After two days of chaos, Palestinian security forces appear to be restoring order in the abandoned Gaza settlements. Scavengers looted demolished buildings and mobs destroyed synagogues, but the settlements were largely deserted today. The looting included the destruction of greenhouses which were a gift to the Palestinian people. American Jewish donors bought the greenhouses from Israeli farmers for $14 million, with the aim of providing jobs and boosting the Palestinian economy. Thugs made off with hoses, pumps, electrical equipment and plastic sheeting. In impoverished Gaza, it’s each man for himself.
More chaos at Egypt-Gaza border
Security also broke down at Gaza’s border with Egypt, despite an agreement with Israel for the deployment of 750 Egyptian troops. These guards stood by as thousands of Palestinians tore down the fence and crossed into Egypt, buying up cheap supplies and appliances. It’s a security nightmare for Israel, which expected Egyptian forces to prevent weapons smuggling to Palestinian terrorists. Egyptian and Palestinian authorities have vowed to restore order, and at press time, it appeared that they were making progress on sealing the border. Egypt has had its share of terrorist shootings and bombings, so analysts say it’s in Cairo’s interest to secure the volatile frontier.
Huge Hamas ‘victory’ rally in Gaza
Tens of thousands of Palestinians rallied in Gaza City, as the Islamic terrorist group Hamas claimed victory and took credit for driving the Israelis out. Leaders of the group vowed that holy war would continue until Israel is destroyed. “We are not going to rest until we raise the flag of Islam over the minarets of Jerusalem,” said Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar. He also rejected requests by the Palestinian Authority to disarm, as demanded by the internationally-backed “roadmap” peace plan. “These weapons will remain aimed at the chest of the enemy until we achieve liberation, Allah willing,” Zahar told the crowd. It’s bad news for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who wants to revive peace talks with Israel. It’s clear that he can control the multitudes of Hamas