WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- US President George W. Bush believes that Israel will turn to be stronger after its pullout from Gaza, which may take several weeks to complete, the White House said on Tuesday.
"He (Bush) supports (Israeli) Prime Minister Sharon in this bold initiative and believes this will strengthen Israel," spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters.
The Bush administration has been offering its support for Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gaza and part of the West Bank, and urged both Israelis and Palestinians to cooperate to make the withdrawal successful.
About half of Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip had left ahead of a midnight deadline for them to go of their own accord or face being evicted by force, Israeli General Eival Giladi, the disengagement's plan strategic coordinator, said earlier.
Meanwhile, more than 800 right-wing pullout opponents have been reportedly arrested since Monday night which witnessed the beginning of the pullout. Enditem