After Evacuation of Gaza, Empty Synagogues Destroyed

September 12, 2005

Source: Yahoo! News

Wire Service: AP

On September 12, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "Flames shot skyward from four abandoned synagogues in the Gaza Strip on Monday, as thousands of celebrating Palestinians thronged through former Jewish settlements and headed straight for the only buildings left standing. At Neve Dekalim, gunman from several militant factions stormed through after Israeli soldiers left Monday morning, completing the Gaza pullout. Some Palestinians planted a flag from the ruling Fatah movement on the roof of a rabbinical college for Jewish settlers, as others set a fire inside. The synagogue in the isolated settlement of Morag in southern Gaza was set ablaze minutes after hundreds of Palestinians stormed in... The synagogues were a focus of Palestinian anger after 38 years of Israeli occupation, primarily because they were among the only buildings left standing. Shortly after removing the last of the settlers two weeks ago, Israel sent in bulldozers to level the houses, leaving only a few public buildings and the synagogues... Helpless Palestinian police stood by and watched, admitting they were outnumbered by the crowds and had little motivation to stop them. An officer who refused to give his name said: 'The people have the right to do what they are doing.'"