IDF units deployed in and around the Gaza settlement of Kfar Darom held a farewell ceremony on Sunday afternoon, lowering the Israeli flag hours before the Israeli army leaves the Gaza Strip for good. Two Merkava tanks were placed next to the synagogue and were adorned with flags of the armored corps. Captain Nir, a Givati company commander said he spent the last 10 moths here protecting the residents. "We lowered the flag with a heavy heart but with our heads held high," he said. Nir noted that he had forged strong links with families in the region and also endangered his life protecting them. The ceremony ended with an emotional singing of Hatikva. All soldiers currently in Gaza are combat. All nonessential personnel have been removed. A bustle of activity was noticed on the highway as the last equipment was being removed.