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|more Israeli occupation related articles|
|04/14/02 at 22:24:53|
|Here is an excellent article on the horror of the Israeli attack on|
Jenin, Occupied West Bank. The article was published in the Times of
London. However, there is also a very valuable set of email links at the
end of the article. They connect to the Bush Administration and also to
a email list of a 100 leading U.S. Newspapers. So when you send a letter
to a Canadian paper or politician copy it and send it to a leading
American paper as well. Thank you Stanley Heller for this article and
The following is a horrific account in The Times of London of what is going on in Jenin. Please read it and act: Plan a demonstration, call, call, call the media, contact Congress. At the very least send some emails to Bush, Israel, etc. Email addresses at the end along with link to newspapers.
April 09, 2002
Children scream for water in the 'City of Bombers'
From Janine di Giovanni in Rummana, near Jenin
HAMID’S last image of Jenin Refugee Camp was a city of the dead. The 14-year old student, who surrendered to Israeli forces on Saturday night after witnessing 30 hours of bombardment, shakes slightly as he describes the apocolyptic scene. Piles of corpses were moved aside by bulldozers. Houses lay in smouldering ruins. Children screamed for water, some were forced to drink sewage.
Hamid is wearing new trainers, bought by sympathetic Palestinians, because he was stripped to his underpants by Israeli soldiers after he had surrendered to them. He gave himself up because he could take no more of the bombardment. Three people were killed by rockets inside the house where he was taking refuge.
“But the most terrible thing was seeing Israeli soldiers take eight men and line them up and kill them,” he said, describing in detail the procedure and the injuries the men sustained. After that, Hamid, his twin Ahmed and his older brother Khadir made a white flag and waved it from a window. They had no other way out.
The brothers were stripped, handcuffed tightly behind their backs and blindfolded. They were then taken with a group of about 100 Palestinian men to Salem Military Barracks inside Israel, where they say they were beaten and offered money to act as Israeli spies.
After 48 hours of interrogation by Shin Bet, the Israeli intelligence service, the men were taken to a village near by without shoes and told to walk back to the West Bank. They stumbled through an olive grove that separates Israel from the Occupied Territories and arrived in Rummana, where they are living with families who have taken them in. But they cannot go home again. They can only watch the bombardment from Cobrafrom this village, a few kilometres from their destroyed houses. Ahmed was kicked badly in his back and kidneys and lies on a mattress writhing in pain. Khadir has a black eye and some bruises, but the brothers will live.
Others, however, were not so lucky. Inside the mosque some of the men who surrendered on Saturday talk of being used as human shields by the soldiers, of being forced to strip and stand in front of the tanks for several hours as a humiliation exercise before they were taken to the Salem Military Base.
Others who did not “respond” well to Israeli questioning, were badly beaten, including Khalid Mustafa Mohammed, who lies on a bloody mattress face down, his back wrapped in bandages.
Khalid has two broken ribs and has internal bleeding and lies semi-comatose, muttering in pain. The only health care worker in town, an exhausted dentist, Dr Farouk al Ahmed, has tried to tend to him using sedatives, but he fears that the boy’s internal injuries, the result of being beaten with the butt of a rifle, are so extensive that he will die within three days if he is not treated.
“I gave him something to calm him down and I bound his ribs but there is not much more I can do. I am a dentist,” he said wearily. The Red Cross said last night that they were not allowed inside Jenin refugee camp, and after hours of negotiating only managed to get three Palestinian ambulances to take out three patients.
All day yesterday, the destruction of Jenin, which is known by the Israelis as “City of Bombers”, continued. Shortly after lunch, the Cobra helicopters positioned themselves neatly in the azure blue sky. They circled, dropped their noses and then one dropped the deadly missile.
A terrible crackle in the sky, the crash, the aftershock and then plumes of smoke rose over Jenin, whose residents fear that it will be punished severely as so many suicide bombers come from the city. “We fear there will be a massacre,” Dr Farouk said. One witness noted that “the women and children were being separated from the men, and being taken away to a near by forest”.
Most of the Palestinian men who are not safe for the moment in Rummana are in anguish about the state of their families who they left behind, where there is no information.
Telephone lines have been cut and electricity is down. Israelis are citing 70 Palestinians and nine of their own soldiers dead; but the witnesses say there are many more. “The streets are full of the dead,” said Mohammed, who worked as a shopkeeper in Jenin camp. “From night until morning, all I heard were rockets. “ He says his exile from Jenin — the second time he has effectively become a refugee — is painful and humiliating. “It is the end of life,” he says simply As night fell, the fighting continued.
Palestinian villagers from Salem, which lies inside the Israeli Green Line near by, began preparing cartloads of food and blankets for the refugees.
The real fear is not for the refugees who have escaped, but those left behind. The memories of Sabra and Shatila refugee camps being levelled are still not so distant. One Salem villager trying to gather blankets, fruit and shoes for refugees, said: “By morning, so many more will be dead.”
Even the toady Shimon Peres has called it (privately) a massacre. For the report on him see The Jerusalem Post
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan : Annanecu@un.org,
US President George W. Bushpresident@whitehouse.gov
Secretary of State, Colin Powellsecretary@state.gov.
Mr. Terje Rod Larsen Personal Representative of the Secretary
General to the United Nations in Palestine: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Ms. Mary Robinson Un High Commissioner for Human Rights
Council of the European Union: firstname.lastname@example.org
Javier Solana - EU special envoy:
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon email@example.com
Spokesperson of the Prime Ministerdover@pmo.gov.il
Minister Benjamin Beneliezersar@mod.gov.il
Deputy Defense Minister Dalia Rabin
Foreign Minister Shimon Peressar@mofa.gov.il
links to 100 U.S. newspapers
|Re: more Israeli occupation related articles|
|04/14/02 at 22:27:03|
|Subject: Los Angels Times|
U.S. Jews Cannot Acquiesce to Sharon's Monstrous Behavior
Tue, 09 Apr 2002 15:36:56 -0400
U.S. Jews Cannot Acquiesce to
Sharon's Monstrous Behavior
Both Israel's prime minister and Yasser Arafat are
killers of the innocent.
What does it mean to be Jewish? Is it belief in a set
of religious values, identity with a much-splintered
ethnic tribe or automatic membership among God's
chosen people as certified by the lineage of one's
For many, being Jewish carries with it the lessons of
universal tolerance and compassion, while for
others it is a "never again" pride in the military
power of a David turned modern-day Goliath.
This latter allusion to the Holocaust, a horror that
occurred in the center of modern European
civilization and had little to do with the Arabs,
nonetheless provides the enduring rationale for
Israeli brutality in the name of self-defense. What
irony that many Jews now comfortably vacation in
Germany but insist that Arab anti-Semitism is an
immutable aspect of Muslim culture that can be met
only with the crushing power of tanks. Not that
anyone asked me, but those are not my tanks
careening around the West Bank bringing fear and
havoc in their wake. Yet they are marked as Jewish
tanks and consequently they and I bear some
familial resemblance on my mother's side. I am thus
obligated to consider what cruelty is being done in
the name of defending my
Some of us make a deliberate effort to disassociate
from the mayhem of Ariel
Sharon's carnage, while others seem to wallow in it,
as if displaying the
awesome firepower of the Israeli army is necessary to
the survival of the Jewish
state. I would like to think that the peacemakers
still outnumber the militarists
among U.S. Jews, but my own e-mail and street-corner
longer bear out that hope.
While Jews are hardly monolithic, even in their views
of Israel, their large
presence in the media contrasts sharply with a near
total exclusion of
Palestinian Americans in particular, and Arabs in
general, are the ghosts
haunting U.S. newsrooms by their embarrassing
absence. As journalists, we do
not know them as a people, we have little connection
with their slights and
sorrows, and we can only, even with the best of
intentions, experience their
suffering as an abstraction.
While the family tales of Jewish oppression during
the pogroms of czars, the
Holocaust and Soviet anti-Semitism have been merged
into the dominant
American culture, horrific tales of Arab suffering
are systematically ignored.
But, as when blacks and Latinos were absent from
newsrooms and nightly
death in the ghetto was not thought to be news, it is
difficult to escape the
notion that many in the media, Jews and non-Jews
alike, lean to the view that
Arab life is cheap.
Despite all the attention accorded affirmative action
by news organizations on
the grounds that diversity is necessary to better
news reporting, the exclusion of
Arabs has been ignored. It is not appropriate,
particularly given the past
decades in which Arab-Israeli strife has never left
the news and has frequently
been a front-page headline--a story covered far
differently by the European
media, where Arab voices are much more integrated.
One can recognize this enormous imbalance without
endorsing the anti-Semitic
slanders of the late Richard M. Nixon and the Rev.
Billy Graham, who asserted
in tapes made 30 years ago, which were recently
released, that Jews control
the media. They don't own the media. Nor do Jewish
journalists toe a common
Israeli party line. Indeed, they are less inclined to
apologize for Israel than
Graham, who has lined up consistently behind Israeli
militarism as somehow
For Nixon there were good Jews, such as his speech
writer William Safire,
who was hawkish back then and whose current columns
in the New York
Times provide the most reliable outlet for Sharon's
Sharon himself is a man of barbaric impulse,
demonstrated all too clearly in his
terrorizing of civilians two decades ago in Lebanon
and now on the West
Bank. He has been a consistent provocateur,
undermining peace efforts no
matter their content, and now he is using his tanks
to poison the ground for
Yes, Yasser Arafat also has poisoned the ground under
his feet and shares
responsibility with Sharon for the breakdown of the
peace process. But until
recently, Arafat has been unrelentingly reviled by
the news media while Sharon,
no less monstrous in his behavior, hardly has been
Both are killers of the innocent. Both are to be
roundly condemned by all, and
the failure of prominent moderate Arabs to do their
part to restrain Arafat is all
too obvious. No less a moral offense is the
acquiescence of too many Jews, in
Israel and abroad, to the comparable crimes of
|Re: more Israeli occupation related articles|
|04/14/02 at 22:34:26|
|Robert Fisk: This will be the week when we see who|
runs the US-Israeli alliance
'Since US soldiers are blindfolding and gagging Muslim prisoners, why
should Mr Sharon worry?'
08 April 2002
So what's the surprise? Suddenly Israel doesn't want to take our advice.
Ex-general Ariel Sharon prefers to go on wrecking the
Palestinian Authority, tearing up the Oslo agreement in the name of his
Holy War on terror. Why should he worry about the
scandalous number of civilian casualties among the Palestinians? After
all, didn't America wreak its own revenge – killing
thousands of innocent civilians in one of the poorest countries on Earth
– after the crimes against humanity of 11 September? I
must admit, though, to a grim satisfaction when I heard President George
Bush's puzzled, uncomprehending response to Mr
Sharon's refusal to withdraw his army from the West Bank.
The Israeli Prime Minister is, after all, the man who sent his army into
Lebanon in 1982 to "root out Palestinian terror'' – note
the identical rhetoric, as well as the same cast of characters – and
whose "elite'' Israeli forces killed up po 17,500 people,
almost all civilians. Mr Sharon is the man who then sent Israel's
vicious Phalangist allies into the Beirut refugee camps of Sabra
and Chatila, after which they massacred 1,700 Palestinian civilians. For
this he was held "personally responsible'' by Israel's
own commission of inquiry. Evidence now emerging in Beirut suggests that
most of the slaughtered refugees were actually killed
in the two weeks following the original massacre – after the survivors
had been handed back to the Phalange by Israel's own
So why should Mr Sharon stop now? If Mr Bush wants to rein in his
reckless ally, why doesn't he ask Mr Sharon a few
questions? Why doesn't he ask what has happened to the more than 1,000
Palestinian prisoners who have disappeared into
Israel's hands over the past two weeks? What happened, for example, to
the five men, blindfolded and trussed up like chickens
whom I discovered in the Jewish settlement of Psagot? What happened to
the masses of young men I saw being taken in a bus
with its windows wired over, a bus that made its way around Jerusalem
and headed west on the Tel Aviv highway. How many
of these young men are now being tortured either in interrogation
centres or in the Russian Compound, the main torture
compound in West Jerusalem?
But since Mr Bush's soldiers are experts in blindfolding and gagging
Muslim prisoners – and putting them in front of drumhead
military courts – why should Mr Sharon worry? For month after month, as
Mr Sharon tore up the Oslo agreement, put the
building of Jewish colonies on Arab land into overdrive and sent out his
death squads to murder Palestinians, the Bush
administration – fearful of offending the Israelis – allowed him to do
what he wanted. In response to the wicked Palestinian
suicide bombings, Bush expressed outrage. In response to Israel's
aggression, he called for restraint – and then did nothing.
Again, what's the surprise? For months the American media has refused to
tell its viewers and readers what is going on in the
occupied territories. Its newspapers have indulged the insanity of
writers who have been encouraging Mr Sharon into
ever-more-savage acts. What are we supposed to make – for example, of a
recent article in The New York Times by William
Safire, referring – as usual – to Jewish civilians murdered by
Palestinians but to Arab civilians "caught in the crossfire'',
"crossfire" being the nearest many journalists will dare to go in saying
that the culprits were Israeli.
Safire plays the old game of talking about the occupied territories as
"disputed'' rather than occupied, a grotesque distortion of
the truth upon which the State Department insisted in a policy paper
sent out by the Secretary of State, Colin Powell.
But Safire adds a new threat to journalists who might wish to tell the
truth: "These are disputed territories'' he writes, "to call
them 'occupied' reveals a prejudice against Israel's right to what were
supposed to be 'secure and defensible' borders.'' You
can see the way the argument is going. If we have a 'prejudice' against
Israel's rights, it's only a short step to call us anti-Semitic.
But what is one to make of this nonsense? Am I supposed to pretend that
the soldiers who blocked my car and pointed their
guns at me in the West Bank last week were Swiss? Am I to believe that
the rabble of soldiers shouting at Palestinian women
desperate to leave Ramallah were Burmese?
Safire regularly takes phone calls from Mr Sharon (and then insists on
telling us of Mr Sharon's latest fantasies), but my old
chum Tom Friedman in his ever-more-Messianic column in The New York
Times, has almost gone one better. "Israel needs to
deliver a military blow that clearly shows terror will not pay,'' he
announced last week. What, in God's name, is an American
journalist doing when he urges Mr Sharon to go to war? Friedman was with
me in the Sabra and Chatila camps. Has he
forgotten what we saw? Last week, however, Friedman was also amiably
advising the Palestinians to turn to non-violent
resistance à la Gandhi.
For Friedman, "a non-violent Palestinian movement appealing to the
conscience of the Israeli silent majority would have
delivered a Palestinian state 30 years ago...'' Needless to say, when
Westerners, including two Britons, protested peacefully in
Bethlehem – and were wounded by an Israeli soldier who shot at them,
Friedman was silent.
The reason why the Palestinians turned to suicide bombing, according to
Friedman, was not despair over the occupation –
occupation which, of course, Safire tells us we mustn't refer to – but
because "the Palestinians are so blinded by narcissistic
rage'' that they have lost sight of the sacredness of human life.
And so it goes on. Having bestialised the Palestinians over so many
years, why should we be surprised when a society
eventually produces the very monsters we always claim to see in them?
Even Mr Bush's speech last week in which he
dispatched Mr Powell on his "urgent'' mission of peace – allowing him a
lazy seven days to reach Israel, reserved its venom for
the Palestinians. And yet, after all that, he fails to see why Mr Sharon
might choose to keep his army in the field.
So this week will be a crucial one in the American-Israeli relationship,
a real test of the Bush presidency. We shall find out who
– the US or Israel – runs America's policy in the Middle East. It would
be nice to think that it was the former. But I'm not sure.
|Re: more Israeli occupation related articles|
|04/14/02 at 22:38:37|
|Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East|
Date: 10 Apr 2002
Catastrophic conditions in Jenin camp as Israel makes mass arrests at
Camp Residents in Nablus Area Asked to Leave Shelters, Large-Scale Israeli
Military Operation under Way in Camp
JERUSALEM, 10 April (UNRWA) -- Peter Hansen, Commissioner-General of the
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near
East (UNRWA), has said that the humanitarian crisis in Jenin refugee camp is
fast turning into a catastrophe. Following the death of some 13 Israeli
soldiers yesterday during their incursion into the camp, Israeli tanks and
bulldozers are intensifying their demolition of shelters, with field reports
indicating that the bulldozers are "shaving off" shelters in the
one-kilometre square camp in which close to 15,000 refugees live.
The UNRWA's persistent and unrelenting efforts to gain access to the camp
and to start the gruesome task of burying the dead, evacuating the wounded
and bringing urgently needed food and water to the population have so far
proved unsuccessful. Despite continuing requests to the Israel Defence
Forces, UNRWA's emergency teams, medical staff, ambulance crews, and trucks
carrying medicine and food continue to be blocked a few hundred metres from
the camp. The dreadful conditions in the camp are such that if relief teams
do not gain access immediately, a terrible humanitarian tragedy will ensue.
Early this morning a large number of Israeli soldiers and armoured vehicles
entered refugee Camp No.1 in the Nablus area and ordered all residents to
leave their houses. Male residents of the camp between the ages of 14 to 50
years old were rounded up for detention. Bulldozers were also reported to
have started demolishing homes in the camp and house-to-house searches were
under way. The UNRWA has called on the Israeli authorities to cease their
incursion into Camp No.1 and to withdraw immediately.
In the largest Israeli military operation into an institute of higher
learning, special Israeli forces and army units yesterday broke into UNRWA's
Ramallah Men's Training Centre, arresting 104 trainees along with the Dean
of the Centre Dr. Mohammad Omran. The UNRWA has launched a protest with the
Israeli authorities and called for the immediate release of the trainees and
the Dean, and also access for UNRWA's legal team to the detainees. The UNRWA
has reminded the Israeli authorities of their responsibility for the
security and sanctity of UNRWA staff and facilities, and that military
incursions into its facilities are unacceptable.
The UNRWA Commissioner-General Peter Hansen has condemned the detention of
trainees and Dr. Omran and added that "incursions into UNRWA installations
by Israeli forces and detention of UNRWA trainees and staff are completely
unacceptable and contrary to Israel's obligations to guarantee the security
of United Nations staff and installations. I demand the immediate release of
the detainees." He also expressed his deep dismay and concern at the
continuing assaults on Jenin refugee camp and the new incursion into Camp
No.1, despite calls from the international community for the withdrawal of
Israeli forces without delay.
|Re: more Israeli occupation related articles|
|04/14/02 at 22:40:18|
|Israel arrests thousands as Powell flies in|
By Phil Reeves in Jerusalem
12 April 2002
Blindfolded and handcuffed, hundreds of Palestinian men were detained
for interrogation by Israeli agents yesterday as Ariel
Sharon stepped up his ruthless military offensive in the West Bank. The
acceleration came just hours before the arrival in Israel
last night of the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, on a ceasefire
mission that seems doomed to be devoured by the flames of
Israeli officials said yesterday that about 4,000 Palestinians had been
arrested during the fortnight-long invasion of Palestinian-run
areas of the West Bank. Of these, 120 were on Israel's list of wanted
"terrorists", officials said.
The Israeli Prime Minister and his generals showed no sign of bending to
a chorus of demands from the White House, Britain, the
EU and others in the international community to end the assault, which
grew louder still yesterday as the world got its first glimpse
of its worst battlefield, Jenin.
Foreign journalists and aid workers who got into the town of 180,000
found some homes reduced to rubble. Others had bites taken
from their walls by passing tanks or were punctured by charred holes
left by helicopter missiles. Water pipes and electricity poles
were badly damaged.
Residents insisted that the Palestinian death toll – at least 120 but it
may prove considerably higher – includes civilians, some of
whom were shot for breaking an army curfew.
Last night, Israeli military bulldozers were destroying more of the
Jenin refugee camp, which has been cut off from medical care,
food supplies and electricity as Palestinian gunmen mounted their
week-long resistance, killing 23 Israeli soldiers. Yesterday
morning three dozen fighters – including a wounded 13-year-old boy –
surrendered to the Israeli army in the camp, after running
out of bullets. But sporadic shooting continued last night.
"They have really bashed the place up," said one UN official, who
yesterday drove through the town, which has been closed to
outsiders for a week.
As Mr Sharon pressed on with what he depicts as an anti-terrorist
operation aimed at stopping attacks on Israel, General Powell
has made it explicit that the US views Israel's strategy as misguided.
He has sent increasingly understanding messages to the
Palestinians in the past few days.
His relatively tough words were moderated slightly by the White House,
whose spokesman, Ari Fleischer, said that the US
believed Mr Sharon was committed to peace – a view not shared by any
Palestinians and questioned by a number of foreign
"However long the Israeli incursion continues, the problems will still
be there," said General Powell yesterday, during a visit to
Jordan, the latest stop in a regional tour in which he has been
criticised for failing to go straight to Israel. "The violence and anger
and frustration which feeds that will still be there unless we find a
negotiating process that leads to a Palestinian state."
Asked whether he was on an impossible mission the general snapped: "I
don't like wallowing with pessimists. It is necessary for
me to go."
That much was clear from the scenes in Jenin yesterday, let alone other
parts of the West Bank. According to Unrwa, the UN
agency for Palestinian refugees, 3,000 people have been made homeless
from the Jenin refugee camp. Jack Straw, the Foreign
Secretary, yesterday added his voice to the many expressing alarm over
human rights abuses in the West Bank.
A large number of the arrested Palestinians are being held under
military law in heavily guarded Israeli detention centres without
being charged or allowed access to lawyers.
The Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem, says it has evidence of
torture. Earlier this week the Israeli High Court of Justice
rejected a petition from human rights organisations, including B'Tselem,
demanding that detainees have access to lawyers.
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