Sunday, August 14, 2005

As the rest of the world watches...

It is hard to predict how history will interpret what is about to happen in Gaza. Jews who came to work, live and rear families in Gaza are being officially (and forcibly) removed by other Jews!

“Normally we would storm a house killing everyone inside, whereas here we have to storm the house and keep everyone alive,” said one commander. “It’s not an easy job.”
This story from the Times of London is a case study in progress. There is something surreal about the whole affair.

Among the 60,000 Israeli soldiers and police being deployed this weekend are special “negotiating teams” that have been training for weeks to deal with maverick extremists.

Commanders will first approach their houses, hoping to persuade them to drop their weapons while gaining time for their commandos to prepare for any assault. The psychologists and religious officials will follow in a back-up team. With 17 soldiers to each house, the army is confident that no detail has been overlooked.

Rafah Pundit isn't expecting any big fuss.

In about twelve hours Disengagement (Disneygagement™ as we call it!) will begin and I haven’t a scooby what is going to happen. I believe most settlers will “go quietly”, making a token resistance, in a non violent way, their way of protesting what they see as the unfairness of the situation. From what I can gather the majority of Israelis will have little sympathy for them, their main concern will be whether Disengagement will result in an increase in the amount of terrorist attacks from inside Gaza.

I’ve rung round some friends in Rafah and they seem, for the most part, slightly disinterested, sceptical perhaps of what comes next. They are getting all their news from Israeli TV and very little from their government. They heard on the TV that the settlements will now be destroyed but haveheard little else.

One friend told me that it looks like Morag is already empty and that all the settlers and soldiers have left. Most are just watching the TV and waiting to see what happens next. Most believe that Hamas will not strike at the departing settlers because the repercussions from the public would be significant and Hamas are actively looking for the popular vote in Rafah.

While we here at Rafahpundits HQ are still sceptical of this being a move towards Palestinian statehood and self-determination there is some optimism about the future of Gaza post Disengagement (and to be feeling optimistic with a hangover this size is going some).

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