Monday, September 12, 2005

Palestinian Gaza Celebrations All Fired Up.

As the last Israeli troops departed, Palestinians celebrated their triumphant return to the Gaza Strip last night -- by setting fire to four abandoned synagogues, the Associated Press reports.

"Palestinian police stood by helplessly as gunmen raised flags of militant groups in the settlements and crowds smashed what was left in the ruins. Initial plans by Palestinian police to bar the crowds from the settlements for the first few hours quickly disintegrated, illustrating the weakness of Palestinian security forces and concerns about growing chaos after Israel's departure," the AP story says.

Reuters also reports that Palestinians used Gaza to launch a rocket into Israel just hours after the IDF departure -- exactly the type of thing those opposed to the return of Gaza to the Palestinians feared.

Wow, rioting gunmen, helpless police and rocket attacks-- not exactly a recipe for success there.

The return of the Gaza Strip was a major concession by the Israelis and a tremendous opportunity for them and the Palestinians stop the ongoing conflict. I hope the Palestinians don't squander it, but it's not looking good so far.

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