. What will it do to the kids and young teenagers to see this on the TV news?

I notice I have put on a little weight. Because of the tension I am eating at night - a bad sign. We need to deaden ourselves from the pain of abandonment by most of the world. Not all Israelis have abandoned us, and we have many strong supporters throughout the world.

I've been having an argument with my teenage daughter Rahel. She steadfastly refuses to prepare for leaving our home in Gaza. She thinks there is going to be some kind of miracle, a reversal. She accuses me of not having faith in God.

Of course I don't want to leave, but I also don't want to risk losing my few valuable possessions such as the pictures of Eema, my deceased wife. I am a practical man, and there are such mixed reports of what will happen to our possessions if we do not prepare and pack them up.

I went to Ashkelon in southern Israel to get some guitar strings for my daughter's guitar. It was first drive on the only road out of Gush Katif since the killing of two people I know by terrorists. An army screw up left an area unsecured. This is the same stretch of road, where a year ago a pregnant mother and her three children were killed.

I crossed through the Kissufim check point or border crossing. I really dislike it. I haven't been here for a couple of days and my irritation is rekindled. I find it difficult to make small talk with the young soldiers now. How unlike me!

All the afternoon I think about what are we going to do. Most of our community are going to a hotel on a kibbutz in Israel, but I am told that there probably will not be room for all of us.

We have made good friends since moving to Gaza. What will happen to these friendships? Will we see them as often?

It is weird to me. Here we are fenced in like a ghetto, now cut off from Israel by closure, yet there is an engagement party on the settlement. It was cancelled because the army didn't want to allow guests to get to Ganei Tal.

Walking the dogs, I saw a kid's birthday party on the front lawn of one of the homes. They waved to the dogs which now sport the orange ribbon of the anti-disengagement campaign.

The new Jewish month of Av began on the Sabbath and we entered a period that is a kind of mourning for the loss of the first and second temples. Now what are we losing as well?

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