THOUSANDS of triumphant Palestinians poured into abandoned Jewish settlements early today, setting a synagogue on fire and shooting in the air. They ran amok as convoys of Israeli troops rolled out of the Gaza Strip in the final phase of Israel's withdrawal after 38 years of occupation. Palestinian police stood by helplessly as crowds set fire to an empty synagogue and a Jewish seminary, and Hamas gunmen raised their flags. After flooding into the settlements, Palestinians tore down electricity poles, ripped out toilets and walked off with doors and window frames.
Things are always at their best in the beginning (B.Pascal)