A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|articles related to Israeli occupation|
|04/14/02 at 22:09:22|
|Here is an article from the Israeli press on the terrible|
situation of the Palestinians under siege from the Israeli Army in the
Occupied West Bank.
Ha'aretz April 8, 2002
In the gruesome wake of the Israeli army
By Amira Hass in Ramallah and Joseph Algazy
Sewage streams through streets,
garbage is piling up, electricity fails,
as does running water. Hospitals
have dwindling supplies of food,
water and medicine. The Israeli army
denies ambulances permission to
evacuate the dead and wounded
lying in streets.
These are some of the gruesome
details of daily life since the massive
Israeli invasion of the West Bank and
where 400,000 people have been
living under total curfew for the past
five to 10 days in cities in the grip of
the Israeli army.
At 10 A.M. yesterday an employee at Jenin Hospital
reported by cellular phone:
"I'm speaking from the stairwell in the hospital
corridor. The soldiers are at the
entrance of the hospital and have told us not to
dare to come close to the
window to look out."
The hospital is 200 meters from Jenin refugee
camp. The sound of heavy
gunfire and aerial bombing can be heard through
the phone. An Israel Defense
Forces unit is posted just dozens of meters away.
The troops do not allow the
two functioning ambulances to leave the hospital
and evacuate the wounded,
hospital personnel reported yesterday.
"The head of the force came to us on Friday
evening, shouted and shoved a bed
to the edge of the emergency rooms and declared
that if anyone went past the
bed, he would make sure they would end up without
a head," reported a
"Meanwhile, people are calling us, crying over the
phone and begging us to
evacuate the wounded. They are a couple of hundred
meters away, with hand,
leg or head injuries, and we can't help them. They
tell us of wounded and dead
lying in the street. We don't know how many there
"We couldn't even evacuate my 50-year-old aunt,
who was killed at her home in
the refugee camp when she opened her door to open
the gate to soldiers who
wanted to come into the yard. They shot her, or
threw a grenade and she died
on the spot. The family called me in hysterics and
until now I haven't been able
to send an ambulance. She's at home, dead.
"There is no electricity in the hospital, we are
using the generator all the time,
until we run out of fuel. We are almost out of
food. We don't have enough
medication. We have to save on water. We don't
have enough oxygen after the
oxygen unit was damaged from the shooting.
"There are about 50 people at the hospital: 35
wounded, many of them women
and children. The rest are staff and regular
An ambulance driver described his saga in trying
to evacuate the wounded: "I
tried to leave the hospital to evacuate the
wounded and the tank started to shoot
at me. I appealed to a Magen David ambulance
driver to help me get through,
but he ignored me ... The unit officer told me not
to dare to leave the hospital
without coordinating first with the IDF. Two and a
half hours later, I was told
there was coordination between the Red Cross and
the army and I ventured out
again to bring a dialysis patient. But as soon as
we sounded the siren, we were
shot at again. We tried to explain that our
departure had been coordinated but
the tank commander said he know nothing about this
and ordered us back,
saying he would blow up the ambulance if we didn't
The account is backed up by the International
Committee of the Red Cross
which yesterday issued a sharp press release,
saying it had been forced to limit
its movements in the West Bank to a bare minimum
due to what it described as
"security incidents involving IDF soldiers and Red
Cross personnel, which
included attacks on vehicles and premises." It
said ambulance staff have been
threatened at gunpoint in Bethlehem and have had
warning shots fired at them
in Nablus and Ramallah. In addition two Red Cross
vehicles were damaged by
IDF tanks in Tul Karm.
Meanwhile, the danger to public health has been
increasing daily in West Bank
cities due to curfews. The suspension of the
curfew in Ramallah, Qalqilya and
Bethlehem for a few hours two or three times last
week, without prior
notification, have not given Palestinians enough
time to dispose of garbage
piling up in the streets. Several neighborhoods in
almost all cities are not linked
to the sewage system and open sewage is normally
carried away by special
trucks every week or two. The continuing curfews
have obstructed such clean
ups, creating a public health hazard.
Some 90 percent of households in Nablus do not
have running water after
heavy tank fire damaged water pipes and water
storage tanks. Jenin's water
supply has also been damaged. Electricity supply
to the two cities has also
been severely interrupted.
|Re: articles related to Israeli occupation|
|04/14/02 at 22:11:20|
|JOINT STATEMENT IN THE NAME OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, HUMAN RIGHTS|
WATCH AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF JURISTS
7 April 2002
Given by Mark Neuman, Program Director of Campaigns and Crisis Response
International Secretariat Amnesty International at a Press Conference in
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ordinary people are the main victims of the tragic conflict that has
unfolded here over the past eighteen months. Day after day the news is
of people killed, or maimed for life, and of homes and livelihoods
destroyed. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the
International Commission of Jurists want to send a clear, unambiguous
message to all parties to this conflict, and to the international
community. Stop the deliberate targeting of civilians and other persons
protected by international humanitarian law. Stop actions that harm
them. Immediately deploy international monitors to protect the human
rights of Palestinians and Israelis.
As a fully-fledged State and as an Occupying Power, Israel has clear
obligations under international law, and in particular under the Fourth
Geneva Convention. This Convention provides for security measures that
can be taken to protect itself, but these do not include the excesses
now undertaken by the Israeli government. We strongly deplore actions
by the state of Israel that harm persons protected by international
humanitarian law. These include prolonged curfews with severe
restrictions on the movement of people and access for medical personnel;
intensified collective punishments; wanton damage to homes, cars and
civilian property; looting and theft; and the coerced use of civilians
to assist military operations. Such actions violate international
standards and transcend any justification of military necessity.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has recently declared whole areas, such
as Ramallah and Bethlehem, closed military zones, and impeded the
entrance of outside observers, including journalists, human rights
activists, government officials, United Nations representatives, and
the International Committee of the Red Cross. The IDF has forcibly
entered and ransacked the offices of human rights organizations such as
al-Haq. LAW and Addameer. Both Palestinian and Israeli organizations
have shown great determination in continuing to work under these
circumstances, but it has been almost impossible to verify alarming
reports about extrajudicial executions, "liquidations" of "wanted"
Palestinians, and use of lethal force against civilians and other
persons protected by the Geneva Conventions.
As a result of the IDF military operations, hundreds of Palestinians
have been arrested. The identities and whereabouts of detainees are not
known, and the ICRC has not been allowed access to them, raising
concerns about their conditions and treatment. Several released
Palestinians have reported that, depending on the IDF unit guarding
them, prisoners were at times beaten.
In entire cities and towns, ambulances and emergency medical services
have ground to a halt. Medical workers and ambulances have been fired
upon. The wounded have been denied access to medical treatment;
Palestinians have been killed attempting to reach hospitals for routine
medical care. Such abuses raise not simply humanitarian issues: they
are serious violations of international humanitarian law. Even in the
face of this situation, we are appalled by an increase in the use of
suicide bombers by armed Palestinian groups to attack Israeli
civilians. Such deliberate attacks on civilians are absolutely
prohibited by international humanitarian law. These actions tarnish the
Palestinian cause and will not at all help the situation -
they only increase the fear and mistrust of ordinary Israelis as well as
adding to the suffering in the region. Over the past week there have
also been increasing signs of a breakdown in law and order within
Palestinian territories as well, including the street-killing of alleged
collaborators with Israel.
All these violations must be stopped by those in a position to do so and
perpetrators must be brought to justice.
In the face of such a human rights crisis, it is time for the
international community to act. Our three human rights organizations
welcome the proposal by Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights, that the UN Commission on Human Rights send an immediate
mission to the area.
We also repeat our call for international permanent presence to be
dispatched to Israel and the Occupied Territories to monitor the
situation, restore respect for human rights and humanitarian law
standards and to help protect civilians. The international community,
and in particular the United States, should exert its utmost influence
to ensure that both the state of Israel and the Palestinian Authority
cooperate with and facilitate the work of these missions. The presence
of international monitors does not absolve the relevant parties from
their human rights responsibilities or obligations. On the contrary it
should help enhance them.
Ladies and Gentlemen, civilian suffering is not inevitable in a time of
war or occupation. Ordinary people should never become the target of
those with arms. All our organizations have witnessed, documented, and
reported a wanton disregard for the right to life over the past eighteen
months. Such abuse must stop now. Those who commit such crimes must
cease them. And the international community is morally, and legally,
obliged to act to ensure respect for such basic humanitarian principles.
Irene Khan Kenneth Roth Louise
Secretary General Executive Director Secretary
Amnesty International Human Rights Watch International
Commission of Jurists
Peres calls IDF operation in Jenin a 'massacre'
By Aluf Benn and Amos Harel (Ha'aretz, April 9, 2002)
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres Peres is very worried about the expected
international reaction as soon as the world learns the details of the
battle in the Jenin refugee camps, where more than 100 Palestinians have
already been killed in fighting with IDF forces. In private, Peres is
referring to the battle as a "massacre."
IDF officers also expressed grave reservations Monday over the operation
Jenin. "Because of the dangers," they said, "the soldiers are almost not
advancing on foot. The bulldozers are simply 'shaving' the homes and
terrible destruction. When the world sees the pictures of what we have
there, it will do us immense damage."
"However many wanted men we kill in the refugee camp, and however much
the terror infrastructure we expose and destroy there, there is still no
justification for causing such great destruction."
Peres, who is feeling increasingly isolated in the government - Sharon
three hardline ministers to his cabinet Monday - believes Arafat is
irreplaceable at this stage.
He does not regard the documents that Sharon presented Monday in the
as a "smoking gun" that irrefutably proves that Arafat was directly
to ordering terrorist activity. And Israel's isolation of the
leader, he believes, only enhanced his prestige and turned him into the
Despite his harsh criticism, however, and his belief that Labor will not
able to remain much longer in the government, Peres is in no hurry to
He is telling his closest associates that after the fighting ends and
Secretary of State Colin Powell has visited, the decision will be made.
Powell presents a political plan, Labor will want to fight for it in the
(*) a reminder from Haaretz, 25.1.2002:
"In order to prepare properly for the next campaign, one of the highest
Israeli officers in the territories said not long ago, it's justified
in fact essential to learn from every possible source. If the mission
be to seize a densely populated refugee camp, or take over the casbah in
Nablus, and if the commander's obligation is to try to execute the
without casualties on either side, then he must first analyze and
internalize the lessons of earlier battles - even, however shocking it
sound, even how the German army fought in the Warsaw ghetto".
|Re: articles related to Israeli occupation|
|04/14/02 at 22:18:01|
|What follows is a letter (minus the more intimate segments) from a|
friend of mine, who is presently in Cairo and surrounding environs. He
is trained as a social scientist, is politically aware, and is a very
compassionate person. Thus I feel his eyewitness perspective is
valuable to share here.
It is now Sunday afternoon in Cairo- April 7th, 2002 ...
Well, as you know, the past week there have been massive demonstrations
Cairo. Today, walking around, I can see the changes a week has made.
streets are tense, and there are numerous troop transports circulating
the city packed with riot police heading to spontaneous demonstrations.
hears sirens more often too. Just an hour ago, I was watching from my
pension’s balcony a demonstration just a block away. The riot police
lined up three deep keeping protestors from entering a main street.
I’d really like to join the protestors, but don’t worry, I’ve made
keep away from danger and ‘watch my ass,’ and I’m much more cautious
was ‘in my youth.’ Although the Egyptian security forces are known to
over to live rounds at demonstrations, so far the repression tactics
more than what I have seen pro-democracy and anti-homeless protestors
the Canadian state.
What I’ve been thinking quite a bit about in the last week, as things
considerably, is about two questions: the media’s influence in THE
and why are the Arabs are so reasonable when it comes to the Israeli
Both are connected with my own perceptions of Arabs and Jews. I am
particularly concerned about media representations. Most of the world
believe now that the only country that can pressure Israel to stop its
genocidal tactics is the US (which may well be true). Yet, despite the
that the present conflict is in the media constantly on CNN, ABC, CBS,
FOX, etc., etc., most Americans (and shall we include Canadians too?)
incredibly ignorant about the present conflict. I don’t think I have
much more than a recent statistic that found that only 3% of Americans
know that the Palestinian areas were taken over by the Israelis, and
occupied despite long-standing UN resolutions demanding their immediate
return. If 97% of Americans don’t know the most basic, fundamental
the conflict, then there isn’t much hope.
I have now come to the point where I am much more uncertain as to my
should I encounter someone who says that there is a ‘Jewish conspiracy’
government) in the media as I have in the past. In the past my brain
have immediately signaled that this person is obviously ‘anti-Semitic,’
I had the time, would have challenged the basis of his or her
Thinking about it, now what would I say? Maybe something like this:
“Yes, it is clear that there is a bias in many respects. In Canada,
owner of the largest media empire which control newspapers in almost
in Canada, including a national daily and the Global Media television
has come right out and said that he can and will proprogate a
perspective and has the right to exclude any alternative view. Yes, it
been clearly demonstrated that the New York Times, one of the most
newspapers in the world, is frequently uncritical of Israeli tactics,
but it is
often a subtle pro-Israeli perspective. For example, despite the
practice of torture by Israel (it is a leading torture state, in fact
Israeli Ambassador to Denmark outraged Danes when he openly advocate
the use of
torture) you will find little or no mention of Israeli in published
and features on torture (nor for that matter on their biological,
nuclear weapons). As for CNN and the other networks, it is clear that
a bias, but how systematic the lobby and influence is, I can’t exactly
And then I would have to add, if asked today: “But of course we can’t
all Jews agree with Israeli policy. I am not up to date on what is
going on in
Canada now, but I’m sure that there are frequently protests taking
now dominated by Jews opposed to the Israel repression, and I am sure
are boycotting Global Media products, flooding the editorial pages of
newspapers with demands for fair coverage and the rehiring of
were excluded because they presented balanced accounts. They would
in silence and condone such a situation that recreates exactly for the
the hatred experienced by the Jews in Nazi Germany.”
The second question I’ve had in my mind recently is “Why are the Arabs
so damn reasonable, and so willing to excuse the Israeli people for the
atrocities?” Now, this again recalls the matter of media
Were I to imagine the situation from the images in the Western media, I
probably assume that most Arabs fully support a religious war against
Israelis and positively hate them. The Jews of Israel, so the dominant
goes, are the victims of terrorism, only want to live in peace, and
a reasonable offer to the Palestinians which was rejected.
Perhaps I have still been brainwashed by the Western media, because I
amazed that the situation almost exactly the reverse. I enjoy talking
people, especially about politics, and in the nine months I have spent
Middle East over the past ten years I’ve had maybe a few hundred
about the Palestinian situation with Egyptians, Jordanians, Syrians,
Palestinians and Israelis. And what is the result of these
Despite clearly articulating my politics (which are, of course, quite
of Israeli actions) I have only twice ever heard something that could
described as hatred of the Israeli people. I am embarrassed to say
that I have
even tried occasionally to goad Arabs into saying something… something
that surely must be there, lurking under the surface, since I’ve seen
TV. The only excuse I can offer for such tactics is that I am still
incredulous at the response.
Just the other day I happened to meet a Palestinian guy from Haifa,
age, visiting the Sinai for a week of peace he admitted he desperately
He spoke to me in a very soft voice, the voice of one who is injured by
and exhaustion. We had dinner and, of course, discussed his situation
situation. He works for a cell-phone company and is doing reasonably
since he has good computer skills. Being employed with a known company
only reason he was able to make it to Egypt through borders and
checkpoints, and then with a lot of hassle. The poor guy had actually
to the Egyptian town of Tarabin for his rest, only to find that his
run by an Israeli, who didn’t want a Palestinian around because it
atmosphere for the other Israeli guests. Several hours later he was in
and we were chatting over dinner.
Like quite a few middle-class Palestinians, he would never condemn the
bombings, but is opposed to them as an effective tactic of resistance.
fact, he lives in fear like Israelis of being bombed in a restaurant or
One such bomb exploded in a restaurant he liked to eat at. In making a
of his neighborhood to find those involved (or really just for
punishment), the Israelis arrested him and he was held without his
knowing for weeks whether he was dead or alive. In the end he spent
months in a jail for nothing…on suspicion. Actually, he said, they
did nothing and really was of little use to them. Otherwise, he would
been systematically tortured, as others were, rather than just mildly
We talked about the politics of THE situation. He doesn’t believe that
will kill Arafat, mainly because that would create a full-scale
war, and because it has been made clear, through a bombing near
(one of the most secure areas in the world), that he can be ‘got to’
The Israelis army, he says, is currently insane with bloodlust, they
inflict collective punishment on Arabs and raze their cities to the
Along with this is a desire to provoke more attacks because they want
reoccupy every inch of Palestinian land. The pretext is terrorism, as
And they will continue to manufacture ‘terrorists,’ because those who
nothing to lose have nothing to lose. The limits of their assault and
is nearly done, he hopes, and he believes that things may quiet down
month or two so that the farcical negotiations will begin again. No
is now clear to Israel that the US is more interested in its war on
it wants a cooling off period.
In talking to Egyptians on the street, for example, one clear
that they do not share in the false hope of the Western media that is
periodically presented concerning THE situation. That negotiations
will or are
beginning again is meaningless to them. They know that while Sharon
are in power the slaughter will continue, and the negotiations will
used, as Sharon once said, as a pretext to have more time to extend the
colonization of Palestinian land. Perhaps not surprisingly, Egyptians
really positively about Rabin, the ex-Prime Minister of Israel who was
assassinated by Jewish fundamentalists, as someone truly wanting to end
It is, however, what is said about the Israeli people that still
baffles me. I
swear that whenever I probe about Arabs about their opinion of the
people, they say that they believe they want peace too and blame the
not on the Israeli people, but on their government. “It is Sharon, not
Israelis.” “We can live together,” Jordanians, Egyptians, and
have repeatedly told me.
Whereas, my conversations with Israelis, on two visits mainly to
have been stomach turning. There were some who were very reasonable,
general how I cringed as Israeli after Israeli had no hesitation in
quite openly and matter of factly that “they (Palestinians) should be
like dogs,” or “we will not have peace till will exterminate every last
or “they are inhuman and so we treat them like that.” My god, I
these people not studied history? Flickering black and white images of
Germany constantly came to mind. I have never heard such vile hatred
which came from the lips of nice, respectable-looking Israeli men and
It was there in the papers, too, in subtle and rationalizing language.
impression is also strong from my walks through the ‘two worlds’ of
One was the secure Western-style enclaves, where Israelis and foreign
sipped their cappuccinos at cafes while discussing the ‘Palestinian
the other, in stark contrast, was the Palestinian ghettos, where
unemployment and utterly unbearable living conditions were widespread,
too an incredible dignity.
Really, I am still in shock by the ‘Arab response’ I have had. Given
have heard and know, why this so very reasonable attitude to the
people? Have the Israeli people not used their democratic right to
(a proven war-criminal involved in the massacre of women in children in
and countless other evil acts) a landslide victory in the previous
Have they not given him, up till now, considerable support to proceed
incredibly bloody and ugly genocide? Do not 30% of Israelis openly
total removal of the Palestinians? As we know now, the allegations
Israelis hold up ambulances will dying people and pregnant women, that
inflict collective punishment on whole cities, that they intentionally
Palestinian, schools, roads, sewer systems, electrical systems, and
systems are utterly true. They have deliberately killed journalists,
deliberately killed medical personnel. The more extreme
in the army take great pleasure in taunting Palestinian children with
slurs on loudspeakers, then gunning them down in cold blood from their
They destroy homes, bulldoze them daily. In short, I ask, are not the
people to blame for electing a genocidal war criminal? And those Jews
support Israel and lobby from afar? And those who remain silent about
media propaganda in North America?
Hopefully I can one day have the same patience and optimism concerning
Israeli public that the Arabs I have met possess. They are truly
and peace-loving people, the vast, vast majority of them. As for the
and Jews, I can feel only a great sadness. While in Jerusalem during
previous Intifada, I met on a bus an old Jewish man, probably in his
seventies. He was a survivor of the Holocaust and also an Israeli
When he heard of where I had been and some of my thoughts he said with
sadness that the Israelis are recreating the Nazi experience. To
Holocaust was one thing, he said, it hurt him much more to see Jews
same to the Palestinians. To him it is the greatest tragedy of human
history. There is no excuse, and it goes to prove, I would now reply
that for every chosen people there is a holocaust.
|Re: articles related to Israeli occupation|
|04/14/02 at 22:50:51|
|Christian Right Wing rallies to support Israel and to pressure President|
Bush to support the slaughter of Palestinians. Believe it or not! This
is an example of Christian Zionists lobbying in support of Israel's
onslaught against the Palestinians.
EVANGELICALS TO BUSH
The, 11 Apr 2002 10:57:59 EDT
Gary Bauer/Leading Evangelicals to Bush: Stand With Israel
WASHINGTON, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- In a letter to President George
Bush on Thursday, prominent evangelicals led by former Presidential
candidate Gary Bauer, urged him to support Israel in its war on
and not weaken that nation with the "dangerous message" that their
to defend themselves must stop. "It is because we so strongly support
moral case you have made against terrorism that we write you today with
heavy hearts. We believe the Bush Doctrine is in great jeopardy and the
war on terrorism with it."
The letter was signed by Gary L. Bauer - President, American Values, the
Reverend Jerry Falwell - Chancellor, Liberty University, the Reverend
Hagee - Cornerstone Church, Marlin Maddoux - USA Radio Network, Ed
McAteer - National Religious Round Table, and the Reverend Tim Timmons
- Frontlines Network of America.
The letter reads as follows:
"We, the undersigned, wish to take this opportunity to commend you for
enlightened leadership you have provided in the global war against
and your efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.
"We also wish to express our support for the Bush Doctrine -- your moral
conviction that terrorism can never be justified no matter the cause or
grievance. As you have repeatedly made clear those who intentionally
slaughter non-combatants for political purposes are at war with the
States and with the entire civilized world.
"It is because we so strongly support the moral case you have made
terrorism that we write you today with heavy hearts. We believe the
Doctrine is in great jeopardy and the war on terrorism with it. We
is imperative for the United States to stand with our friend and ally
they attempt to defeat the same forces of terrorism that we have been
battling since September 11th, 2001. We would ask you to end pressure
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon so that he has the time necessary to
complete the mission he has undertaken -- the elimination of terrorists
and infrastructure from the West Bank territories.
"Prime Minister Sharon has made clear that he intends to keep troops in
West Bank no longer than absolutely necessary. But, as he has also made
clear, to leave armed and dangerous terrorists at large among the
Palestinian population would not facilitate the cause of peace. Indeed,
terrorists pose an unacceptable threat not only to innocent Israeli
but also to those Palestinians who sincerely seek a way out of the
conflict. If suicide bombings prevail in the Middle East surely America
see such attacks on our own families and communities.
"No one knows what tomorrow will bring in the Middle East, but we can
determine what Israel's brief offensive has accomplished so far: Five
making facilities have been discovered and destroyed, including 17 bombs
that were ready to be used. In addition, documentary evidence was
discovered in the offices of Yassir Arafat, evidence showing that he
personally approves and finances bombings and other terrorist
"Given these revelations, it seems to us that Secretary Powell's current
peace-making trip is sending a dangerous message. The focus of the trip
appears to be more pressure on Israel to withdraw without any commitment
by Arab nations to control the terrorists dedicated to Israel's
And we are pressuring Israel to negotiate with Arafat in spite of his
complicity in promoting terror. Both of these outcomes violate your
well-articulated anti-terror doctrine.
"Mr. President, under your leadership the civilized world is making
progress in the global war against terrorism. Israel is finally making
progress on the Middle Eastern front in this war.
"Israel is America's reliable -- and valuable -- ally. We urge you to
to provide Israel the support it deserves."
MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
SOURCE American Values
CO: American Values
ST: District of Columbia, Israel
04/11/2002 09:46 EDT
|Re: articles related to Israeli occupation|
|04/14/02 at 22:52:48|
|from the british Independent|
By Justin Huggler outside Jenin
12 April 2002
The world finally got to see what Israel has done in the Jenin refugee
camp yesterday. Piles of rubble where homes once stood.
Gaping holes rent in the sides of buildings. Electricity wires torn down
and strewn amid the wreckage. Water flooding out of
broken mains and running down the broken streets.
This was our first glimpse of what is left of the packed warren of
narrow lanes that became the scene of the worst fighting of
Israel's onslaught in the West Bank. These are scenes of devastation
that will haunt the mission of Colin Powell, who flew in
This is the wreckage where hundreds of terrified civilians were trapped
inside their homes as Israeli helicopters poured rockets all
around them, ambulances not allowed to treat the wounded as they bled,
where Palestinians captured by the Israelis say they were
forces to strip in front of their families, where Palestinian fighters
armed only with rifles resisted the Israeli attack for nine days.
This is where the Israeli army admits it killed 100 Palestinians.
For out of the misery, humiliation and death of Jenin camp, the
Palestinians are already fashioning a legend. Out of the rubble
staggered a 13-year-old boy yesterday.
Amazingly, he was one of the last group of fighters who held out against
the helicopters and the tanks. And already the stories are
being passed from Palestinian to Palestinian: how the 13-year-old fought
because his father was killed fighting the last time Israeli
forces moved into the camp in March; how, when they ran out of
ammunition, the fighters started throwing stones at the Israeli
"I feel very proud of what the fighters did in Jenin," Deya al-Ahmad, a
Palestinian in a neighbouring village, said yesterday. "I will
tell my children this story, and I hope they will tell it to their
The Palestinians wrested this from a battle in which those detained tell
horrific tales of their treatment by the Israelis. One told us
he was forced to strip naked and act as a human shield, standing with an
Israeli soldier behind him resting his gun on his shoulder.
Another told us when he asked for a drink the soldiers forced a stick
into his mouth. Then, he said, they brought him water that
tasted of urine.
The shots were still echoing over the camp yesterday, even as Israeli
forces claimed the battle was all but over. A few pockets of
Palestinian fighters were holding out, though they had no chance of
Rashid Hassan said: "I don't believe this is a victory for Israel,
because a victory would mean they had achieved their goals and
solved their problem once and for all. But I think the problem is going
to start again for Israel. If they killed so many people, the
next generation will fight even harder."
The Israeli authorities insist their onslaught on the West Bank is the
only way to stop suicide bombings.
Among the refugees who fled Jenin camp, we found a teenager who would
not give his name. He had been separated from his
family and could not find them. He told us he was going to be a suicide
The Palestinians are claiming that far more than 100 of their number
were killed in Jenin. Many of those who fled say they saw
civilians, including women, carelessly cut down. The last thing Israel
wants the world to see are the bodies of women in the
streets. Rumours abound that the bodies are being hidden, taken away in
trucks and buried by Israeli soldiers.
But local Palestinians say they are not going to allow the Israelis to
hide the evidence. They have painstakingly documented the
stories of those who have fled the camp. They claim their notes account
for about 200 dead. The Independent has seen the
detailed handwritten notes.
That means that it should be possible to find the bodies at specific
addresses. Bodies such as that of Mufid Ahmad's mentally
disabled aunt Yusra. He says he saw her die when a helicopter round came
through the wall of their house. When police captured
him and took him away he says Yusra's body was still in their
second-floor flat. He told us the address. It should be possible to
find the block of flats if it is still standing, but many have been
bulldozed by the army to make a route for tanks.
But the figure of 100 dead, from military sources, means at least 100
bodies were lying among the ruins of Jenin. Even if someone
has hidden them, 100 bodies are not going to do Israel's image any good
|Re: articles related to Israeli occupation|
|04/14/02 at 22:54:24|
|Israel no longer dependent on U.S. military assistance|
By David Wood
Newhouse News Service
Seattle Times; April 09, 2002
WASHINGTON — There was a time when the United States was the
military superpower in the Middle East and drew obedient if grudging
respect from all sides.
Now Israel is the region's superpower, and where it once looked to the
United States not just for diplomatic support but also for military
now Israel can thumb its nose at Washington and go its own way.
Israel can field 19 divisions of ground troops, by some counts; the
States boasts 13 divisions worldwide and would need weeks to move any
significant military force into the region.
Israel's air force, which flies souped-up U.S. F-15 and F-16 fighters,
generate nearly 3,000 sorties, or combat missions, per day. The United
States can sustain about 1,600 sorties a day. That kind of combat punch
given Israel unprecedented freedom of action, not just against lightly
armed Palestinian street fighters, but against its traditional enemies
Syria and Egypt as well.
"We have created an 800-pound gorilla," said Kenneth Brower, an
military consultant in Washington, assessing decades of U.S. military
Yesterday, the 11th day of its invasion of Palestinian territories,
initially shrugged off U.S. demands that it begin withdrawing "without
delay," as President Bush put it. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in a
speech to the Knesset in Jerusalem that "the army will continue
as quickly as possible until the mission has been completed."
Later, Sharon relented — somewhat. He withdrew from two West Bank cities
his government claimed military success.
The United States has given Israel about $3 billion a year for weapons
purchases since the late 1970s, and has transferred new or used weapons
military technology for free or at deeply discounted prices under other
government programs and commercial arrangements.
The United States also has stored millions of dollars' worth of
fuel and spare parts and even built a field hospital in Israel,
for use by American forces. The agreements under which the equipment was
stored in Israel are secret, but most analysts assume Israel has access
the storage sites.
"It's always been said there are 'tripwires' that would permit Israel to
use that stuff," said Shoshana Bryen, an analyst for the Jewish
for National Security Affairs, a think tank in Washington.
The increase in Israel's combat clout comes less from size than from
intangible factors. For instance, Israeli technicians have added digital
and other improvements to their F-16 fighters, making them even more
capable than versions used by the U.S. Air Force, Brower said.
And Israel can fly so many combat sorties per day because it has a huge
pool of seasoned combat pilots. That enables its air force to use one
aircraft again and again during a 24-hour period while exchanging
pilots for fresh ones. The United States does not maintain as many
pilots per airplane as Israel.
Israel relies heavily on its reserve forces. There are almost 1 million
Israelis under the age of 48 liable to be recalled to duty. All have
three years' active duty as well as reserve training. Reserve troops are
organized into units already matched up with vehicles and weapons.
"It's one of the most efficient military forces around," said Anthony
Cordesman, a senior analyst at the Center for Strategic and
Studies in Washington. "Can they thumb their nose at us? Well, for a
But they don't have the technical or production base to sustain these
capabilities without some resupply by us."
But Cordesman estimated it would take about two years of fighting before
Israel needed help.
It was a much closer thing in 1973, when Egypt and Syria attacked Israel
Yom Kippur, one of the Jewish high holy days. As Egyptian tanks swept
across the Sinai Peninsula and plunged through Israeli defenses, a
Israeli government pleaded with the United States for help.
Then-President Nixon quickly stationed two aircraft carriers off the
Israeli coast and put U.S. combat forces on alert. Eight days later,
cargo planes began delivering what would be more than 22,000 tons of
supplies to Israel, including tanks and jet fighters.
The deliveries tipped the military balance. Israel counter-attacked with
its tank forces, under the leadership of then-Gen. Sharon, chasing
troops back across the Suez Canal and reclaiming the Sinai.
From that experience came the U.S. pledge that Israel would never lose
"qualitative edge" in military power to any Arab neighbors, and U.S.
military aid to Israel that backed up that pledge. U.S. military support
Egypt, which began after Egypt and Israel signed their 1979 peace
is about two-thirds what Israel gets.
Despite the images of violence broadcast from the Palestinian
very little of the Israeli military is being used in current operations,
analysts said. Israeli officials declined to say how many tanks have
deployed in the current fighting, but analysts estimated that not more
a few dozen of Israel's 4,000 main battle tanks were on the streets.
In an all-out war where civilian casualties were not a concern, Israel
"could roll up the West Bank in 36 hours," Bryen said.
As for igniting a wider Middle East war, most analysts said the Israelis
are confident they can handle any contingency — at least in the short
Syria's military forces have atrophied badly since the collapse of the
Soviet Union, its main benefactor. Egypt is said not to have the stomach
for another wider war.
"We have to be realistic," Brower said. "We are the world's superpower
some respects, but we don't have a big capability in the Middle East and
the Israelis know that. They can count."
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