USATODAY.com - Despite funds and protection, Gaza greenhouses looted: "Despite funds and protection, Gaza greenhouses looted
NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip (AP) Â Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses on Tuesday, walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip.
American Jewish donors had bought more than 3,000 greenhouses from Israeli settlers in Gaza for $14 million last month and transferred them to the Palestinian Authority. Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, who brokered the deal, put up $500,000 of his own cash.
Palestinian police stood by helplessly Tuesday as looters carted off materials from greenhouses in several settlements, and commanders complained they did not have enough manpower to protect the prized assets. In some instances, there was no security and in others, police even joined the looters, witnesses said.
'We need at least another 70 soldiers. This is just a joke,' said Taysir Haddad, one of 22 security guards assigned to Neve Dekalim, formerly the largest Jewish settlement in Gaza. 'We've tried to stop as many people as we can, but they're like locusts.'
The failure of the security forces to prevent scavenging and looting in the settlements after Israel's troop pullout Monday raised new concerns about Gaza's future.
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