The withdrawal has provoked widespread opposition
Israeli papers see Wednesday's protests against the withdrawal from Gaza as the opening shots of the disengagement proper, which begins in six weeks' time.
Commentators in Israel's three main Hebrew dailies all strongly criticise the nationwide unrest.
Palestinian papers examine their own government's role in the run-up to Israel's planned withdrawal, and urge the authorities and militant factions to join a national unity government.
Yesterday's grave events on the northern front, on the country's blocked roads and in the Gaza Strip, can be regarded as a trailer to what is expected to happen during the disengagement itself. But the truth is that what we have here are the opening shots of the disengagement itself.
Commentary in Israel's Maariv
If anyone was still harbouring doubts, along came yesterday's day of battles throughout the country and laid them to rest: the disengagement has arrived. The escalation can be felt everywhere - on the country's roads and in Gush Katif, where the lunatic fringe of the right showed its true face.
Commentary in Israel's Haaretz
This is the road blockers' complaint: they are not listened to and therefore they will pester the public until it listens. Facts, however, totally contradict this claim. Since [Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon announced the disengagement there has been a lively debate... It is a fact: the majority supports the disengagement. Now, in view of the stubbornness of public opinion and the decision by the public's representatives in the Knesset and government, the disengagement opponents are changing strategy: because you did not understand we will no longer appeal to your minds; we'll rape you. The time for force has arrived.
Editorial in Israel's Yediot Aharonot
Blocking roads when tired people are trying to return home as quickly as they can after a busy working day will not win public support for the struggle, but turn it into opposition... It is forbidden and impossible to halt the disengagement and the police and law authorities must stop the process that began with legitimate protest and is rapidly turning into unbridled rampaging.
Commentary in Israel's Maariv
It seems that the Palestinian Authority and the [Palestinian militant] factions have realised that they have to agree on a way to deal with the forthcoming events [the disengagement plan]. The participation of all the factions in a national unity government must not be delayed.
Commentary in Palestinian Al-Hayat al-Jadidah
The Palestinian Authority (PA) needs to affirm before anyone else its credibility in approaching the factions to form a partnership. The PA has failed so far in showing readiness for such a partnership on the national level.
Commentary in Palestinian Al-Ayyam
The conclusion from the settlers' activities - which have been left unchecked - is that any unilateral Israeli step that is carried out without prior coordination with the Palestinian side will face countless obstacles.
Editorial in Palestinian Al-Quds
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