Son of hidh-ranking Israeli general stays in Gaza refusing to leave

Evacuating Gaza settlements was extremely difficult for one of Israel's top generals: his son, daughter-in law and grandson are settlers refusing to leave.

On Thursday morning, Maj. Gen. Iftah Ron-Tal visited his son Omri, in Shirat Hayam, a Mediterranean beachside outpost.

Ron-Tal kissed his six-month-old grandchild, Nir-Chaim, and asked Omri to leave with his family.

"I told him he has to leave, and he said he understands and he will leave under his own power," said Ron-Tal, the commander of Israel's land forces.

Many Gaza settlers have refused to leave voluntarily and soldiers and police have had to drag them from their homes.

"He promised me to leave without using any force and I appreciate it," Ron-Tal said.

"It's a sad day for every family," Ron-Tal added. "I hope and pray that we find a way to continue this kind of mission without using force."

The withdrawal has been an emotional experience for many Israelis and in some instances, soldiers and settlers have broken down in tears together.

"The whole army hurts," was quoted by The AP as saying.

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