It was what they had claimed for years that they wanted.
In 2005 the promises made were such as we see in CSM:
"If there's no Israeli occupation, there is no need for resistance," says Abu Faddak, dressed in military gear that, judging from the Hebrew inside his khaki flak jacket, is stolen from the Israeli army. "If they leave Gaza, we won't fight from Gaza....
On September 13, 2005, the last Israeli soldier left Gaza Strip:
The last Israeli soldier has left the Gaza Strip, 38 years and 67 days after Tel Aviv ordered occupation forces into the impoverished Palestinian territory.
Gaza divisional commander General Avi Kochavi left through the metal gates on the Kissufim crossing on Monday where military bulldozers immediately dug up mounds of earth to block the entrance.
"The mission is completed and an era is over," said Kochavi in a brief speech at the crossing. "From now on, the responsibility for what happens in the Gaza Strip lies in the hands of the Palestinian Authority."
Jump forward to today, via the NYT:
In the last year, life in Gaza has been plagued by criminal gangs as well as fighting among Palestinian groups. Some rocket barrages aimed at Israel fall on Gaza itself, and Israeli retaliation for the rest ranges from military strikes to economic quarantine.
Months of battling between the main political factions, Fatah and Hamas, culminated in a Gazan civil war in June, with 160 people killed and 800 wounded, many of them civilians. Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist group by Israel, the United States and the European Union, was the winner.
The struggle is hardly finished, with Fatah trying to consolidate in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza. Just last week, a large Fatah demonstration on the third anniversary of Yasir Arafat’s death ended in violence when Hamas police fired into a rock-throwing crowd and killed six people, while beating others.
Hamas is under siege, and with it, the people of Gaza.
This is what happens when Gazans voted in a terrorist group to run Gaza and what do the Gazans think of Hamas now?
In early June of this year we showed you in a piece called "The enemy of my enemy", that the Gazans residents were calling for Israel to reenter Gaza:
"The situation in the Gaza Strip, and especially in the city of Gaza, is scary. Murders are committed by the dozen, using every [conceivable] weapon... The murder machine, fueled by every conceivable type of hatred, is hurtling in every direction, all the time, everywhere... in the mosques... in the schools... [There are] executions... Leaders are attacked, and their families humiliated... Children and innocent civilians are being murdered..." Talal Okal, columnist for the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Ayyam, May 17, 2007.
The current wave of violent Hamas-Fatah clashes is one of the most brutal the PA has known, especially considering that it broke out only a short while after the signing of the Mecca Agreement, which was supposed to put an end to the mutual fighting. The large number of casualties, and the fear that has taken hold of the Gaza streets, have sparked intense protest among Palestinians and Arabs, with harsh criticism directed towards both the PA and Hamas.
Some consequences of the clashes are public statements by residents calling on Israel to reenter the Gaza Strip, and concerns regarding the effect of the fighting on the international community's faith in the Palestinians' ability to establish a state, to honor agreements, and to maintain peace.
"People in Gaza are hoping that Israel will reenter the Gaza Strip, wipe out both Hamas and Fatah, and then withdraw again... They also say that, since the [start of the] massacres, they [have begun to] miss the Israelis, since Israel is more merciful than [the Palestinian gunmen] who do not even know why they are fighting and killing one another. It's like organized crime, [they said]. Once, we resisted Israel together, but now we call for the return of the Israeli army to Gaza."
Bassem Al-Nabris, a Palestinian poet from Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip, wrote:
"If a there was a referendum in the Gaza Strip [on the question of] 'would you like the Israeli occupation to return?' half the population would vote 'yes'... But in practice, I believe that the number of those in favor is at least 70%, if not more - [a figure] much higher than is assumed by the political analysts and those who follow [events]. For the million and a half people living in this small region, things have [simply] gone too far - in practice, not just as a metaphor. [It did not begin] with the internal conflicts, but even earlier, in the days of the previous Palestinian administration, which was corrupt and did not give the people even the tiniest [ray of] hope. The fundamentalist forces which came into power [after it] also promised change and reform, but [instead, people] got a siege, with no security and no [chance of] making a living... If the occupation returns, at least there will be no civil war, and the occupier will have a moral and legal obligation to provide the occupied people with employment and food, which they now lack."
Palestinian journalist Majed Azzam wrote:
"We should have the courage to acknowledge the truth... The [only] thing that prevents the chaos and turmoil in Gaza from spreading to the West Bank is the presence of the Israeli occupation [in the West Bank]... [as opposed to] its absence from the Gaza Strip."
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida columnist Yahya Rabah wrote:
"When the national unity government was formed, I thought, 'This will be a government of national salvation.' If a government that includes Fatah, Hamas, other factions and independents associated with [various] factions has not been able to save the day, it means that no one can, unless Israel decides that its army should intervene. Then it will invade [the Gaza Strip], kill and arrest [people] - but this time not as an occupying [force] but as an international peace-keeping force. Look what we have come to, how far we have deteriorated, and what we have done to ourselves."
Al-Ayyam columnist Abdallah Awwad attacked both Fatah and Hamas:
"Between one murder and another, between one kidnapping and the next... our leaders continue to sit in their [meaningless] seats and to speak of 'resistance,' 'liberation,' 'unity,' and 'return'... They are all liars. The weapons they wish to retain, [ostensibly] as the weapons of resistance, are actually weapons of internecine terrorism and murder... You are murdering the [Palestinian] cause, [our] people and [our] future... Oh murderers, you have ruined our world, castrated our nationalism, prostituted our resistance... You have turned our lives into hell. [In fact,] hell is preferable... Take your government, your militias, and your gangs and go to hell."
Columnist and Palestinian official Yousef Qazzaz wrote:
"To this very day, I do not understand why most of our senior [officials] are afraid to declare in all honesty that we - [our] government, [our] security apparatuses and the [Palestinian] people - have [all] failed in implementing the law and in maintaining security. We are immersed in the worship of chaos, in the destruction of our national institutions and our home. Why are we angry with those who say that the Palestinians are incapable of managing their country's affairs?"
This is a small fraction of opinions on what has happened over the last 2 years since Israel withdrew as Hamas continues to battle Fatah and launch rockets into Israel's town of Sderot, forcing Israel to retaliate.
The Gazans wanted Israel to withdraw and they did, they declared that there would be peace in Gaza if the Israeli soldiers left and yet there has been no peace, they now long for Israel to step in, once again to "fix" the problems for them.
Why would Israel do so? To be called occupiers again? To be slammed by the international community and accused of stealing land again? To be vilified by those that are now begging for the help of Israel?
Give me one reason why Israel should not just say: You asked for it, you got it.