The political and social landscape in the Middle East changed over the past few weeks as thousands of Israeli settlers were forced to leave their homes in the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank in Israel.
This evacuation was part of a loose agreement that the Israeli government made, modeled after a "Road Map for Peace" laid out by the US, in an effort to curtail violence in the region. The historic proceedings drew extensive broadcast coverage in the US.
Most frequent messages
1. Thousands of Israeli settlers relocated quietly
2. Israeli soldiers removed those who would not leave their homes and businesses
3. Palestinian leaders call pullout step toward independence
4. Palestinian leader promised his people jobs and new homes when pullout is done
5. US Secretary of State Rice called Prime Minister Sharon "extremely courageous"
Based on more than 10,000 radio and TV news programs from 210 US markets from August 16-19.
Evaluation and analysis by VMS