[Israel Resource Review published, on September 1st, 2005, an article entitled, “Open Sources in the Palestinian Authority Confirm: Palestinian Authority Brings Hamas into Power in Gaza – despite Israeli legal constraints against assets for Palestinians “involved in terror”.
In that article, we stated that “Sharon’s government had added a specific clause to the final version of the disengagement plan, which was ratified by the Israeli government on June 6th, 2004, after the April 18th version had been rejected by the Likud referendum on May 2nd, 2004. which mandated that all properties from evacuated Israeli communities would be transferred to “a third, international party which will put them to use for the benefit of the Palestinian population that is not involved in terror”
This week, the government of Israel ordered the IDF to violate this clause in the Israeli law, when it handed over the assets of Sa-Nur in Samaria to terrorists, who will now use Sa-Nur as a base of terrorist operation. – DB]
Enthusiastic fingers raised in the air in a victory sign, debka dancing, Palestinian and Hamas flags, giant pictures of Yasser Arafat and “engineer” Yihya Ayash, and hoarse, rhythmic chanting of slogans-“Kassam, revenge, revenge,” “From Jenin the road leads to Jerusalem and Jaffa,”- issuing from loudspeakers with deafening noise. This is how the remains of the settlement Sa-Nur in northern Samaria looked yesterday, even before the last IDF soldiers left.
The Palestinian celebration began early in the morning. The last of the soldiers were still at the entrance to what remained of the settlement when the Palestinians began to stream inside. Hamas ribbons on their foreheads, posters of Arafat in their hands, and here and there pistols peeking out from under the shirts of the celebrants.
The IDF sealed off the gates of the fortress with heavy concrete blocks. The Palestinians from Hamas and Fatah climbed up ropes and did not find it difficult to enter.
The settlers would have found it difficult to recognize the fortress in the center of Sa-Nur, which was a symbol of their resistance to evacuation. A month ago the building was decorated with a blue and white flag and bore the sign “Accursed be he who expels a Jew from his land.” Yesterday it was already a different reality: A Hamas flag, with a giant picture underneath it of a terrorist with a machine gun on his shoulder and a green flag, which he is planting among houses with red roofs-the settlers’ homes.
At the center of the building were pictures of Yasser Arafat and Abdul Aziz Rantisi, a Hamas leader. Among the many Fatah and Hamas signs, Islamic Jihad also managed to insert a few pictures of shahids who were residents of Jenin. And so that everyone would know where they were, the Hamas members posted a sign in the center of the fortress-“The fortress of the shahid Amjad Fakhoury.”
The muezzin scaled the minaret of the mosque, which the settlers had turned into a synagogue, and urged the celebrators to attend a prayer of thanksgiving and a memorial prayer for the shahids. “We have returned to our land,” declared Jenin Governor Kadoura Moussa, smiling from ear to ear. “Today the settlements in Jenin were evacuated, tomorrow other places will be evacuated, and we will yet reach an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. Negotiations should be renewed. I hope we will find a partner for peace on the Israeli side.”
A green Hamas flag also waved yesterday on the small hill in Sa-Nur where the IDF had buried the synagogue so that it would not be defaced by the Palestinians. A bronze sculpture was placed at the bottom of the hill, a remnant of the artists’ village in Sa-Nur, which housed artists from the former Soviet Union who lived in Sa-Nur and usually created art with extremist right wing symbolism.
As opposed to Gaza, the evacuation from northern Samaria was only civilian, and IDF troops will continue to operate in the area. From the heights of Sa-Nur, or Sanur as the Palestinians call it, it is possible to observe the Nablus-Jenin road. An IDF jeep drove there yesterday slowly. IDF officials say that this is the new mobile presence in the area, which has now been given the status of Area C, where security and civilian responsibility is in the hands of the IDF.
There were also Palestinians who were disappointed yesterday in Sa-Nur: The looters. They came with tractors and donkeys to collect the spoils-but returned empty handed.
The evacuation of northern Samaria ended yesterday at 8:00 p.m. with the evacuation of the settlements Kadim and Ganim, near Jenin. There too, thousands of Palestinians celebrated with dancing and firing shots in the air. Among the celebrants were dozens of members of the El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, who seized the opportunity to announce the continuation of the battle against Israel.
This piece ran in Yediot Aharonot on September 21st, 2005.