Terrorists celebrate in Judenrein Gaza by burning synagouges and vowing more suicide bombings
Islamofacists say Israel left synagouges intact to "make them look bad" a Arabs destroyed and loot
September 12, 2005
MIM: Asking Islamofacist thugs why they burn down synagouges is not only redundant,"because it's there". Instead of thinking about building - the Arabs are doing the only thing they know - destroying, while complaining of ongoing victimisation and announcing that they have suicide bombers impatient to kill more Jews.
Palestinian youths stand on top of the demolished synagogue in the former Jewish settlement of Netzarim, early Monday. Photo: AP
The Palestinian Authority and Hamas on Monday defended the decision to demolish the synagogues in the Gaza Strip, saying they did not want to give Jews an excuse to ever think about returning to the area.
PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas visited the former settlement of Dugit in the northern Gaza Strip, where he declared that the Israel did not leave behind any synagogues. "There are no synagogues here," he said.
"Israel left behind some empty buildings which that are likely to collapse. All the public buildings they left are in danger of collapsing," he said.
According to Abbas, the PA would destroy all the empty structures, including the synagogues, to build homes for thousands of Palestinians.
Gaza looters settle old scores by Stephen Farrell and Ian MacKinnon As the last Israeli tanks depart the settlements are ravaged
A Palestinian flag is waved as youths, previously denied access to the Mediterranean, enjoy the sea near a former Israeli settlement. Photo: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
ABANDONED and vulnerable without the Israeli arsenal that had sustained them for decades, the Gaza settlements took only minutes to ransack.
Pillars of fire lit up the night sky even before the last Israeli tanks rolled out before dawn yesterday, as thousands of Palestinians swarmed into the forsaken settlements and youths set fire to synagogues and other symbols of the hated occupation.
The end of a 38-year era had begun. High on triumphalism and bravado, militants planted the flags of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah atop the buildings, singing Allahu akbar (God is greatest).
Israeli political leaders condemned the Palestinian Authority's failure to protect the synagogues. Silvan Shalom, the Foreign Minister, said:
"Unfortunately, in its first task, we saw that it made no real effort to protect the synagogues. This was a barbaric act by people with no respect for holy places."
For weeks the Palestinian Authority had given assurances that its security forces could hold back the floodgates once the Israeli military withdrew, but on the eve of evacuation they dropped the pretence.
Gazans were desperate to see what lay behind the razor wire and watchtowers that had controlled their lives. No one was going to stop them, and Palestinian officials clearly decided that it would be foolish to try. By 3am Kfar Darom settlement was burning. Celebratory shots were fired into the air and the barricades came down.
Within minutes the once-impregnable razor wire coils of Gaza's main Gush Katif settlement block were themselves being looted, by means of donkey carts, 4x4 vehicles and simply rolling them down the sandy coastal highway like steel-fanged hula hoops.
Within Neve Dekalim the pillaging was of Baghdad proportions. Palestinian security forces looked on and even helped to load high-value items. But it was less mindless looting than scavenging driven by the twin impulses of revenge and poverty.
Everyone knew how much they could get for their booty. Aluminium? Four shekels a kilo. Air-conditioner and refrigerator motor? Five hundred shekels. The red roof tiles that instantly defined Israel's hilltop Jewish settlements? A shekel each.
Children in school uniform were on an undeclared public holiday. Muhammad Masri, 14, said: "No school today. The Jews left. I knew all my friends would be here, so I came."
Abu Ahmed, 35, from Khan Younis, said: "I brought my children to see the Israelis routed. They have been used to seeing the Palestinians ground down, and now it is their turn to see the Israelis down." Some were undoubtedly intent on destruction, burning all reminders of Jewish hegemony. Hebrew newspapers and books were burnt, and all posters were defaced. But truly astonishing was the frenzy devoted to stripping buildings down to the bare concrete. What was destroyed was smashed again, as teenagers, elderly women and tiny children worked side by side to salvage anything sellable.
Abu Eliyan, 40, said: "They are not stealing. They are not robbers. They are just very poor. These people were impoverished by the Israelis and they are scarcely at subsistence level. Those you see here do this because they want to live, by fair means or foul."
The evacuated Gaza settlers could not bear to watch the destruction of their former homes. "I'm curious to see, but I won't put the television on," Carol Chezi, 48, said, tears welling as she studiously ignored a blank screen in the corner of her new home in Jerusalem. "It would destroy me."
The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of cynically leaving the synagogues standing to make Palestinians look bad for demolishing them. Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, said that the synagogues had had all their holy symbols removed, so "they are no longer religious places". He added: "This is a day of happiness and joy that the Palestinian people have not witnessed for a century."
In the bullet-riddled Rafah thousands of jubilant Palestinians used ropes and shoulders to clamber across the wall separating the border town from Egypt, falling into the arms of relatives they had not seen for decades. Many also rushed to the Mediterranean, their first chance to enjoy the turquoise water since they were sealed off from the coast by a settlement. Rajah, 38, contemplated his little-used fishing rod and said: "It 's my hobby and I haven't been able to do it for five years. It is a very good feeling to be back."
As the day wore on, thousands of cars jammed the streets of Gaza as families flocked to see the latest tourist attractions. On the fringes of the outposts Palestinians were hauling away concrete blocks and iron bars from toppled Israeli military watchtowers and bridges.
Once covered in Hebrew graffiti, their walls were already plastered in portraits of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel-Aziz Rantissi, the assassinated Hamas leaders.
Ismail Haniyeh, a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, said his movement would not allow the synagogues to exist for fear that they would be turned in the future into "Wailing Walls" for Jews. "We won't allow any Wailing Walls on our blessed land," he said.
Defending the decision to raze the synagogues, Haniyeh said Israel was trying to keep them to put pressure on the PA to protect them in the future. "These synagogues were built for political, not religious, reasons. They were built illegally and should go away with the occupation."
Meanwhile, a number of armed groups in the Gaza Strip announced that they would continue to launch attacks on Israel until it withdraws from more territories.
The armed wing of Fatah announced that it was planning to launch attacks inside Israel "until all our lands are liberated." Muhamemd Hijazi, commander of one of the Fatah- affiliated militias in the Gaza Strip, said his men were planning suicide attacks in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beersheba.
"We will continue our martyrdom operations inside Israel until all our lands are liberated, by God's will," he said. "Gaza is only part of historic Palestine. We won't lay down our weapons as long as Jerusalem and the West Bank are under occupation."
Islamic Jihad leader Muhammed al-Hindi said his group's main task now was to liberate Jerusalem and the West Bank. "Today we are celebrating victory in the Gaza Strip, but we still have Jerusalem and the West Bank," he said. "Today we have begun the march toward Jerusalem and all of Palestine."
He said the pullout from the Gaza Strip did not mark the end of Israeli occupation "because Israel continues to control the airspace and border crossings." He, too, declared that his group would not abandon its weapons following the disengagement.