Around 7 A.M. on September 12, 2005, Israel Defense Forces soldiers locked a gate at the Kissufim crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip after the last Israeli soldiers left the area, thereby ending 38 years of Israeli military presence.
“From now on, the Palestinian Authority bears responsibility for what happens in the Gaza Strip,” said Gaza commander Brigadier General Aviv Kochavi, the last Israeli soldier to leave Gaza.
Two soldiers wearing their Givati Brigade purple berets locked a gate at the border and Kochavi shook their hands. A number of soldiers then raised the Israeli flag removed from the IDF military headquarters inside Gaza, on the Israeli side of the border.
Palestinian Authority forces, meanwhile, took control of the areas cleared by the Israelis. Palestinian officers entered what was once the largest settlement, Neveh Dekalim, where IDF forces had left their headquarters behind for Palestinian use and raised a Palestinian flag at the site.