Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bye bye bye...

So, after 38 years of occupation (more, in the case of Kfar Darom in the middle of the Palestinain town of Dair al-Balah, whose surrounding Palestinain families I visited today, the subject of tommorow's entry I hope), the settlement era has finally come to an end in Gaza.

To think, the isolated and vulnerable settlement that Sharon once famously declared was as important to him as Tel Aviv-the once towering symbol of strength of the Israeli settler movement in Gaza, is gone.

For Palestinians, of course, it was one of the most hated and visible symbols of the occupation-a combat boot that stood on the neck of Gaza, tearing the Strip apart into two strategic halves.

It is also the site where 12-year-old Muhammed Dura, the central icon of the Palestinian uprising, was killed by an Israeli sniper cowering in his father's arms in front of a television camera at the beginning of the Intifada.

As the Israeli army declared the end of the evacuation, 30, 000 Palestinians waving green Hamas flags rallied through Gaza city Monday night in the largest celebration so far since the beginning of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

The rally also marked the anniversary of the attempted burning of the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem in 1969 and the assassination of moderate Hamas leader Ismail Abo-Shanab.

During the rally, the Islamic Resistance Movement's political leader, Ismail Hanieh gave a speech, declaring five main "priorities" of the movement following the withdrawal from Gaza - the right to retain arms and continue the resistance, preserving national unity, participation in politics and state-building, and defending and protecting the Palestinian issue.

Hanieh also spoke to fears of many Palestinians that some corrupt government officials may try to claim some of the liberated land as their own.

"We wants to emphasize that the land that is liberated is the property of all the Palestinian people, not just Ziad or Amr," continued Hanieh, sending a clear message to the Palestinian Authority.

"This is the beginning of the end of the settlement enterprise for Israel ," he concluded.

4 Comments:

Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

Great pictures indeed. I Enjoyed both. One of them does convey a feeling of a scorched , wasteland. The other.., does convey the opositte feeling.

7:00 AM  
Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

The pictures I am talking about are a room with a view and the sky is the limit.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Abu Sinan said...

Gaza now, West Bank next. Although that certainly isnt Sharons plan.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Abu Shaar said...

I wish I were in Rafah to see the evacuation of Morag.

How soon before our friends cango to the beach?

7:40 PM  

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