ULPANA OUTPOST, West Bank -- Israel began the evacuation of an illegal West Bank settlement outpost yesterday after persuading dozens of residents to leave the enclave without the violence that has plagued similar pullouts in the past.

After weeks of quiet negotiations with the government, residents of the Ulpana outpost begrudgingly packed their belongings and piled them onto moving trucks. One woman cried as government workers took small flower pots from her home.

"This is not a happy day for Israel," said Brad Kitay, an Ulpana resident. "To leave a house is very simple, but to leave a home is very difficult."

Israel's Supreme Court had ordered the outpost dismantled earlier this year after determining it was built on privately owned Palestinian land. Israel considers such construction illegal, but at the same time it authorizes construction elsewhere in the West Bank, on lands considered state-owned.

The Palestinians claim all of the West Bank, which Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast War, as part of a future state. They, along with the international community, consider all Israeli settlement on occupied land illegal or illegitimate.

The Israeli Defense Ministry said about 15 families, half of the Ulpana community, were leaving the outpost yesterday and moving to temporary trailer homes nearby, while the rest were set to move later this week. No soldiers or police officers were in sight, in what appeared to be a carefully orchestrated plan to show a quiet evacuation.

It was a sharp contrast to violent spectacles of Israeli-on-Israeli fighting in forced settler evacuations of the past decade. The Defense Ministry said it had reached an understanding with community leaders and residents that they would not put up a fight.

In Ulpana, most residents were ready for the move yesterday morning, though one family started frantically packing their belongings at the last minute. Teams of plainclothes officials in fluorescent vests were assigned to each family, helping the family members pack up.

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