History of Israeli settlement in Gaza:

June 1967 — Israel captures the Gaza Strip from Egypt and Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol declares that the coastal area will "never be returned to Egypt."

Late 1967 — Eshkol plans the establishment of Jewish settlements in Egypt to form a Jewish buffer zone on Israel's southwestern flank. The idea meets with government opposition over fears of attacks by Palestinians in the area and the lack of water sources.

June 1970 — Government passes initial decision to establish settlements in Gaza.

1972 — Israel begins establishing two army posts in Gaza, which later become the communities of Netzarim and Kfar Darom.

1977 — More Israeli civilians are allowed to move into the army installations, and new settlements are established.

1982 — Israel evacuates the settlement of Yamit in the Sinai as part of its transfer of the territory to Egypt under a peace agreement, moves some of the removed settlers to Gaza.

1987 — First Palestinian uprising begins in Gaza. Israel responds by establishing new settlements.

Sept. 13, 1993 — Israel and the Palestinians sign the Oslo accords, clearing the way for Israel to pull out of parts of Gaza.

December 2003 — Sharon presents plan to dismantle all Gaza settlements and four in the West Bank. By this time more than 8,000 Israelis live in 21 Gaza settlements.

October 2004 — Sharon's withdrawal plan is approved in the Israeli parliament.

Aug. 15, 2005 — Israel begins withdrawal.