Israel has formally declared an end to its 38-year occupation of the Gaza Strip, clearing the way for its last troops to leave the Palestinian territory at dawn Monday.
A handover ceremony was canceled today-Sunday after Palestinian leaders said they would not attend, in protest of Israel's closing a key Gaza border crossing.
The Israeli cabinet also voted not to dismantle 19 synagogues in Gaza, leaving their fate to Palestinian officials who say they will not be able to protect the abandoned buildings.
Israel originally planned to raze the synagogues. But conservative Jews said destroying them would violate religious law.
Fifteen thousand Palestinian troops are set to deploy Monday around Israeli settlements evacuated last month. Palestinian officials say they want to secure the areas ahead of mass Palestinian celebrations expected across the territory.
Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.