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Author Topic: Still an abiding faith in force
majorvictory
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posted 10 November 2003 04:33 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Mahmud, 10, went looking for songbirds ... and died in hail of bullets

quote:
By Justin Huggler in Shajiyeh, Gaza Strip
08 November 2003

Mahmud al-Qayed was out doing what he did every Friday - catching songbirds in cages to sell in the markets of Gaza. But yesterday the remote olive groves where the birds nest led him close to the fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel. Too close for the soldiers guarding the fence.

They shot Mahmud, 10, four times, killing him as he tried to run.

The boy's father, Mohammed, was with him, and, at the funeral, he told how he took the bloodstained sweater from his son's dead body, and buried his face in it.

Mahmud was one of a group of about 20 - the rest were adults - who ventured out to the fence to catch the songbirds, which can fetch good money in the markets. There are plenty of witnesses who saw the group on their way to the fence, and confirm that they were there to catch birds.

But the Israeli army said that it had spotted three people laying what it says were electric wires and tubes used in explosives, and that is why it opened fire. According to the witnesses, what the group were laying were the cages that trap the birds.

This was not the first time a birdcatcher has been killed next to the fence here. Mahmud was the fifth to die here since the intifada began in 2000. He was the youngest, but before him a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old had also been killed.



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majorvictory
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posted 06 January 2004 08:56 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
5 IDF conscripts sentenced to year in jail for refusing to serve

quote:
By Lily Galili, Haaretz Correspondent

Five teenaged conscientious objectors who refused to join the Israel Defense Forces were sentenced to one year imprisonment each on Sunday.

The time they have already served will not be deducted from their sentences.

The five, Haggai Matar, Amir Kaminer, Shomri Zameret, Adam Maor and Noam Bahat, were convicted last month by the Jaffa Military Court for refusing an order. Draft-dodging bears a maximum sentence of three years in jail.

The three judges differed in their opinions, with one wishing to sentence them to 22 months in prison and another just six months.

The judges wrote in their ruling that the sentence was to serve as a warning to others, especially in light of the recent spate of elite reservists refusing to serve in the territories.

After leaving the court Sunday, the five said that their sentence will not deter the refusenik movement and expressed their wonder at how soldiers who carry out "war crimes" are given lenient sentences while they are sent to prison for matters on conscience.

Hadash MK Mohammed Barakeh called the sentence a "draconian punishment," adding that the refuseniks are a "conscientious beacon for a violent society."

The five had claimed conscientious objector status on the grounds that they oppose serving in "an army of occupation." But the court ruled that their freedom to follow their conscience had to be balanced against equally important values, such as national security, which it said could be gravely impaired if the conscripts were exempted from service.

Furthermore, the court said, the five high school graduates did not refuse to serve as individuals, but rather as a group, with the explicit goal of bringing about a change in Israeli policy in the territories. As such, the court ruled, their action strayed from the norms of classic conscientious objection into the realm of civil disobedience.



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majorvictory
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posted 08 January 2004 01:57 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's because they fear us, say teenage refuseniks jailed by Israeli army

quote:
Chris McGreal in Tel Aviv
Wednesday January 7, 2004
The Guardian

Haggai Matar never expected that his sentence would be so harsh. But as the teenage refusenik reports to a military prison today, he says he will draw comfort from the judges' description of him as a threat to the survival of Israel.
Mr Matar is one of five young men starting one-year sentences at No 6 military prison near Haifa.

They all refused to serve because they object to the occupation.

"I take it as a compliment that they are so afraid of our ability to persuade others that they called us dangerous and have to lock us up," said Mr Matar, 19.

Until now, objectors have generally been allowed to walk free, or have received administrative sentences of a few weeks in jail, to save the military public embarrassment.

But Mr Matar and his col leagues went public with their protest, and encouraged others to join them, at a time when the Israeli army is confronting a wave of objections.

Nearly 1,000 school leavers and reservists have signed refusal letters, and members of elite forces such as fighter pilots and commandos say they will no longer attack Palestinian targets because the large numbers of civilian casualties amounted to war crimes.

To deter the movement, the army made it known that Mr Matar and his colleagues had been hauled before the first such court martial since 1981.

"To date the army's policy against the refuseniks was to put them in prison for three or four months," Mr Matar said.

"During the verdict and sentencing they said they were punishing us much more severely because we went public, because we affect other people."

The three judges said they were guilty of a "very severe crime which constitutes a manifest and concrete danger to our existence and our survival".

One judge, Colonel Avi Levi, stopped just short of accusing them of treason.



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majorvictory
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posted 10 January 2004 01:26 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
19 left dead in failed hunt for master bomber

quote:
Chris McGreal in Nablus
Friday January 9, 2004
The Guardian

In a three-week occupation of the biggest Palestinian city the Israeli army has killed 19 people, wrecked dozens of buildings and confined tens of thousands to their homes in a futile search for the leader of "the heart of the terror networks".

Before Christmas soldiers flooded Nablus and the neighbouring refugee camp of Balata in pursuit of the leaders of al-Aqsa martyrs brigades responsible for organising dozens of suicide bombings. Top of their list was Naif Sharekh, the brigades commander in the city.

Soldiers brandished Mr Sharakh's picture and deman ded to know his whereabouts. His wife was paraded in an army jeep through the casbah and forced to call over a megaphone for her husband to surrender.

In Balata the search focused on three al-Aqsa brigades leaders. Soldiers again brandished pictures and threatened anyone hiding the men. But none was found

"They wound up killing all these people and destroying all these houses and they didn't get any of the ones they were really looking for," said Taysir Naserallah, head of Yasser Arafat's Fatah organisation in Nablus.

"Naif Sharekh is still out there. That has provided people with a quiet satisfaction for all their misery."

The Israeli army commander in Nablus, who declines to be named, said the raid on the city of 180,000 people was prompted by intelligence that three or four suicide bombers were preparing to leave to attack Israelis.

"Nablus is the hottest and most dangerous town. Most of the suicide bombers, most of the bombs, most of the ammunition, are in Nablus," he said. "The ones you hear about are the ones that explode. Every day there are ones you don't hear about.

"That is why the people in Nablus are suffering. When there are a lot of alerts, the people of Nablus suffer more. When there are fewer alerts, the people of Nablus suffer less."



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majorvictory
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posted 10 January 2004 11:43 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And the twins died

quote:
By Gideon Levy

The twin girls died one after the other. The first to die was the one who was born first, at the checkpoint. Several hours later came the death of her sister, who was born a few minutes after they finally left the checkpoint, and who managed to reach the hospital alive. One lived for less than an hour, the other for less than a day. The death certificate lists their ages as one day old and zero. One died in the arms of her grandmother, the other was carried in the arms of her aunt, while their mother was lying in an ambulance, freezing, trembling, exhausted and humiliated after what she had gone through at the IDF checkpoint near her village.

This past Sunday, the two bespectacled soldiers at the checkpoint at the entrance to Deir Balut direct us with unusual politeness to the path through the fields that leads to the village. The asphalt road to the village is regularly closed off with cement blocks and barbed wire, despite the fact that there is a manned checkpoint at the other end. Why is travel forbidden on the main road, and allowed only on the rocky path? Only in order to subject the 4,000 residents of this attractive village to further mistreatment, and to pacify the settlers in the area, residents of Paduel, Alei Zahav and Beit Aryeh, who whiz past on the well-paved Jewish roads.

Lamis, 25, Raad, 36, and Sabaa, 15 months old. A young and attractive couple with a daughter, a house in the village and horses in the yard. They married five years ago. Raad studied accounting for four years in Bombay, India, worked as a croupier in the casino in Jericho and is now unemployed, and makes a little money from agriculture, in his family's olive grove. A tattered black leather jacket and gel in his hair. The couple was eagerly awaiting the birth of the twins that Lamis was carrying. She was in her seventh month, and they knew that she was about to give birth.

It happened about two and a half weeks ago, on the night of December 21, a particularly cold night. Shortly after 1 A.M. Lamis woke Raad. She had contractions. Raad went outside, borrowed a car from a neighbor and drove to Zawiya, the neighboring village, to his wife's doctor, to get a letter of referral for the government hospital in Ramallah. The hospital in Nablus is closer, but the road is full of checkpoints, and for the hospital in Ramallah he needed a referral. The doctor gave him the letter and promised to order an ambulance from the infirmary in Beit Rima, about 20 kilometers from Deir Balut. Raad returned home, picked up his wife, and together they drove in the neighbor's car on the rocky road, in the direction of the village checkpoint. His sister and his mother joined them for the journey.

Next to the concrete blocks of the village checkpoint he stopped the car. It was shortly after 2 A.M. "I have no words to describe the weather outside. Freezing cold and wind," recalls Raad. From the checkpoint he phoned the ambulance, which reported that it was on the way. Lamis' condition deteriorated, her pains intensified, and Raad's sister suggested that until the ambulance arrived they should wait in one of the houses near the checkpoint, in order to protect Lamis from the cold.

The soldiers turned the spotlight on the car, from their watchtower. The couple managed to walk only a few steps, Lamis supported by Raad, until the voice of the soldier was heard from the tower: "Stop or I'll shoot. Stop or I'll shoot." They froze in place. Raad says that he tried to explain to the soldiers that Lamis was about to give birth, but they only shouted, "Stand, stand."



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majorvictory
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posted 17 January 2004 02:04 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A government that claims to be Jewish but is acting like Pharaoh

quote:
How do we honor Dr. King?

Rabbi Arthur Waskow
The Shalom Center

01/15/03: Several weeks ago, I was invited to take part in an annual commemoration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, to be held the evening of 1/14 (last night), at the Israeli Embassy in Washington -- co-sponsored by the Embassy of Israel and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

And yesterday, it turned out, was when began the trial of Rabbi Arik Ascherman, exec of Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel, for acting precisely like Dr. King -- standing in the path of bulldozers that came to (and did) demolish the homes of Palestinians.

(No one claims these families had any connection to terrorism. They had added children's rooms to their homes without a permit. Permits are almost never granted Palestinian families to do this, while Jewish families either get permits easily or find the lack of permits is totally ignored.)

More than 400 North American & European rabbis have now signed a letter condemning both Rabbi Ascherman's arrest and the home-demolition policy. It was physically delivered on Monday to the Embassy in Washington and the Israeli consulate in NYC. So many people have called the Embassy in Washington that when one caller reached the ambassador's office, the secretary said, "Oh, are you calling about Rabbi Ascherman?")

Back to the Embassy's honoring of Dr. King:

The contradiction stuck in my craw too much for me to ignore. So I accepted the invitation and went Amtraking off to Washington.

There were about 120 people at the Embassy-- two Members of Congress, two Ambassadors from Africa, various civil-rights and liberal and Jewish-community leaders. After politely and with real interest listenng to Rabbi David Saperstein and Ambassador Ayalon welcome the gathering, I spoke up in the momentary pause just as the next part, honoring two civil-rights/ liberal activists who have worked in (a very limited and conventionalized version of) the King tradition, was about to begin.

I described the arrest of Rabbi Ascherman and said that the arrest and the home demolition policy stand in contrast to the work of Martin Luther King -- and why. I spoke for about three minutes. The person who had been about to chair the next part of the meeting tried mildly to shush me, but it was clear people were listening intently.

When I ended, the ambassador then asked "May I respond?" and of course then did. He said two things: "Israel is a state of laws; Rabbi Ascherman violated the law, and so is on trial.... We should turn back from these political questions to focus on honoring those who are doing the work of Dr. King."

I thought to myself that it would be easy to answer -- "Dr King violated unjust laws; this home demolition policy is unjust; and as for politics, what was Dr. King doing but "politics" in a spiritually deep way?"

But I also knew that for me to keep intervening would rile people who otherwise agreed with me, or were open to hearing such views. So I kept quiet. The rest of the event went as programmed -- except that Rabbi Saperstein, in his closing remarks, said how moving had been the eloquent words of the Ambassador and of the honorees and even the dissent that had been voiced, "just as [he said] in democratic Israel dissent is part of the society."

Half a dozen people, including a couple leaders of the mainstream Jewish community and several leaders of non-Jewish religious and liberal organizations, came up to me afterwards to thank me. (I don't know whether they'd want me to name them, so I won't.)

So I am glad that the Ambassador knows that the policy at least of home demolition and possibly more broadly the Occupation is upsetting enough people that not only are 400 rabbis from the sometimes silent US Jewish community ready to sign a letter of protest, not only are dozens ready to phone his office, but some are even ready to challenge him face-to-face.

And I am glad that 120 influential people heard that there is a Jewish opposition to Sharon and the occupation, in the US as well as Israel, and heard about the home-demolition policy and Reb Arik.



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majorvictory
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posted 19 January 2004 05:29 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Soldier 'tried to cover up killing of British activist'

quote:
By Inigo Gilmore in Jerusalem
(Filed: 18/01/2004)

The Israeli soldier accused of killing Tom Hurndall, the British peace activist who died last week, tried to cover up his crime by asking for his commander's permission to shoot an "armed man" moments after he had already fired the fatal shot.

Details of the alleged attempt to cover up the killing are contained in the indictment against the soldier, which has been obtained by The Telegraph. It shows that Sgt Idier Wahid Taysir apparently went to great lengths to cover his tracks, firstly in the moments after the shooting and later by persuading another soldier to lie to army investigators.

Sophie Hurndall, sister of dead peace activist Tom Hurndall (in photo being held)
The indictment is based on the apparent confession of Sgt Taysir, from the Bedouin unit in Rafah. In it, he changed earlier statements and admitted that he shot Mr Hurndall. This has opened the way for a groundbreaking military trial which could have major implications for the Israeli Defence Force.

Mr Hurndall, a 22-year-old photography student at Manchester Metropolitan University, was a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in the Gaza Strip when he was killed at the Rafah refugee camp, close to the Egyptian border, last April. He was shepherding Palestinian children across a road when he was shot in the forehead from a nearby Israeli watch tower.

The indictment says that a "short time" after Mr Hurndall was shot, Sgt Taysir radioed his commander from the watch tower and "communicated a false report to the duty officer", claiming that "an armed figure" was leaving a house opposite his position.

The indictment continues: "After the duty officer said to the accused that he was authorised to shoot to injure if he identified that the man had a weapon and wanted to harm the soldiers, he reported to the duty officer that he had hit an armed man."



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majorvictory
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posted 11 February 2004 11:55 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fourteen Palestinians killed in Gaza clashes during Israeli operations; Hamas vows revenge

quote:
(02-11) 06:36 PST GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) --

Israeli troops rode tanks into the Gaza Strip on Wednesday searching for Islamic militants firing rockets at nearby Jewish settlements, and the ensuing battle left at least 14 Palestinians dead and more than 50 wounded.

It was one of the bloodiest days in Gaza in months, with the fiercest fighting occurring in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City. Twelve people, including the son of a prominent Palestinian leader and a senior Hamas activist, were killed and more than 40 were wounded, Palestinian doctors said.

Later Wednesday, Hamas, which has carried out dozens of suicide bombings in Israel over the past three years, vowed retaliation. The group's militant wing called on all of its cells to carry out "huge martyrdom operations," saying "all options are open."

In a separate raid in the Rafah area along the Gaza-Egypt border, troops killed two Palestinians, including a militant, as they searched for arms-smuggling tunnels. The forces demolished three houses and razed citrus and olive groves.

The fighting in Gaza City erupted before dawn and continued for several hours. The army and Palestinian residents said the troops pulled out by early afternoon.

During the fighting, dozens of young men stood in the streets watching as gunfire whizzed by. Masked gunmen took up positions in front of a building and ordered civilians out of the area. At one point, a gunman picked up a young schoolboy by his backpack and whisked him out of the battle zone.

Later in the day, the army blew up the house of a Hamas militant who was killed and sent tanks into the neighborhood.



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majorvictory
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posted 14 February 2004 02:45 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Annan says Israel using disproportionate force

quote:
UNITED NATIONS

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan strongly criticized Israel on Thursday for using disproportionate force in military incursions in Gaza that killed 15 Palestinians and injured more than 50 others.

The fighting Wednesday was the deadliest in the past 16 months.

"The secretary-general deplores the loss of life during Israeli military incursions in Gaza yesterday, which led to clashes in which at least 15 Palestinians, including civilians, were killed," U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

"More than 50 Palestinians have been reported injured so far, among them several critically wounded children," he said.

"The secretary-general urges Israel to abide by its obligations under international law. This includes ceasing to use disproportionate force in densely populated areas and taking greater care to avoid harm to innocent civilians," Eckhard said.



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majorvictory
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posted 26 February 2004 12:23 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Israeli Troops Stage Palestinian Bank Raids

quote:
Israeli security forces seized large amounts of cash from four Palestinian bank branches today, saying much of the money was sent by Iran, Syria and Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas to fund Palestinian militants.

During the raids, dozens of Palestinians threw stones at soldiers who clamped a curfew on Ramallah during the raids. Seventeen Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets and live rounds, three of them in critical condition, doctors said.

The joint operation by police, army and the Shin Bet security service marked Israel’s largest-scale effort in more than three years of fighting to stop the flow of funds to Palestinian militant groups, including from Hezbollah, Israeli officials said.

Troops were accompanied by computer experts from two of the banks, who had been arrested overnight, Palestinian officials said. Soldiers covered the banks’ cameras with sacks or disabled them, and confined employees to back rooms, witnesses said. Customers were allowed to leave after ID checks.

“The purpose of this operation is to impair the funnelling of funds, which oil the wheels of terror against Israel,” an Israeli army statement said.

Palestinian Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat said the raids were unjustified.

“This is destructive to the Palestinian economy and people are really worried,” Erekat said. He said he fears Palestinians will lose confidence in their banking system and there would be a run on the banks.

Israeli forces checked several hundred bank accounts, some belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, security sources said. An Israeli official said the forces were also looking for evidence of possible involvement by Yasser Arafat in funding terror attacks.

The forces took millions of shekels in cash from the bank vaults, corresponding to the amount of money they found in the targeted accounts, security sources said. Much of the funding came from Hezbollah, Iran and Syria, the sources said.

Security sources said the seized money would be used to fund Palestinian humanitarian projects.



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majorvictory
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posted 26 February 2004 11:07 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Two Palestinians killed by IDF during anti-fence protest

quote:
By Arnon Regular and Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondents

At least two Palestinians were killed Thursday and dozens were wounded when Israeli security forces clashed with thousands of protestors demonstrating against the separation fence in the West Bank village of Bidu, west of Jerusalem, Palestinian sources said.

Troops took over a house in the villages of Bidu, in an attempt to disperse the demonstration.

The men killed were identified as Mohammed Rian, 30, from the village of Beit Daku, a father of two and Zcharya Id from the village of Beit Ajza, a father of three.

Thursday marked the second consecutive day of anti-fence protests centered around Bidu and the nearby village of Beit Suriq. Construction work on the fence in the area stopped due to the protests.

The clashes began shortly before noon, when hundreds of the villages' residents confronted dozens of Border Police troops securing the workers and equipment building the fence. The security forces at first tried to disperse the stone-throwing demonstrators using teargas and rubber-coated bullets. Palestinian sources said the troops later fired live rounds at the demonstrators.

The Israel Defense Forces said that according to initial investigation, only Border Police troops fired live bullets in the air.

At least five of the injured Palestinians, including a 75-year-old man and a ten-year-old, were wounded by bullets. Dozens were hurt by teargas or were beaten by security forces. Three Border Police troops were lightly wounded in the clashes. Two were reportedly beaten by Palestinians and one was hit by a rock.


[ 29 February 2004: Message edited by: majorvictory ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 28 February 2004 11:00 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.N. staff see boy shot in back

quote:
MITCH POTTER
MIDDLE EAST BUREAU

GAZA CITY—An Israeli army officer has been suspended after an unarmed Palestinian youth was shot in the back at close range as he waved goodbye to a delegation of visiting United Nations aid workers, the Star has learned.

Yousef Bashir, 15, remains in serious condition at a hospital in Tel Aviv, where he was taken after the Feb. 18 incident at his family's home near the Jewish settlement of Kfar Darom in the southern Gaza Strip.

He is partially paralyzed beneath his shoulder blades, with shrapnel lodged against his spine, the boy's father said.

An Israel Defence Forces spokesperson confirmed yesterday an unnamed officer has been suspended in connection with the shooting, pending the outcome of an investigation.

In a conflict marked by a surfeit of civilian casualties on both sides, Palestinian claims seldom result in convictions against IDF soldiers because of conflicting eyewitness accounts.

The Bashir shooting is rare because it happened in plain view of three U.N. personnel who were visiting the family home.

Rarer still, the victim's father, Khalil Bashir, said last night he doesn't want punishment for the shooter.

Instead, he's asking that Yousef's plight become "a turning point for an historic reconciliation with Israel.

"We make a mistake if we let our wounded memory guide our future. Punishment doesn't pay. What pays is a change of mentality," an emotional Bashir told the Star.

"It is time for tolerance and forgiveness. I want the Israelis to know that we, both sides, have no other option. Let us devote ourselves to melting the ice and find a solution to give our children a chance to live."



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Cueball
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posted 29 February 2004 04:03 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wow.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 29 February 2004 05:46 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's also not the first time an IDF soldier has been willing to shoot someone in the back.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 29 February 2004 09:31 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Khalil Bashir is my new hero. What he said is so amazing, especially considering the circumstances.
From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 29 February 2004 01:31 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It's also not the first time an IDF soldier has been willing to shoot someone in the back.

It is gross stupidity, compounded by arrogance. The fact that the assailant was an officer, who is supposed to be in a position of responsibility, underscores how widespread th cynacism of the IDF is.

Acts of violence against foreigners, and workers from international agencies is on the rise. The fact this happened in front of UN staff underscores the general disregard for the organization, as well as a sense of impunity -- possibly counpounded by the unilateralist behaviour of Israel's chief ally in regard to the UN.

This kind of breakdown is remincent of the execution of that ABC journalist in El Salvador during the early eighties. Desperate behaviour.

Something has got to break soon. I think this will happen, possibly with terrifying results, when the US intervention of Iraq fails, and the invisible patina of impunity lent to Israel by its chief ally is proven false.


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DrConway
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posted 29 February 2004 03:21 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Palestinians outraged by recruiting of children for attacks against Israelis

quote:
They were young, perhaps the youngest ever to try an armed attack against Israelis, and they were ready to die.

The arrest of three boys ages 12, 13 and 15, accused of trying to slip into Israel with homemade guns, sparked horror among their families and concern by Palestinian officials that militant groups have gone too far in their choice of recruits.

"That's absolutely unacceptable," said Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat. "Our children should have hope and a future and should not be suicide bombers. We want them to be doctors and engineers."


I find this interesting, given the usual allegations made that the Palestinian-Arabs do not care about their children.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 22 May 2004 12:56 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Israel veering wildly off road map to peace

quote:

May 21, 2004

Exactly what went on in Gaza Wednesday, when Israeli tanks and helicopters fired on a throng of Palestinian protesters, leaving more than 10 people dead, including children, has not yet been established. Israel says it did not deliberately fire on marchers, but at armed gunmen in the crowd. Grieving the loss of civilians, Palestinians denied guns were present and called it a craven attack.

Whatever occurred, the feeling is that Israel showed a signal lack of restraint in launching the attacks on the Rafah refugee camp, and has damaged its cause in the process. Capping a period of escalating violence in the Palestinian territory, this incident had the feeling of a dark defining moment -- one that in crossing over into excess will only beget more of the same from the opposition. The United States, which usually vetoes resolutions critical of Israel in the United Nations, pointedly abstained when the Security Council called out Israel this time.

The Gaza strike, said Secretary of State Colin Powell, ''worsened the situation and, I think, made it more difficult for us to move forward and get back into the peace process.'' A subsequent statement from the White House seconded that notion: ''While we believe that Israel has the right to act to defend itself and its citizens, we do not see that its operations in Gaza in the last few days serve the purposes of peace and security.''

Accidents happen during wartime -- some of them horrific, particularly when the enemy hides in plain sight or uses the civilian population as a shield, or deviously blends in with it. On the same day that news spread of the killings in Gaza, it was reported that at least 40 people, including children, were killed when U.S. aircraft fired on a house in the desert in Iraq near the Syrian border. Iraqis claimed the victims were civilians attending a wedding party. The U.S. military said its forces had been under fire.

But the attack in Gaza was not an isolated incident. It was typical of a recent wave of violent reprisals that have reduced Palestinian dwellings to rubble, and reflected the feverish politics that have coursed through Israel since the Likud Party rejected Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to unilaterally withdraw Israeli troops and settlements from the Gaza Strip. Sharon had been accused of launching offensives to defuse accusations that he was being soft in ordering the withdrawals. This latest attack seemed to be fueled by frustration and anger more than strategy.



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majorvictory
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posted 23 May 2004 12:36 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Child Killed in Rafah; Incursion Ongoing

quote:
Sat May 22, 6:28 PM ET

By LEFTERIS PITARAKIS, Associated Press Writer

RAFAH, Gaza Strip - A 3-year-old Palestinian girl was shot dead Saturday as a senior U.N. official toured a battle-scarred refugee camp where Israeli troops continue the hunt for weapons-smuggling tunnels and militants.

The United Nations (news - web sites) condemned the "completely unacceptable" destruction of houses, which has left 1,650 Palestinians homeless in the last 10 days.

In the West Bank, four people were wounded by a Palestinian suicide bomber near an Israeli army checkpoint.

On Friday, Israeli troops pulled back from the Brazil and Tel Sultan neighborhoods of Rafah, leaving behind dozens of damaged or destroyed buildings, torn-up roads and flattened cars. The army said it was redeploying forces and that its offensive — aimed at capturing militants and uncovering tunnels that stretch across the nearby Egyptian border — would continue.

Peter Hansen, head of the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, visited the two areas Saturday. A few shops opened so residents could stock up, and people ventured tentatively outside, waving white flags and strips of cloth.

Despite the partial withdrawal of troops, bursts of machine-gun fire could be heard as Hansen toured a street littered with clothes, mattresses and the collapsed corrugated tin roofs of devastated houses.

"The human price has been extremely high for this operation," Hansen said.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory
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posted 25 May 2004 10:07 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Israeli troops end week-long Gaza raid

quote:
Dozens of Palestinians killed during incursion

IBRAHIM BARZAK
ASSOCIATED PRESS

RAFAH, Gaza Strip - Israeli troops abruptly left this refugee camp without completing a sweep for arms smuggling tunnels, prompting growing criticism in Israel today that the military has little to show for a weeklong offensive that drew worldwide condemnation.

Estimates of the number of houses demolished in the raid varied greatly. The United Nations said 45 buildings were razed, while Palestinian officials said about 300 houses were destroyed. Israel said 56 homes were demolished or damaged.

It was difficult to obtain an independent estimate, because areas of demolition are scattered throughout the camp. Also, 45 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, including at least 17 gunmen and 12 children under 16, according to hospital doctors.

Israeli Vice-Premier Ehud Olmert, meanwhile, said a one-vote majority is emerging in the divided cabinet in favour of a Gaza withdrawal. The cabinet is to vote on the plan next week, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been struggling to secure a majority. Earlier this month, his Likud Party rejected a Gaza pullout.

Sharon has insisted that he would not negotiate the terms of a pullback with the Palestinian Authority. However, Egypt on Monday emerged as a key mediator. Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman met with Sharon and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, relaying messages between the sides and saying Egypt is willing to play a major role in assuring security in Gaza and an orderly transfer of power.

Suleiman urged skeptical Palestinian leaders to go along with Sharon's plan of "unilateral disengagement," which would also include a withdrawal from four West Bank settlements, according to Palestinian officials.

Arafat promised to prepare a Gaza security plan by June 15, to show he is capable of running the coastal strip after an Israeli pullback, the officials said.



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majorvictory64
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posted 27 October 2004 04:01 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Executing Another Child in Rafah

quote:
The veteran American journalist Chris Hedges went even further, documenting how Israeli troops systematically cursed and otherwise provoked Palestinian children playing in the dunes of southern Gaza in order to shoot them. He wrote in Harper's Magazine:

"The boys -- most no more than ten or eleven years old -- dart in small packs up the sloping dunes to the electric fence that separates the camp from the Jewish settlement. They lob rocks toward two armored jeeps parked on top of the dune and mounted with loudspeakers. ... A percussion grenade explodes. The boys ... scatter, running clumsily across the heavy sand. They descend out of sight behind a sandbank in front of me. There are no sounds of gunfire. The soldiers shoot with silencers. The bullets from the M-16 rifles tumble end over end through the children's slight bodies. Later, in the hospital, I will see the destruction: the stomachs ripped out, the gaping holes in limbs and torsos.

"Yesterday at this spot the Israelis shot eight ..., six of whom were under the age of eighteen. One was twelve.... Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered -- death squads gunned them down in El Salvador and Guatemala, mothers with infants were lined up and massacred in Algeria, and Serb snipers put children in their sights and watched them crumple onto the pavement in Sarajevo -- but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport."



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Scott Piatkowski
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posted 27 October 2004 05:48 AM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You're back (with a new name)! As one who has missed your threads, I'm glad to see it.

I sure hope that majorvictory64 works better than the old Commodore64


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Macabee
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posted 27 October 2004 08:52 AM      Profile for Macabee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:
You're back (with a new name)! As one who has missed your threads, I'm glad to see it.

I sure hope that majorvictory64 works better than the old Commodore64


Oh my God not a new name!!!!!

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skdadl
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posted 27 October 2004 09:03 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I have missed you too, majorvictory, although I am often sorry to read the stories you bring us:

quote:
Even before the current intifada, in Hebron in 1996, an Israeli settler fatally pistol-whipped 11-year-old Hilmi Shusha. An Israeli judge first acquitted the murderer, saying the child "died on his own as a result of emotional pressure., After numerous appeals and under pressure from the Supreme Court, which termed the act "light killing", the judge reconsidered and, as the Aqsa Intifada was raging, sentenced the killer to six months, community service and a fine of a few thousand dollars. The boy's father accused the court of issuing a "license to kill." (5) Gideon Levy of Ha,aretz eloquently described the fine as the "end-of-the-season clearance price on children's lives, referring to the findings of B'tselem, Israel's leading human rights organization, which documented dozens of similar cases in which perpetrators were either acquitted or received a slap on the wrist.(6)

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Briguy
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posted 27 October 2004 09:33 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
*pedantry*

It's actually not that new a name. Well met, majorvictory!

*/pedantry*


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majorvictory64
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posted 29 October 2004 10:54 PM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks people. I thought about changing my logon name to Captain Bringdown, but decided against it!

One Hundred Forty Funerals, and the Rest is History

quote:
Ramzy Baroud, PalestineChronicle.com
A 17-day Israeli onslaught in northern Gaza left in its wake nearly 140 dead, one-third of them children. The newest tragedy to visit the impoverished strip, was neither the first, nor will it be the last. But, in many ways, it was reminiscent of the invasion of Jenin in April 2002. There too, hundreds of people were killed and maimed, and thousands more were left grief-stricken, homeless and defenseless.

Those who understand the depth of the tragedy – unhampered by the desensitising Arabic media and dehumanising Western counterpart – may often wonder why such blatant state terrorism would compel no serious response, especially from those who endlessly decry poor human rights records of countries far superior to Israel in their respect for international law and human rights treaties.

“I understand the politics of it all,” a friend wrote as Israel announced its ‘redeployment’ in northern Gaza, “but what really bothers me is the benign response of average people everywhere. How callous have we become?”

As far as I see it however, the casual callousness of humanity at large is not what is to blame here, after all, few can claim that they were not horror-stricken by the recent school tragedy of Beslan, Russia, or the awesome terrorist strikes in New York and Washington DC on September 11.

What makes these tragedies much more appalling than others is the media’s eagerness to embrace the “official narratives” with their one-sided framing of any conflict, omitting the needed overall context, deeming it an undesired nuisance.

The Arab-Israeli conflict is a case in point. Sidestepping ancient history for once, let’s briefly examine the last few years, the period immediately preceding the current Palestinian uprising, which has recently marked its fourth year.



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majorvictory64
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posted 04 November 2004 12:52 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The second battle of Algiers

quote:
Fifty years on, Israelis and Palestinians must learn from the Algerian war

Ron Dudai and Daphna Baram
Saturday October 30, 2004
The Guardian

The commander of the Israeli forces that invaded Tulkarm in March 2002, Colonel Moshe "Chico" Tamir, had an unusual idea. His staging of the surrender of the town's fighters to the Israeli army seems to have been inspired by his recollection of Gillo Pontecorvo's celebrated 60s film The Battle of Algiers. The TV crews invited to document the occasion were confronted with the familiar image from the film of militants climbing out of their hiding places with hands raised, as the paratroopers marched into the casbah. But the artistic-minded officer seems not to have watched that movie to the end: for although the French won the battle, they lost the war.

The 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Algerian liberation war against France falls on Monday. On November 1 1954 the the FLN (the Algerian National Liberation Front) broadcast its proclamation calling for the "restoration of the Algerian state", coordinated with a series of armed attacks on French targets. The then French minister of the interior, socialist François Mitterrand, responded that "the only possible negotiation is war". Eight years of bloodshed later, the Evian agreement paved the way for Algerian independence.

Israel, sinking ever deeper in its own colonial adventure in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, could learn some vital lessons from the Algerian experience. Although there are important differences between the French-Algerian and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, the similarities are striking - from the scenes of paratroopers in the casbahs to the popular racist phrase "a good Arab is a dead Arab" to the promise of "a million martyrs", which all featured in both cases. But important analogies lie beyond such anecdotes. The most inflamed dispute in Israel today is over the issue of Jewish settlers in the occupied territories and whether Israel is prepared to significantly dismantle the settlements. The settlers' threats of violence against Israeli soldiers who might try to evacuate them, and their claim that their uprooting would be an "illegal transfer and a crime against humanity" lead many to question whether such an evacuation is possible. The French-Algerian case supplies a simple answer: when the government is willing to implement such policies, they can work.



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majorvictory64
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posted 25 November 2004 12:22 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Video: Israeli Soldiers Going In For The Kill:

quote:
...and the deadly firing goes on...he is said to have fired ten more shots into Iman's body...The voice on the radio says: "If anyone else in the area moves, even a three-year old, kill them.

"...many of us in the IDF are shocked by the wording, but let us remember the context, this was not a playground..."



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majorvictory64
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posted 26 November 2004 12:40 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
IDF chief: probe of killing of girl, 13, was 'grave failure'

quote:
By Amos Harel and Gideon Alon, Haaretz Correspondents, and Haaretz Service

Army Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon acknowledged Wednesday that the IDF had failed in investigating the alleged "confirmed killing" of a 13-year-old Palestinian girl in the southern Gaza Strip last month.

According to witness accounts by soldiers serving in the area, after the girl was mortally wounded by troops firing from the Girit outpost near Rafah, the commander of a Givati infantry company at the site fired an entire magazine of automatic fire at her prone body.

Such an act, which is contrary to IDF regulations, is referred to as "confirming the kill" in military slang.

The Givati infantry brigade is considering disbanding the company whose soldiers were involved in the incident, military sources have told Haaretz.

The investigation of the killing uncovered serious malfunctions in the performance of the M'sayaat (covering-fire) company of Givati's Sheked battalion, the sources said, adding that there may be no alternative but to break up the company and disperse its members among other units in the brigade.

Ya'alon's remarks were prompted in part by the fact that essential information about the incident was uncovered not by the IDF inquiry, but by outside sources, Israel Radio reported.

"The fact that in our operational investigation we were unable to reach the whole truth, is a grave failure," Ya'alon said Wednesday.

However, the IDF should retain task of conducting investigations of military incidents, Ya'alon said.

"An external investigation will not bring about the disclosure of the truth, rather the opposite." Ya'alon said he was "determined to deal with every incident of this type, in order to root out every failure of values from the Israel Defense Forces."



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majorvictory64
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posted 28 November 2004 12:13 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Corridors of Power / Up in arms over civilian deaths

quote:
By Uzi Benziman

Human rights groups claim over 1,500 innocent Palestinians have been killed in the past four years, and that the army must be brought to account. The IDF: The situation in the territories exempts it from investigation into such cases.

Schoolgirl Iman Alhamas, whose killing by an Israel Defense Forces company commander at the Girit outpost near Rafah was recorded and broadcast this week on Channel 2, arousing a brief public uproar, is not alone: According to data from the human rights group B'Tselem, in the past four years (from September 29, 2000 to October 15, 2004), 2,950 Palestinians have been killed, 592 of them minors (under the age of 18). At least 1,625 of those killed did not take part in the fighting against Israel. A petition now before the High Court of Justice, which was submitted by B'Tselem and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), puts forward eight cases of Palestinians who were killed by the IDF under circumstances that would appear to necessitate an urgent investigation.

According to the petition, IDF troops took Amjad Abdel Hadi Jabbur from his home in Salem during the night between August 1 and August 2, 2002. He was led, with his hands bound behind his back, toward military vehicles that were parked about 50 meters away. Two soldiers stood on either side of him and held him by the shoulders. All of a sudden, the soldiers moved away from him and ordered him to stop moving. One of the soldiers shot in the air and another soldier shot directly at Jabbur from a distance of about 15 meters. Jabbur was killed on the spot. His wife and children were standing outside the house and watched what happened. The IDF version is that Jabbur was suspected of involvement in terrorist activity and that he was shot at when he tried to escape. The testimony of neighbors who saw what occurred conflicts with the description given by the IDF: They say Jabbur was handcuffed and did not try to run away.



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majorvictory64
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posted 29 November 2004 12:30 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Another reason for refusal to serve

quote:
By Uzi Benziman



Silence fell in the hall of the picturesque German building on the edge of Camp Schneller in Jerusalem 46 years ago, as the president of the military court, Colonel Benjamin Halevy, began to read the verdict in the Kafr Qasem case. Halevy convicted eight of the 11 accused in the killing of 43 Arab Israeli citizens who had been innocently returning home from work after a curfew had been declared, unbeknownst to them.

Because of the gravity of their acts, the accused were sentenced to between seven and 17 years in prison. The friendly atmosphere between the prosecution and the defense, especially during recesses, gave way to shock and dismay. The military judicial authority had seemingly created an iron-clad rule that is part and parcel of the state and the Israel Defense Forces to this day: Soldiers must refuse an order that is patently illegal; those who do not expose themselves to severe penalties.

In 1958, when the verdict was given in the Kafr Qasem case, the court assumed that the meaning of the word "patently" was clear. From then on, an illegal order could be easily identified, with no doubt as to its prohibitive nature.

The reality of the last four years attests to the fact that this assumption is becoming increasingly baseless. There is debate now over whether the shooting a 13-year-old Palestinian girl who happened innocently into a no-pass zone by virtue of an IDF decision (just like in Kafr Qasem in `56) constitutes obedience to a patently illegal order that has "a black flag flying over it" (as the court formulated it) - or whether it is carrying out a legal and even legitimate order.

The same is true of the term "confirming a kill." Ostensibly this concept does not exist at all in the IDF lexicon. In actual fact, the procedure is applied both in the heat of battle, during actual war, and as well in the present armed conflict with the Palestinians, which the IDF does not define as a war. To make it sound better, the IDF does not speak of "confirming a kill" but rather of "confirming neutralization." That is, the task of the soldier is to confirm that he has in fact neutralized the danger that lay in wait for and his comrades in the form of the Palestinian who threatened them. The element of confirmation is no different in each case: shooting at the Palestinian who has already been hit, or who appears to have been hit, to shut down with certainty his ability to harm our forces.

When the IDF acts in the territories in accordance with these two key concepts under circumstances in which the meaning of the concepts has eroded, it brings masses of trouble on itself and moral calamity on Israeli society.



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majorvictory64
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posted 01 December 2004 01:34 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Israel shocked by image of soldiers forcing violinist to play at roadblock

quote:
Chris McGreal in Jerusalem
Monday November 29, 2004
The Guardian

Of all the revelations that have rocked the Israeli army over the past week, perhaps none disturbed the public so much as the video footage of soldiers forcing a Palestinian man to play his violin.
The incident was not as shocking as the recording of an Israeli officer pumping the body of a 13-year-old girl full of bullets and then saying he would have shot her even if she had been three years old.

Nor was it as nauseating as the pictures in an Israeli newspaper of ultra-orthodox soldiers mocking Palestinian corpses by impaling a man's head on a pole and sticking a cigarette in his mouth.

But the matter of the violin touched on something deeper about the way Israelis see themselves, and their conflict with the Palestinians.

The violinist, Wissam Tayem, was on his way to a music lesson near Nablus when he said an Israeli officer ordered him to "play something sad" while soldiers made fun of him. After several minutes, he was told he could pass.

It may be that the soldiers wanted Mr Tayem to prove he was indeed a musician walking to a lesson because, as a man under 30, he would not normally have been permitted through the checkpoint.

But after the incident was videotaped by Jewish women peace activists, it prompted revulsion among Israelis not normally perturbed about the treatment of Arabs.

The rightwing Army Radio commentator Uri Orbach found the incident disturbingly reminiscent of Jewish musicians forced to provide background music to mass murder. "What about Majdanek?" he asked, referring to the Nazi extermination camp.



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majorvictory64
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posted 03 December 2004 03:48 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Israelis shoot 4-year-old child in Gaza

quote:
Khalid Amayreh, Al-Jazeera, 1 December 2004

Israeli forces have shot and seriously wounded a four-year-old Palestinian child in Rafah, in southern Gaza, witnesses and medical sources said.

Palestinian medical sources listed Shayma Hasan Abu Shammala in critical condition after she was hit by several bullets fired by an Israeli soldier manning a military tower near the Egyptian-Gaza borders on Sunday.

Muawiya Hasanayn, head of the emergency department at the Palestinian health ministry, said the child was transferred to the European Hospital in Gaza due to the gravity of her condition. Witnesses said the child was playing in the backyard of her home when the soldier opened fire on her.

Also on Sunday, a Palestinian boy died of wounds he sustained when an Israeli explosive device exploded near his home in Rafah at the southern tip of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources reported.

The boy, identified as 16-year-old Mahmud Said Qishta, was said to be playing outside his home in Rafah earlier this week when he inadvertently stepped on an explosive device left behind by the Israeli army.

Qishta was seriously wounded and transferred to the Nasir hospital in Khan Yunus, where he succumbed to his wounds on Sunday morning.

Palestinians and human-rights groups often complain that Israeli forces operating in and around Palestinian population centres deliberately plant explosive devices in places where Palestinian children usually play.

Sunday's incidents took place against a backdrop of sharply critical coverage in the Israeli media of the conduct of Israeli occupation troops. Many Israeli soldiers have begun to admit publicly that they are often given explicit orders to shoot Palestinian civilians, including children, when seen entering or approaching a certain "danger zone".

Last week, the Israeli human-rights organisation, B'Tselem accused the Israeli occupation army of killing Palestinian civilians and then covering up the killings or concocting mitigating circumstances to justify criminal behaviour towards innocent non-combatants.

B'Tselem challenged Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon to tell the truth regarding the so-called zones of destruction within the confines of which soldiers are allowed to shoot and kill any Palestinian, including toddlers and children.



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majorvictory64
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posted 04 December 2004 10:27 PM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Twighlight zone / Suffer the little children

quote:
By Gideon Levy

In the present intifada, 323 Palestinian children under the age of 14 have been killed by IDF fire. Three recent examples from Nablus

Why waste ammunition? A few days ago, an Israel Defense Forces soldier fired at two boys in the casbah of Nablus. Just a lone bullet that penetrated the body of one of the boys, exited, penetrated the second boy, and killed both of them. Two 15-year-old boys standing with their arms around each other on the street that descends to the marketplace.

The soldier didn't "confirm the kill" after his two victims fell; perhaps that is why nobody on our side was shocked by this horrific double killing. But in two homes in the casbah of Nablus, dead children were being mourned. One, Amar Banaat, was his mother's only child, born after 15 years of infertility; the other, Montasser Hadada, had lost his father only three months ago. On the wall, next to the picture of the two children, there is also one of their good friend Hani Kandil, who was killed in the same place in the casbah several months ago. Three pictures of dead children on the wall.

Not far from there, in the casbah, they are mourning another child who was killed, who died with a huge hole in his chest. This is the home of Khaled Osta, who was 9 years old. Muataz Amudi, aged 3, was fortunate: The bullet just pierced his leg as his father carried him in his arms in the middle of the night, fleeing after the soldiers told them to evacuate their home.

Nablus is mourning its children. Those among us - including the chief of staff - who were so horrified by the affair of the "confirmed killing" of 13-year-old Iman al-Hamas in the Rafah refugee camp - including the chief of staff - can have the same reaction 323 times over, once for each of the 323 children under the age of 14 (according to the statistics of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, PHRMG) who were killed in this intifada by IDF fire. Anyone who thought that the case of Iman al-Hamas was exceptional should know that killing children is a routine matter, without commissions of inquiry and without public interest. Nablus alone has buried 29 children, two of them on Shabbat two weeks ago.



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majorvictory64
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posted 06 December 2004 12:00 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Israel teaches Dheisheh's children a lesson they will not forget

quote:
Ziad Abbas writing from Dheisheh Refugee Camp, occupied Palestine, Live from Palestine, 3 December 2004

Ibdaa kindergarteners from Dheisheh refugee camp gather around their teacher at the start of the day. This classroom was demolished by the Israeli Army early this morning. (Ibdaa)

1 December 2004 -- At a quarter to four this morning the Hamash family building was demolished with explosives by the Israeli Army. At least 12 Israeli military jeeps invaded Dheisheh refugee camp and surrounded the families' homes, as well as Ibdaa Cultural Center's kindergarten, which shares the same building. The Army ordered Musa Hamash, Aziz Hamash, Ahmed Hamash, and their families outside into the damp and chilly morning air.

They were given 30 minutes to remove as many of their belongings as possible before the bombing. Not only was this not enough time, but the presence of Army jeeps blocking each of the nearby narrow streets made it even more difficult for them to save family memories and some meager possessions.

The soldiers told them they were there only to bomb the 2 flats of Ahmed and Musa. Musa's son, Mahmud, was recently sentenced to 50 months in jail and his other son, Mahammad, is currently awaiting trial. Mahmud was arrested over 2 years ago and Mahammad over 1 year ago. They both left behind young children and babies who until this morning lived in these flats.

The Army ordered the families to leave and began setting explosives throughout the homes. When bombed, the two flats were destroyed and the entire building was significantly affected, including Ibdaa's kindergarten. Structurally the building is not safe.

The sight of childrens' books and paintings were mixed with the rubble in the streets and the Hamash families became refugees once again. They are without homes and are distributed around the camp, seeking shelter with neighbors.

Their building contained a total of eight apartments, 3 belonging to Musa and 5 to Aziz, who rented the first 2 floors to Ibdaa Cultural Center for its kindergarten. One hundred and twenty children, aged 3-6 years old, have learned, played, danced, sung and been safe within those walls for the past 4 years.

Today these children of Dheisheh will not go to kindergarten for lessons. In just a few hours they will learn a new lesson instead: The Hamash homes were bombed and with it their haven.



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majorvictory64
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posted 06 December 2004 07:38 PM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
General: 1 in 5 troops behave badly at roadblocks

quote:
By Gideon Alon, Haaretz Correspondent

Some 20 percent of IDF soldiers join the army with the preconception that Arab lives are worth less than Jewish lives - and subsequently behave improperly at roadblocks, the head of the Israel Defense Forces personnel branch, Major General Elazar Stern, said Monday.

Stern was speaking at a meeting of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee that convened to discuss human rights in the war on terror. He said it is impossible to wage war against terror with white gloves, and that it is impossible to speak about "purity of arms" without taking human life into account.

"Every generation needs to see itself as if it had come out of Auschwitz," he said.

"One must be strict about the value of human dignity," Stern said. "But human life is a value that is not less important, and perhaps more so. When I instruct others to take action that may harm an innocent man, I know how many lives I can save on the home front as a result."

Professor Mordechai Kremnitzer of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who also took part in the discussion, attacked the policy of demolishing the houses of Palestinians whose family members have been involved in acts of terror.

"The destruction of houses is a callous violation of international law that is impossible to defend under principled examination," he said. "I am certain that in another 20 years, there will not be a single person in Israeli society who does not say home demolitions are barbaric and shameful, [acts] that people in a democratic society cannot allow themselves [to carry out]."

Kremnitzer also criticized the High Court of Justice for permitting the IDF to destroy Palestinian houses.

"The High Court, to our shame, has contributed to the destruction of homes. Its decision in this matter is a grave mistake, a cause for generations to cry," he added.



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majorvictory64
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posted 08 December 2004 02:16 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Results of B'Tselem Investigation: Serious Suspicion that IDF Executed an Unarmed and Injured Palestinian

quote:
On Friday morning (Dec 3), IDF soldiers killed Mahmud Abd a-Rahman Hamdan Kmel (A-Dab'i), in the village of Raba, southeast of Jenin. The IDF spokesperson issued a statement saying that Kmel was killed by soldiers as he was fled from a house in which he had hidden. Yet, B'Tselem's investigation at the site of the incident raises grave suspicion that IDF soldiers executed Kmel as he was lying injured on the ground and after his weapon had already been taken away from him. B'Tselem's investigation also indicates that soldiers threatened two Palestinians at gunpoint and forced them to carry the wounded man and search his body, in blatant contradiction of a High Court injunction.

Testimonies taken by B'Tselem indicate that IDF soldiers shot at Mahmud Kmel, who was wanted for interrogation, while he tried to escape from a house in which he had spent the night. Kmel was injured, but remained fully conscious. IDF soldiers then threatened two Palestinian men at gunpoint, forcing them to bring Kmel's body to them. The two men spoke with Kmel, who told them his name and requested medical treatment. After the two handed the soldiers a pistol that had been in Kmel's possession, they carried Kmel toward the soldiers. According to their testimonies, the soldiers then told them to leave the area, and about a minute later, they heard a round of gunfire. The soldiers then sent one of the men to search Kmel to find his wallet. The man saw that Kmel had been shot in the head and killed.



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majorvictory64
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posted 09 December 2004 12:00 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
148 unarmed Palestinians killed in West Bank in 2004

quote:
JERUSALEM, Dec. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- The Israeli army said on Wednesday that a total of 148 unarmed Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank this year.

A senior Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officer released the figure at a press briefing at the army headquarters near the West Bankcity of Ramallah.

"148 civilians and 119 terrorists have been killed in 2004," Israel Radio quoted the officer as saying, adding at least 29 innocent Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops by mistake in the West Bank since January.

The Israeli military has been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks over allegations of use of excessive and improper force in its operations against Palestinians.

An Israeli military spokesman was quoted by media reports as recognizing that many of the Palestinian civilians killed were militants "involved in the preparation of attacks but not actually armed."

Israeli army chief of staff General Moshe Yaalon said Tuesday that 70 percent of all victims of the intifada (uprising) were civilians and warned the army against losing its "moral values".



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Rufus Polson
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posted 09 December 2004 03:31 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
An Israeli military spokesman was quoted by media reports as recognizing that many of the Palestinian civilians killed were militants "involved in the preparation of attacks but not actually armed."

Involved in the preparation of attacks, eh? What does that mean--sold the people who carried out the attacks vegetables, thus helping them not starve before they attacked?
And how the hell are they supposed to know? They don't even, apparently, know whether a terrified thirteen year old girl trying to run away is actually headed towards them with a bomb.


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majorvictory64
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posted 11 December 2004 04:49 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Israeli troops kill Palestinian girl

quote:
Friday 10 December 2004, 18:12 Makka Time, 15:12 GMT

Rania Siam is the latest addition to a long list of child casualties

A young Palestinian girl has been killed by Israeli occupation forces in the town of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical sources said.

Rania Siam was killed by either automatic gunfire or fragments of tank shells as she played outside her home on Friday, the sources added.

Two others were wounded in the incident, the sources said.

The death came shortly after a mortar attack by the Palestinian resistance group Hamas on a nearby Jewish colony in southern Gaza that wounded at least two Israelis, including a young child.

The girl was killed by gunfire that struck Khan Yunis in apparent retaliation for the earlier volley of mortars that hit the Gush Katif settlement bloc, Palestinian medics told agencies.

Aljazeera reports that the incident took place when Israeli forces fired randomly at Palestinian homes in the town.



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majorvictory64
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posted 13 December 2004 01:36 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Back to the flawed defensive

quote:
By Uzi Benziman

Over the weekend, the Israel Defense Forces again took up positions in the suburbs of Khan Yunis, and the defense minister found himself once more having to instruct the army to take action in order to put an end to the firing of mortars against Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip. And, if this was not enough to counter the hypothesis that the armed confrontation with the Palestinians is dying out, Qassam rockets were launched in the past day against the western Negev, and mortars injured four Israelis in Neveh Dekalim. Two of the victims, including an 8-year-old boy, were seriously wounded.

The State of Israel must ask itself if these developments are necessary. Immediately following the death of Yasser Arafat, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his ministers promised to do everything in order to make it easier for the new Palestinian leadership to establish itself. The message was that the Israeli leadership would not miss the opportunity to open a new page in the relations between the two peoples. During internal deliberations it became abundantly clear that the lesson from the past calls for the creation, to the extent possible, of the necessary conditions in order to direct the confrontation toward dialogue. As part of this view, Sharon apparently ordered the IDF to avoid assassinations of Palestinians, except in clear-cut cases where a "ticking bomb" needed to be neutralized. The heads of the security establishment announced that they would limit the IDF activities in the territories to necessary operations, which they would seek to keep as limited as possible in the near future.

In practice, the behavior of the IDF sheds a strange light on the official stance of the political echelon. In the past month, since Arafat's death, the IDF has arrested and killed Palestinians. Nearly every day the public is informed of an IDF operation in the Palestinian Authority's territory. A number of days after Arafat's funeral, the IDF rushed to make public the surrender of Imad Kawasme in Hebron. Last Thursday, the air force tried to assassinate Jamal Abu Samhadne in the Gaza Strip. The two were, indeed, leaders of Palestinian terrorism, and the IDF has been after them for years. Notwithstanding, the question stands on whether, under the current circumstances, they constituted "ticking bombs."

Moreover, even if the military operations that were meant to arrest or kill these men were carried out without particular criticism from the Palestinian Authority, the decision makers in Jerusalem must ask themselves whether these moves serve their declared aims: to put an end to the cycle of violence and lay the foundations for the development of diplomatic dialogue.



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majorvictory64
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Israel set to take revenge operations after "tunnel attack"

quote:
JERUSALEM, Dec. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz approved Monday afternoon a series of operations which will be launched in the Rafah area against tunnels used by Palestinians to smuggle weapons and attack Israeli targets.

The operations, set to begin in the near future, was approved after an emergency meeting of security heads at Mofaz's Tel-Aviv headquarters.

It was decided that the operations will be conducted over an undetermined period of time.

Five Israel Defense Forces soldiers from the Beduin Desert Reconnaissance Battalion were killed and six more wounded when a tunnel filled with explosives blew up underneath the side of an Israeli military outpost near the Rafah terminal in the southern Gaza Strip early Sunday evening.

Security officials said Monday that Palestinian use of tunnels to attack Israeli targets in the Gaza Strip has turned into a serious strategic threat.

Mofaz said Sunday's attack in Gaza were designed by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) to undermine the Palestinian National Authority ahead of Palestinian elections.

"The only barrier is terrorism. The fear of the Palestinians should not be from us, but from the terrorists. The day they deal with the terrorists we will be out of their cities," Mofaz said in a speech at the Herzelyia Conference hosted by the Interdisciplinary Center.



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majorvictory64
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Discrimination in life and death

quote:
Regrettably, Sunday's deaths of five IDF soldiers from the Desert Reconnaissance Battalion in Rafah does not symbolize the common destiny and integration of Bedouin in Israeli society, but rather the contrary. From the reactions of the families to their deaths, including the refusal of four of the families to have their sons buried in military funerals, one can understand that there are a lot of reservations about enlisting in the army in their communities.

Yusuf Jahaja, father of Sgt. Sa'id Jahaja, was the only one who agreed that his son be buried in a military ceremony - but he asked to cover the Israeli flag on the coffin with a blanket. He said that in the eyes of many his son was perceived as a collaborator and even a traitor, but that his son regarded army service as a way to get ahead in life, and Yusuf agreed.

Sa'id, who was killed in Rafah, was an Arab Muslim from the village of Arara. He served in the battalion known as the "Bedouin Battalion" even though he was not a Bedouin, which raises the question of whether there is not something problematic in the formation of battalions made up of people from one sector of society, particularly a sector that suffers from discrimination, and whether the assignments and missions given to such a unit are not derived from the social status of the soldiers who serve in it.

The Desert Reconnaissance Battalion, for example, which is mostly comprised of Bedouin, has spent the last four years in the line of fire in Rafah, while other soldiers serving on the front lines are in rotation, not permanently positioned there.

The Desert Reconnaissance Battalion accepts into its ranks Bedouin, Arabs and Muslims who are not obliged to enlist. Service in the unit is a way for young people to escape the economic crisis in which they live at home. Sometimes it is the only way they can get a steady job. The need to risk their lives just to earn a livelihood is also discomforting, especially considering just how much the Bedouin suffer from discrimination against them in budgets and infrastructure for their communities.



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majorvictory64
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posted 17 December 2004 03:17 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Israeli Soldier who shot Briton admits lying

quote:
Israeli on trial for manslaughter says peace activist was unarmed

Chris McGreal in Jerusalem

12/16/04 "The Guardian" -- The Israeli soldier on trial for killing the British peace activist Tom Hurndall in the Gaza Strip has admitted he was lying when he said his victim was carrying a gun, but said he was under orders to open fire even on unarmed people.

Sergeant Idier Wahid Taysir is charged with manslaughter for shooting Mr Hurndall, 22, as he tried to shelter children on the edge of Rafah from Israeli army gunfire in April last year. He died of his injuries in January.

The sergeant told the military court that after shooting Mr Hurndall he had reported it to his commander.

"I told him that I did what I'm supposed to; anyone who enters a firing zone must be taken out. [The commander] always says this," he said.

The army has already been accused of carrying out an unwritten policy of shooting unarmed civilians who enter a closed security zone in Rafah, which led to the killing of a 13-year-old girl.

Sgt Taysir told the army investigators he had opened fire at Mr Hurndall because the Briton was on the edge of the security zone, carrying a weapon and wearing camouflage clothing.

In fact, he had not entered the closed zone, had no gun and was wearing a bright orange jacket.

The prosecutor asked the sergeant if Mr Hurndall had a weapon.

Sgt Taysir replied: "No. That's the truth."

"So you gave a false report to the company commander?" the prosecutor asked.

"I did not give a false report. He might have had a weapon under his clothing. People fire freely there. The [Israeli army] fires freely in Rafah."

The prosecutor continued: "But you told him that you saw a weapon?"

"Right."

"So you lied?"

"I said it."



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majorvictory64
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9 Palestinians killed in Gaza raid; 6 rescued from tunnel

quote:
By Arnon Regular and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents, Haaretz Service and Agencies.

At least nine Palestinians were killed and 30 were wounded in an Israel Defense Forces raid aimed at ending mortar and rocket attacks from the town of Khan Yunis. Six of the dead were militants and two were civilian bystanders, local medics and witnesses said. Two of the militants were killed in a missile strike.

Elsewhere in the Gaza Strip, Palestinians rescued six men from the rubble of a collapsed weapons-smuggling tunnel along the Gaza-Egypt border. The men had been trapped underground for over 12 hours.

Witnesses said Palestinians in the town rescued the men, including a militant, by pulling them out of shaft dug under a house that connected to the tunnel. They were greeted by cheers and many Palestinians fired guns into the air in celebration.

"They are okay and are in good health," a witness said. "They are smoking cigarettes."

Palestinians ambulances had been given clearance by Israel to get to the scene of the tunnel collapse, which is usually off-limits to Palestinians.

The tunnel, which is located between an IDF base and the south Gaza area of Rafah, collapsed late Thursday, but neighborhood residents only discovered the gaping hole that remained of the tunnel on Friday.

One soldier operating in the raid suffered light to moderate wounds from an anti-tank missile fired by militants, the Itim news agency reported. An additional soldier was treated for shock.

IDF tanks and bulldozers moved into Khan Yunis early Friday morning to knock down buildings used as cover by militants, in an operation intended to reduce the number of mortar and rocket attacks from the camp at nearby settlements, the IDF said.

Hundreds of Palestinians fled their homes for fear the army would demolish them. The families sought refuge in a nearby hospital, a stadium and at the homes of relatives who don't live on the front line of fighting.

As the troops continued their raid Friday, Palestinians fired two Qassam rockets at the western Negev. They hit open areas and caused no injuries.

One mortar shell landed in and industrial zone in the northern Gaza Strip. One factory was damaged, Israel Radio reported on Friday night.

Palestinians also fired anti-tank missiles at the troops and detonated an explosive device near them, causing no casualties, Israel Radio said.

IDF commander Ofer Winter said the army would stay in Khan Yunis indefinitely.

"The forces are prepared to stay in the refugee camp for as long as it takes to secure quiet in the Israeli communities,"



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majorvictory64
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posted 21 December 2004 03:33 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
An entire village in the balance

quote:
By Nir Hasson

On Thursday, 10 days ago, the building inspectors from the Ministry of the Interior came to Al-Sidr, an unrecognized Bedouin village that is located next to the Be'er Sheva-Dimona highway. They circulated among the 70 tin shacks in the village and pasted court demolition orders on each of them bearing the heading: "The State of Israel versus Unknown."

The buildings are home to 150 members of the Al-Anami family - more than half of them children. If the orders are carried out, the Ministry of the Interior will be able in another 35 days (the legal period for appeal) to erase the entire village from the face of the earth.

"They told us that if we built houses of stone and concrete they would destroy them - so we built from tin," explains Ali al-Anami, a member of the village committee.

The members of his family have resided in the area since before the establishment of the state; until 1982 they lived undisturbed in the area of the Nevatim airbase. Then, in the wake of the peace agreements with Egypt and the withdrawal from Sinai, it was decided to build an Israel Air Force base on the site.

"They came to us from the Israel Lands Administration and asked us to evacuate the area for the airport. We didn't cause any problems, we left the place and moved two kilometers from there," recalled Mohammed al-Anami, another member of the committee. He added that government representatives approved the new location and promised the inhabitants of the village that they would reside there temporarily until a neighborhood was built for them in the recognized village of Arara in the Negev.

"But then the state forgot us for 10 years. Only in 1993 did we receive an offer to move to Arara and to give up our land in exchange for NIS 2,000 per family," says Mohammed.

The residents refused the offer, which they term "insulting." The government once again broke off contact and left them alone for another 11 years - until this past May. Then the Interior Ministry supervisors came to the village and posted warnings before ordering the demolition of all structures in the locale.

Interior Ministry officials turned to the courts to receive the demolition orders and have pointed out that nobody complained about after the warnings were posted. They have claimed that this is enough justification to make the decision with only one side present: "The petitioner cannot prove who carried out the crime [the construction of the house - N.H.], and the person who carried it out cannot be found."

Be'er Sheva Magistrate's Court Judge Ido Rozin accepted the claim and approved the demolition orders.



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majorvictory64
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Twilight zone / New year, old story

quote:
By Gideon Levy

Last Update: 06/01/2005 21:07
During operations last weekend in the Gaza Strip, the army demolished 14 Palestinian homes, injured 30 Palestinians and killed 10, including a mentally disabled youth. Ringing in 2005.

A quiet weekend: The Israel Defense Forces managed to conduct two operations in Gaza during a four-day period starting last Thursday and continuing through this past Sunday. This is how the New Year's celebration there looked: 10 Palestinians killed, including two teenagers, one of whom was mentally disabled; 30 Palestinians injured, including a cameraman from Channel 10; and another 14 homes demolished. While Israel was collecting food contributions for Sri Lanka, residents of Khan Yunis sat on the sand near their destroyed homes, eating a paltry lunch. On Sunday, after the operations ended, five Qassam rockets hit Sderot and mortar shells were fired at the Erez industrial zone, seriously injuring a 25-year-old worker, Nissim Arbib.

Operation "Purple Iron" had not ended yet and "Autumn Wind" had not yet begun to blow, and suddenly "Purple Rain" poured down upon the Erez checkpoint. There was a faint boom and then a mortar shell fell near us, in the adjacent industrial zone. Shlomi Eldar, a reporter for Channel 10, was on his way to meet with the Palestinians who were firing the mortars from Rafah, and we were going to meet the victims of "Purple Iron" in Khan Yunis. "See you this evening," we said, but by the time evening came, Eldar had already brought his cameraman, Majdi al-Arbid, to the hospital in serious condition. An IDF sniper shot him from a range of 300 meters in Jabalya, despite the fact that he held a television camera in his hand - or perhaps because of this.

Eldar, an experienced and honest reporter, is convinced that the photographer did not pose a risk to the sniper, who saw the camera and nonetheless shot without warning, intending only to injure the cameraman. He was hit by a bullet in the groin, two steps away from Eldar. Long hours passed before Eldar and the Channel 10 team managed to persuade the IDF to allow the bleeding photographer, whose life was at risk, to be rushed to a hospital in Israel.

The IDF is investigating.



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majorvictory64
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Israel plans big Jerusalem land grab

quote:
By Laila El-Haddad in Gaza

Thursday 20 January 2005, 17:17 Makka Time, 14:17 GMT

The Sharon government intends to strip thousands of West Bank Palestinians of their property in occupied East Jerusalem, according to the Israeli press quoting newly released government documents.

At stake are thousands of donoms of land belonging to Palestinians who live in the West Bank and are now unable to access their land due to Israel's separation barrier.

The decision, reached by the Ministerial Committee for Jerusalem Affairs in June of 2004, and approved by Prime Minister Sharon and his attorney-general a month later, has not been publicised until now.

By some estimates, the total land to be expropriated could add up to half of all East Jerusalem property.

The move is based on the Israeli Absentee Property Law of 1950, which holds that assets of Jerusalemite Palestinians who were in the West Bank and Gaza Strip at the time of the 1948 War would be expropriated by the state of Israel, without the absentee being eligible for compensation.

Political considerations

Palestinian claims to Jerusalem
are being steadily eliminated

The law, which applied to millions of Palestinian refugees who were unable to return to their homes after the 1948 war, has not been applied to West Bank residents with property in East Jerusalem until now.

The decision is the latest in a series of measures by the Israeli government apparently aimed at eliminating Palestinian claims to Jerusalem and ultimately predetermining the future status of the city.

According to the Israeli Human Rights group B'tselem, the development of East Jerusalem, since its illegal annexation in 1967, has been based on political considerations designed to strengthen Israeli control over the city, by creating a decisive majority of Jews.



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majorvictory64
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posted 27 January 2005 01:46 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A relative cries over the body of three year-old Palestinian girl, Rahma Al-shmasy, iin the family home on January 26, 2005 in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza Strip.

quote:
Title: Funeral Of Child Killed By Israeli Gunfire

Subject: News, Unrest, Conflicts and War

Caption: GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP - JANUARY 26: A relative cries over the body of three year-old Palestinian girl, Rahma Al-shmasy, iin the family home on January 26, 2005 in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza Strip. Rahma was killed by Israeli fire in the border near Kibbutz Mefalsim, Gaza Strip



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majorvictory64
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UN rights expert accuses Israel of war crimes over house demolitions

quote:
GENEVA, Jan 27 (AFP) - The UN rapporteur for human rights in the occupied territories accused the Israeli government of war crimes for the punitive destruction of Palestinian homes in a report released here Thursday.

"It is difficult to resist the conclusion that punitive house demolitions constitute serious war crimes," John Dugard, a South African law professor, said in the report.

Dugard said the destruction of Palestinian homes following acts of hostility against Israeli forces were carried out as punishment, and therefore were in breach of the Geneva war crimes conventions.

These prohibit the indiscriminate destruction of civilian property "except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations."

The report echoed allegations made last November by the Israeli rights group B'Tselem, which said that 12 innocent people lost their home for every person suspected of participation in attacks against Israelis.

Israel says the policy acts as a deterrent to militants.

Dugard also said in effect that the announced Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip is a sham.

"In reality," he said, "Israel does not plan to relinquish its grasp on the Gaza Strip. It plans to retain ultimate control over Gaza by controlling its borders, territorial sea and airspace. Consequently, it will in law remain an occupying power still subject to obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention."

Dugard said the barrier Israel has built on the grounds that it wants to prevent suicide bomb attacks on its territory is, in fact, a device to seize Palestinian land and incite the Palestinians to leave by making their lives intolerable.

He compared the restrictions on the Palestinians to the apartheid-era pass laws regulating the movement of non-whites in his own country.



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posted 03 February 2005 01:12 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Speaking out about Israel to save the Jewish soul

quote:
Cecilie Surasky

02/01/05 "Jordan Times" -- Every time a Gazan father faints as he watches his family home demolished; every time a Jew, Muslim or Christian is violently attacked by armed Israelis because they are non-violently protesting the separation wall; every time a rain of Israeli army bullets flies into the body of a young child on her way to school; every time a young Palestinian man is made to play violin by Israeli soldiers, or a pregnant woman dies at a checkpoint, Jews like us must speak out.

Remaining silent is no longer an option. We can no longer let our trauma, our deep fear of anti-Jewish hatred implanted in us through generations of persecution, make us remain quiet at the expense of truth.

Our continued silence perpetuates the fiction that all Jews are of one mind when it comes to Israel — that we think it can do no wrong; that we believe the Israeli government is innocent of war crimes; that we believe US military support for Israel's illegal occupation is a sign of our special relationship, and not a cynical use of Jewish suffering to provide moral cover for strategic interests in an oil-rich region.

Our silence puts us in more danger, not less. Through it, we give our consent not only to the obliteration of the Palestinian people, but to the end of our own people. If not our bodies, then certainly our spirit.

Jews like us know in our hearts that every time a Palestinian mother stands sobbing in the road, clutching her children and watching her home being demolished by an Israeli army bulldozer, another brick is dislodged from the edifice of 5,000 years of Jewish values, ethics and justice.

We see one of the world's greatest armies cry self defence as it uses tanks, bulldozers and missiles against a poverty stricken civilian population, and we cry inside for the callous manipulation of Jewish fear for the sake of expansionism.

We watch images of teenage soldiers who are told they are making Jews safer, shooting at children and young men, tearing up ancient olive trees and destroying entire neighbourhoods. We tremble inside knowing they are only creating a new generation of children whose anger burns so bright that they may one day wear a home-made bomb meant to kill any Jewish man, woman and child.

We silently cheer for the rabbi who puts his body in front of a Caterpillar bulldozer to stop it from uprooting olive trees or destroying a home for minor permit violations; the young Israeli conscientious objectors who choose jail over serving in the territories; the Israeli women, many of them older, who spend hot days in the sun monitoring checkpoints in an effort to ensure that the soldiers don't humiliate or torture the Palestinians who must cross them.



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majorvictory64
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Ex-Israel Air Chief's Appointment Fuels Speculation Over Iran Strike

quote:
Jerusalem (AFP) Feb 23, 2005
With the appointment of former air force supremo Dan Halutz as new chief of staff, Israel has put the ideal man in charge of the military for any potential air strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

Chosen Tuesday by Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz to succeed the outgoing General Moshe Yaalon, Haalutz is the first man with an air force background to be chosen as chief of staff in the history of the Jewish state.

Like Mofaz, who was Yaalon's immediate predecessor, outgoing deputy chief of staff Halutz is also of Iranian origin.

While Halutz's first task will be to oversee the planned evacuation of all 8,000 Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip from July, speculation has already begun to focus on how he will tackle what the political establishment now regards as Israel's biggest strategic threat.

US Vice President Dick Cheney recently warned that Israel might launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear programme on its own, an echo of the 1981 attack by the Israeli air force on Iraq's French-built Osirak reactor.

Asked about possible preparations for a strike under Halutz, former air force chief David Ibri told army radio: "As chief of staff, he will in the best position to prepare the military for such a scenario."

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom underlined the sense of urgency in Israel last week when he claimed on a trip to London that Iran was only six months away from having the knowledge to build a nuclear bomb.

Mofaz himself told French lawmakers last month that Iran was at "the point of no-return" in developing a nuclear arsenal, adding that "the possession of a nuclear weapon by an extremist regime is not acceptable."

Shalom said Iran's nuclear programme was a problem that must be tackled by the entire world, but many in Israel believe that the top brass must have plans in place to deal with Iran swiftly rather than rely on the diplomatic efforts of the European Union's big three, Britain, France and Germany.

"There is not a great deal of faith in Israel there is a diplomatic track worth pursuing. Europe has not got much backbone. There has to be alternate planning," said Gerald Steinberg, an analyst at the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs.

"Beyond the immediate focus of disengagement (from Gaza), clearly the major challenge for Israel and the IDF (Israel Defence Force) is to look towards dealing with a nuclear Iran and that's Halutz's main task," he told AFP.



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He'll shoot and he won't weep

quote:
By Gideon Levy



The appointment of Major General Dan Halutz to chief of the General Staff is the appointment of the right man at the right time. The Israel Defense Forces deserves a man lacking moral inhibitions, after three years' service by a chief of staff whose actions were characterized by very few moral inhibitions.

The protest on the left against Halutz's appointment was unnecessary, as was the storm that arose after his statement, apropos the dropping of a one-ton bomb on a residential house in Gaza: After this happens, he was quoted as saying, all he feels is "a slight tremor in the wing of the airplane." From a moral point of view there is no difference between the "rightist" Halutz and his predecessor, the "leftist" Ya'alon. They are both responsible for the brutal policy against the Palestinians.

In his statements, Halutz faithfully represents the policy in recent years of the air force and the Israel Defense Forces, which no longer has a place for moral statements in our war on terror. According to this policy, dropping heavy bombs on a house is a legitimate and just means, and killing innocent civilians, including children, does not at all resemble Palestinian terror.

This sanctimoniousness must come to an end. Therefore, a chief of staff like Halutz, who says what they really think in the IDF, is preferable to a chief of staff who hides behind the misleading pretension of morality, as Ya'alon does.

Why is it even important what a pilot feels when he drops a one-ton bomb on a residential building? As long as he does it, his feelings and his statements carry no weight whatsoever. Even if Halutz were to suffer in his cockpit, due to his victims, it would not matter. It would not matter from the point of view of the moral image of his air force, either.

The killing sown by the bomb that Major General Halutz ordered to be dropped expresses more than anything else what his "trembling wing" statement expressed. Anyone who saw the ruins left behind by that bomb, directed at Salah Shehadeh in the Daraj neighborhood of Gaza on July 22, 2002, and those who met the survivors the next day, was no longer interested in what Halutz had to say. Anyone who saw the splintered cradle of Ayman Mattar, whose tiny body was discovered only two days after the bomb landed, will not be comforted by any moral apology. Mohammed Mattar, who worked for 30 years in Israel, standing among the ruins of his home after he lost his daughter, his daughter-in-law and four of his grandchildren, and who himself was injured together with his three sons, would not be comforted even by a less arrogant commander than Halutz.



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posted 16 March 2005 02:58 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Rachel Corrie's family sues Israel, IDF

quote:
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent

The family of Rachel Corrie, a pro-Palestinian activist killed by an Israel Defense Forces bulldozer in Rafah two years ago, sued the State of Israel and the IDF for damages in the Haifa District Court on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old Corrie was killed on March 16, 2003 when she tried to block an IDF bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian house near the Philadelphi Route, the strip of land in the Gaza Strip bordering Egypt.

An IDF investigation ruled the incident was an accident and that the driver did not see Corrie, and the military prosecutor's office decided not to press charges in connection with Corrie's death.

Corrie's parents, brother, and sister, who are represented by Umm al-Fahm attorney Hussein Abu-Hussein, argue Corrie was killed despite the fact that she was wearing bright clothing and had identified herself as an activist with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement.

Corrie's family argues that the bulldozer driver intentionally used unreasonable force. According to the family, there was no fighting in the area at the time and there was no threat to soldiers' lives.



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majorvictory64
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posted 18 March 2005 03:56 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Rafah marking Corrie anniversary

quote:
Palestinian children have marked the second anniversary of the death of US activist Rachel Corrie, killed during an Israeli army operation in Gaza.

The 23-year-old was crushed in disputed circumstances as she tried to stop an Israeli bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian home in Rafah refugee camp.

Children re-enacted the scene with a bulldozer decked in Israeli flags.

The Corries are suing Caterpillar, the US manufacturer which makes Israel's specially-designed armoured bulldozers.

The action launched on Tuesday alleges that the firm broke international law by selling Israel the armoured vehicles knowing they would endanger lives.



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majorvictory64
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posted 19 March 2005 02:00 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Jewish 'plot over Temple Mount'

quote:

Jewish extremists are plotting to take over the Temple Mount in an attempt to thwart Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, an Israeli TV station has reported.
Channel Two showed a video of the plotters, including rabbis and far-right extremists, in a meeting to discuss ways to occupy the holy site.

The Temple Mount is known as the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) to Muslims.

The meeting took place at a secret location in the Old City of Jerusalem, the TV station said.

It involved representatives from 30 different groups.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei has appealed to Israel to stop any action against the compound.

"We warn that the region will explode if there is any attack against al-Aqsa," Mr Qurei told reporters.

Large numbers of Israeli police were deployed around the Temple Mount compound in mid-February for fear of an attack by Jewish extremists.



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majorvictory64
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posted 22 March 2005 02:00 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m

Last update - 01:49 21/03/2005
Who will prevent the pogrom?

Last week, Palestinian laborers were attacked by settlers in what the Israel Defense Forces described as an "attempted lynching." At various locations throughout the West Bank, Jewish hooligans have used guns, iron bars and hammers in an attempt to ignite the territories.

In one case, students of the Yeshuat Mordechai Yeshiva attacked five laborers who had come to work in the settlement of Nahliel with sticks and stones. In a second case, Nawaf Hanani of Nablus was beaten all over his body by armed settlers who forced him to get out of his truck. In a third case, Hebron settlers invaded an Arab house, attacked the residents and destroyed part of the ceiling with hammers. In all of these places, soldiers and policemen were in the vicinity. Granted, some of the assailants were arrested the same day, but they were later allowed to go home.

The lenient attitudes shown by the army and police allow the settlers to conclude that the state either cannot or will not deal with them. If a handful of rioters from Nahliel and Hebron get off scot-free after what the army itself defined as an attempted lynching, the next pogrom is virtually inevitable. The extreme right will stop at nothing to put a spoke in the wheels of disengagement, and the current clashes are merely an omen of what is to come.

Yet faced with the determination of the right-wing battalions scattered throughout the West Bank, which are armed with weapons that the IDF gave them, the defense establishment is dithering over issues that should not be troubling it at all, such as whether it is proper to close Gush Katif to visitors now, or whether the residents should be allowed to celebrate Pesach first. The coming Pesach will be no innocent holiday. Many of those who will visit the Gaza Strip will remain in order to disrupt the evacuation. It is important to remember the seder that Rabbi Moshe Levinger celebrated at the Park Hotel in Hebron 35 years ago: The guests at that seder have not left the city to this day.

Talia Sasson's report on the illegal outposts, like Yehudit Karp's report in 1982, is infuriating in its descriptions of the failure to enforce the law against the settlers. Similar statements were made to the state commission of inquiry on the 1994 massacre at the Cave of the Patriarchs. Former police commissioner Rafi Peled told that commission that with regard to the settlers, there is only "the semblance of law." And nothing has changed since then.

Sasson expressed shock over the fact that settlers cut down thousands of Palestinian olive trees under the eyes of watching IDF soldiers and spoke of "the spirit of the commander" in the territories, from which the soldiers understood that they should not intervene, as everything the settlers do is for the sake of Zionism. The unhindered violence of the past few days indicates that this spirit is still active.

The Gaza Strip should be closed to visitors now. Similarly, all those who engage in violence, who push the envelope, who are working day and night to reignite the intifada in order to disrupt the evacuation of settlements by keeping the army busy with other tasks, must be arrested without hesitation. In places with a reputation for hooliganism, such as the settlements and outposts around Nablus, the army must keep an especially sharp eye out. The writing is already on the wall, and it sometimes seems as if the preparations being made by the police and army are less determined and less sophisticated than those being made by the settlers.



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majorvictory64
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posted 09 April 2005 05:29 PM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Gaza violence jeopardises truce

quote:

Israeli soldiers have shot dead three Palestinian teenagers on the edge of a refugee camp in southern Gaza.

Witnesses say they were killed trying to retrieve a football in a no-go area near the Egypt border; the Israeli army says it is investigating the report.

It is the most serious such incident since Israeli and Palestinian leaders declared a ceasefire in February.

Hours later, Palestinians fired mortars at Jewish settlements in Gaza, without causing any injuries.

The Palestinian Authority called the killings a "serious violation" of the truce.

Witnesses said the group of boys came under fire when they tried to retrieve a football.

"The kids ran after it [the ball], and that's when we heard gunfire," Ali Abu Zeib, a 22-year-old Rafah resident, told the Associated Press news agency.

Reports said at least two of the dead boys were 14 and 15 years old.



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majorvictory64
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Israeli officer cleared in shooting

quote:
By Khalid Amayreh

Thursday 14 April 2005, 16:05 Makka Time, 13:05 GMT

An Israeli military judge has cleared an officer of misusing his weapon in the shooting death of a British cameraman in the Gaza Strip almost two years ago.

James Miller, 34, was shot dead on 3 May 2003, in the refugee camp of Rafah while making a documentary, Death in Gaza, about the effect of Israeli repression on Palestinian children.

Witnesses said Israeli occupation forces shot him at close range, although he wore journalist insignia and waved a white flag. The documentary shows Miller approaching an armoured vehicle in the dark before the fatal shots sounded.

A military judge conducting a disciplinary hearing acquitted the officer, identified only as "Lieutenant H", of "misusing his firearm", a military official said on Thursday, but he offered no further details or explanation.

The Israeli army's Judge Advocate-General Avichai Mandelblith decided in early March not to file criminal charges against the officer because of "lack of evidence", drawing accusations of a cover-up from Miller's relatives, who vowed to sue the army.

Mandelblith said at the time that while the officer was alleged to have fired in violation of army rules, "it is not legally possible to link this shooting to the gun shot sustained by Mr Miller (to) provide a reasonable chance of conviction".

Mandelblith instead tried the soldier in a disciplinary hearing on lesser charges of "inappropriate use of weapons" for opening fire on a group of civilians who posed no danger to him.

Miller was filming the conflict's effects on Palestinian children

Hours after Miller's death, a senior Israeli commander said troops in Rafah had opened fire after coming under attack by Palestinian armed men who were smuggling arms from Egypt.

"Two of our armoured vehicles went in to uncover a smuggling tunnel ... and as darkness fell came under small-arms fire. Two rocket-propelled grenades were also fired at them. The men shot back at the attackers," Colonel Avi, then the acting commander of Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, told Reuters.

But the footage in Death in Gaza shows no sign of a clash.



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majorvictory64
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posted 28 April 2005 06:51 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Palestinian, Israeli killed in West Bank

quote:
Tuesday 26 April 2005, 12:03 Makka Time, 9:03 GMT

Both men died at a checkpoint near the city of Hebron

The family of a Palestinian taxi driver has accused Israeli forces of murdering him in cold blood in the West Bank after he ran over and killed an Israeli at an army checkpoint.

Israeli troops, erecting a makeshift roadblock at the northern entrance to Hebron, shot and killed Iyad Eid Dwaik, 30, after he hit an Israeli soldier in what witnesses and relatives said was a traffic accident.

Palestinian witnesses said a taxi driver ran over the Israeli after dark at a dimly lit checkpoint near the West Bank city of Hebron, killing him.

They said Israeli soldiers later shot the driver dead. Dwaik was riddled with bullets before he was transferred to a nearby Palestinian hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"The soldiers set up a surprise roadblock and some soldiers were standing right in the middle of the road. He simply couldn't stop his car at a few second's notice," said relative Basim Dwaik.

"The soldiers set up a surprise roadblock and some soldiers were standing right in the middle of the road. He simply couldn't stop his car at a few second's notice"

"They murdered him before even asking any questions," he told Aljazeera.net.

The Israeli occupation army said an Israeli reservist soldier was killed in the incident.

An army spokesman said soldiers were not sure if the incident was a traffic accident or a "terrorist act". The army was investigating the incident, he added.

Israel Radio said no weapon was found in the Palestinian car, and the driver had no known links to resistance groups.



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majorvictory64
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MK among 10 hurt at anti-fence protest

quote:
By Arnon Regular

MK Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash) was among 10 left-wing activists and a press photographer who were lightly injured yesterday when security forces dispersed a demonstration against the separation fence close to the West Bank village on Bil'in.

Bil'in, which is located north of the Jerusalem-Modi'in highway, has been the site of daily demonstrations against the fence by Palestinians and Israeli leftists. Hundreds of dunams of village land, located in the West Bank, were confiscated for use in construction of the fence.

Police officers and Israel Defense Forces troops at the site clashed with the hundreds of protesters who attended the anti-fence rally. The security forces fired rubber bullets and sprayed tear gas to disperse the crowd. During the clashes, which also included fist-fights, an Associated Press photographer was lightly hurt, apparently by a stun grenade thrown by police officers.

According to the demonstrators, at one point a stun grenade also went off near Barakeh's leg. He was treated by an ambulance crew at the site.

During the clashes, undercover security forces mingled with the demonstrators and began to throw stones at the soldiers and police, demonstrators said. The undercover security forces had provoked the police and soldiers into opening fire with rubber bullets and tear gas. The demonstrators said they had not thrown stones at the soldiers and police.



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majorvictory64
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Palestinian workers under "moral terror"

quote:
Sami Abu Salem writing from Gaza, occupied Palestine, Live from Palestine, 30 April 2005

JABALIA REFUGEE CAMP (WAFA) -- In the heart of Jabalia Refugee Camp, there was no more room in the two-room 50 square meters house of Mahmoud Al-Dhabous 42. He is an unemployed father of 7 children, lost his work because he refused to "betray his people."

The washbasin in the kitchen is broken. The door of the bathroom is full of holes while the two rooms packed with sleeping children, clothes and books.

Al-Dhabous is a sample of thousands of Palestinian workers the Israeli intelligence have been trying to recruit them as traitors for a permission of work inside the Hudna line (in Israel).

For nine consecutive years, Al-Dhabous has worked for a factor of greenhouses in the industrial zone of "Eretz". He has been jobless for more than a year. The Israeli intelligence prevented him from working as he refused to "collaborate". They save no efforts for recruiting as much Palestinian labours as possible to work as agents for them. The matter breaches the Oslo Accord between the PLO and Israel.

In an early morning (in February 2004), when dozens of workers try to reach their work, a special military vehicle carries groups of workers to meet intelligence officer for "interrogation". Al-Dhabous went through three days of psychological pressure. He was among a dozen of workers carried by the vehicle from the main path leading to his work. They were detained at a 2x2 caravan from the early morning to the sunset.

"It was very cold, I was trembling because of cold and worry. We were asking ourselves what the future holds. At the sunset, they carried us in a truck and ordered us to go back home," he said, "it was unforgettable moment, I entered a very prestigious and warm room in a sever cold winter.

It was a big room with a high ceiling and snug chairs."

After detailed questions on his life, the officer performed that he feels sorry for the daily wage NIS60 (around $15) for a father of seven. "He tried to seduce me by offering a new work with a daily wage of NIS 350 (around $80), for mutual help," Al-Dhabous said.

"At that moment, I remembered the innocent children and women killed by Israeli weapon. I remembered the Palestinian daily streams of blood by Israeli weapons, I remembered my sons, my wife, my parents. Really It was a very horrible moment," Al-Dhabous recalled.

Al-Dhabous did not hesitate to strongly refuse, but the officer asked him to "think".



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majorvictory64
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posted 30 May 2005 12:03 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Buying off the settlers

quote:
by Uri Avnery

05/29/05 "Gush Shalom" - - Perhaps there are countries where drivers stuck in traffic jams don't get annoyed. They know they can do nothing about it, so they wait patiently. Think their own thoughts, listen to the radio or read until the jam disperses.

We Israelis are not like that. We are a nervous lot. We have no patience. When we are stuck in a jam, we curse the world and the government, demanding a solution, perhaps a dirt road by which we might escape.

This is why I find it so hard to understand the tactics of the settlers, who use the traffic jam as their main weapon. If they believe that by blocking major traffic arteries, burning tires and creating huge jams throughout the country they are going to win the sympathy of the public, they are even more divorced from reality than it seemed already.

Actually, the blocking of roads is a declaration of war against the Israeli public. It marks a clear front-line: the settlers and their adherents on one side and the majority of the population on the other.

That is, indeed, the real front-line. Their stupid tactics just confirm this. They sense that the great majority is against them and say, in effect: if you don't love us, at least fear us. If you don't submit to us, we shall turn your life into hell.

Even foreigners, who follow events on their television screens, can distinguish the creators of this mayhem from ordinary Israelis. Almost all the rioters are knitted-kippa-wearing religious youth, the products of the religious-messianic-nationalist-fanatical educational hothouses.

This is a minority, something between 15% and 25% of the population. But a well organized minority. Their hard core is concentrated in the settlements and the Yeshivot (religious seminaries) and is easy to mobilize. They have leaders with absolute authority, who stand effectively above the law. Their totalitarian discipline finds expression at election times, when 99% of the votes in religious neighborhoods go to the candidate chosen by their rabbis.

Such features lend this minority a power far beyond their numbers. Especially when faced with a weak-kneed, diffuse, apathetic, unorganized majority, without any coherent ideology. That is a classic situation, which has led in many countries to the establishment of fascist dictatorships on the ruins of a democracy that nobody was ready to stand up for.

In the superb German film "Der Untergang" (Downfall), which has reached Israel, too, one sees that even in the last hours of his life, Adolf Hitler expressed nothing but contempt for the "degenerate democracies". But the historic truth is that the "degenerate democracies" stood up to him. True, Britain and the United States would not have overcome him, 60 years ago, without the totalitarian Soviet Union on their side, but they proved that the democratic regime can be counted on at the moment of truth, can mobilize itself and fight even harder than the totalitarian states. The Third World War (the so-called "Cold War") has proved this again.

Is the Israeli democracy up to it?

An old Israeli joke tells of an Israeli captured by cannibals. They put him in a pot and start to light a fire under it, "Wait! Wait!" he shouts, "First of all hit me! Beat me!" When they do so, he jumps out of the pot, picks up his gun and shoots all of them.

"If you had a weapon, why didn't you use it before?" he is asked.

"I can only shoot when I am angry," he replies.



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rsfarrell
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posted 30 May 2005 01:14 AM      Profile for rsfarrell        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Rufus Polson:

They don't even, apparently, know whether a terrified thirteen year old girl trying to run away is actually headed towards them with a bomb.


They knew, my friend, they knew.


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majorvictory64
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A Warning from Israel

quote:
What May Come After the Evacuation of Jewish Settlers from the Gaza Strip

By URI DAVIS, ILAN PAPPE, and TAMAR YARON

We feel that it is urgent and necessary to raise the alarm regarding what may come during and after evacuation of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip occupied by Israel in 1967, in the event that the evacuation is implemented.

We held back on getting this statement published and circulated, seeking additional feedback from our peers. The publication in Ha'aretz (22 June 2005) quoting statements by General (Reserves) Eival Giladi, the head of the Coordination and Strategy team of the Prime Minister's Office, motivated us not to delay publication and circulation any further. Confirming our worst fears, General (Res.) Eival Giladi went on record in print and on television to the effect that "Israel will act in a very resolute manner in order to prevent terror attacks and [militant] fire while the disengagement is being implemented" and that "If pinpoint response proves insufficient, we may have to use weaponry that causes major collateral damage, including helicopters and planes, with mounting danger to surrounding people."

We believe that one primary, unstated motive for the determination of the government of the State of Israel to get the Jewish settlers of the Qatif (Katif) settlement block out of the Gaza Strip may be to keep them out of harm's way when the Israeli government and military possibly trigger an intensified mass attack on the approximately one and a half million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, of whom about half are 1948 Palestine refugees.

The scenario could be similar to what has already happened in the past - a tactic that Ariel Sharon has used many times in his military career - i.e., utilizing provocation in order to launch massive attacks.

Following this pattern, we believe that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz are considering to utilize provocation for vicious attacks in the near future on the approximately one and a half million Palestinian inhabitants of the Gaza Strip: a possible combination of intensified state terror and mass killing. The Israeli army is not likely to risk the kind of casualties to its soldiers that would be involved in employing ground troops on a large scale in the Gaza Strip. With General Dan Halutz as Chief of Staff they don't need to. It was General Dan Halutz, in his capacity as Commander of the Israeli Air Force, who authorized the bombing of a civilian Gaza City quarter with a bomb weighing one ton, and then went on record as saying that he sleeps well and that the only thing he feels when dropping a bomb is a slight bump of the aircraft.



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majorvictory64
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IDF chief to probe Tul Karm raid that killed five Palestinians

quote:
By Arnon Regular, Haaretz Correspondent

Last Update: 07/09/2005 19:54

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz will next week open an investigation into the deaths of five Palestinians in an IDF operation in the West Bank city of Tul Karm last month.

The announcement comes after Haaretz reported Tuesday that its joint investigation with the human rights group B'Tselem repudiates the army's version of events concerning the August 24 operation.

The official IDF announcement described the late-night undercover operation as follows: "Five terrorists from the terror network responsible for the attacks at the Stage club and [Hasharon mall] in Netanya were killed in Tul Karm."

That announcement, which later changed several times, termed Anas Abu Zeina, 17, "an accessory to wanted militants"; Adel Abu Khalil (Al-Gawi), 26, "a senior Islamic Jihad operative"; and Majdi Atiya, 18, somebody who "engaged in preparing explosive devices and participated in attacks against IDF forces."

However the material collected by Haaretz and B'Tselem reveals that the three teenage boys killed - Abu Zeina, Mohammed Othman, 17, and Mahmoud Ahadib, 17 - are not known members of any terrorist organization.

The two adults killed were low-ranking operatives who did not behave like wanted militants and were unarmed at the time. They were shot by the soldiers at short range, from 10-15 meters away, while they were in a largely-enclosed courtyard.

Witnesses say they heard the soldiers shout at the group "Stop" and "Don't move," but that seconds later the soldiers opened fire without giving the men a chance to turn themselves in. Some scattered in various directions, and some were killed on the spot.

Witnesses report that in several of the cases the soldiers proceeded to confirm their kills with close-range shots. In contrast to the IDF's claim, witnesses say there had been no exchange of fire in the vicinity, nor were Molotov cocktails thrown at the troops.



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majorvictory64
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posted 19 September 2005 02:23 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
1982: Sabra and Shatila - after the atrocity

quote:
Deborah Thornton-Jackson was married to a Lebanese businessman. They lived in Beirut with their young family during the 1970s and 1980s.

In September 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon, and a Christian Lebanese militia massacred hundreds of Palestinians living in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

After the atrocity, Deborah drove to a hospital in Gaza to help tend to the wounded and dying.

I spent 20 years in the Lebanon - first going out there in 1969 as an air stewardess. I later married a Christian Lebanese named Elie.

We lived in Beirut. On and off I would leave when the situation got bad, when it got too hot to handle. I would have to get the girls out, our children, back to safety.

Some of the things I experienced were traumatic. I find it very hard sometimes to recount the shocking events that took place and one in particular - the Israeli invasion in 1982. I've buried an awful lot.

The night that the Israelis actually came in and surrounded the camps, we were at our villa in East Beirut, on the Christian side.

Aircraft came over periodically during the day flying low and showing their presence with a few bombs which created a lot of smoke.

Then we heard that the Phalangists had actually gone into the camps and that the Israelis had more or less surrounded them.

There were flares in the sky which we could see that lit up the surrounding area. We knew what they were doing.

I just felt I had to go and help these people. I had a tremendous sympathy for the Palestinian people at that time, which my husband could never understand.



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majorvictory64
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Israeli firm tossed out of UK fair

quote:
In the shadow of threats against retired Israeli generals over war crimes, organizers of one of the world's largest international arms fairs in London tossed out an Israeli company for offering stun guns, leg irons and other "weapons of torture."

The firm, TAR Ideal Concepts, was forced to leave Britain while customs officials considered what action to take against them. The company was in town for the Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition, held last week.

"It turned out that we are great criminals because in our catalogue we were offering leg cuffs and stun guns and batons," said company head Tomer Avnon. "And don't forget we were among booths offering everything from sniper rifles to silencers, cluster bombs and all sorts of nasty stuff. It's the height of hypocrisy," Avnon told The Jerusalem Post in a telephone interview.

"It's beyond ridiculous, particularly since we had received permission from the organizers who approved all of our brochures."

Held every two years in London's Docklands, the arms fair is Europe's biggest, offering everything from war ships to surveillance equipment.

But the arms show also became a magnet for pressure groups who abhor the weapons trade and held daily protests there. Israeli defense firms were particularly targeted in Internet sites run by anti-arms protesters.

Avnon said his company supplied non-lethal riot control gear as well as equipment for counterterrorism and homeland security, including protective vests helmets, infantry gear and canine services.



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Peech
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posted 23 September 2005 03:10 PM      Profile for Peech   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
And from the same article:

He was convinced that the singling out of Israeli firms came from the same anti-Israeli motivations that led to the harassment of retired IDF officers.

"It is as if we are harming human rights. I wouldn't be surprised if it all originated from the same source," Avnon said.

The irony of the whole ordeal, Avnon said, was that there had been enormous interest in his non-lethal weapons.

Officials from DSEI could not be reached for comment.


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Peech
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posted 23 September 2005 03:16 PM      Profile for Peech   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
And in the name of countering propaganda: how about the "Pallywood" industry in the region?

http://www.seconddraft.org/cur_invest.php

Unfortunately many news agencies including the BBC, the Guardian, "Independent" etc merely parrot these "truths' without any investigation.

[ 23 September 2005: Message edited by: Peech ]


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majorvictory64
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posted 24 September 2005 11:37 PM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Breaking The Silence – Testimonial booklet #2

quote:
Over the last year ‘Breaking the Silence’ has collected testimonies given by hundreds of IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) soldiers who served in the territories during the last conflict. These testimonies reveal the impossible reality those soldiers have to face, and the terrible moral price this reality demands. Selected collections from those testimonies have been published in testimonial collections produced by ‘Breaking the Silence’.

Take Six of Theirs

The witness: ‘Yael’ Reconnaissance Troup

The Location: A Palestinian checkpoint in the West Bank

Date: February 2002, one night after the attack at Ein Arik

Description:

There was an attack on 6 people here at ‘443’ (designation of our position, or our-held hilltop), 6 soldiers from the Corps of Engineers. Some terrorist arrived at a (our) checkpoint and killed 6. That evening we were rushed off to a room. Suddenly our squad commander came from some two-minute long briefing saying ‘Listen….we are doing…our action is a revenge. We are going to kill 6 Palestinian policemen somewhere, revenging our six they took down’. There were about 4 positions beyond our ‘443’ under the control of Palestinian policemen, and we were sent to each of these positions to ‘liquidate’ the Palestinian policemen there.

Our briefing was also about 2 minutes long, defining our action as a revenge, while I was still deliberating, asking ‘what had they done?’ ‘Who are they?’ The answer was: Palestinian policemen. On my question ‘what did they do?’ the answer was ‘(that) there was a suspicion that the terrorist who killed our 6 came through that (Palestinian) checkpoint. A suspicion, but no concrete evidence. But I was told: it doesn’t matter; they took six of ours, and we are going to take six of theirs.

That’s the expression used?

That’s the expression: ‘revenge’. Also a day later the press reported a ‘revenge action’. It was not hidden (from the public). The announcement clearly read ’revenge action’. It was a crazy ‘blood revenge’ rush. We had a long hike ahead of us to get there and we arrived on foot at around 4AM. There was no one there during the night and the check point was locked for the night. There was some sort of building where they slept, coming down during the day to the checkpoint and staying there.

And you hid in an ambush?

We waited for them in an ambush. The idea was simply to kill them all. Whenever they arrived, we would kill them, regardless whether (they were) armed or not. If they were Palestinian policemen, they were to be shot. The order was given and our six opened fire. The first firing was ineffective and missed. They (our, other shooters) were also supposed to hit the street lighting, but missed that too. We got up and fired, hitting two of theirs (the Palestinian policemen), killing the two. But they weren’t killed after all. Pardon me, they were injured: I think we hit one in the shoulder and one in the leg, or something like it, and they escaped. So we continued (shooting). I should add: I shot one in the head as he was running while another one was crawling behind. We got up and started chasing them. It was… really… I really enjoyed it. It was the first time (in my experience) that we were in an ‘advance….storm….’ situation, like in our training exercises. And we acted flawlessly. We performed superbly. And then he (one of the policemen?) ran and we continued to advance. He entered one of the corrugated sheet metal sheds and the four of us sprayed the shed with bullets. A gas cylinder there exploded and everything around caught fire..fire..fire….
Meanwhile we had a killed policeman, another one in this burning inferno, and a third one, escaping. We ran after him into a graveyard, or something like a graveyard, stood on the surrounding wall and shot at him. We killed him too ……

Were they armed?

Wait a minute. Meanwhile they didn’t shoot at us. Didn’t return fire.

Except when it all started?

No! The initial were ours.

Uh! OK.

We didn’t run into them and they never fired at us during any phase of the operation. Initially we opened fire from a distance, hitting nothing. Then we got up to storm the position, hitting one of theirs and he escaped. I hit him with another bullet. The second ran into the shed (that caught fire) while we chased the third to the graveyard. The fourth one escaped.

The guy in the cemetery was killed?

No (above he was quoted as saying yes, he was killed!). We stood on the wall, shot, and he fell. That was the end. Now the first one who fell lay on the ground and we saw only the lower part of his body. Some boulder hid him. There were three or four (of our guys) who kept shooting at the body, punching holes into it.

To ‘confirm a kill’?

No. From the excitement of the battle they punched holes, punching him completely. At the retreat from the cemetery I went to check, to ‘confirm kill’ and also to take his rifle away. I reached him and he was smashed…. a completely smashed body. I turned the body around. It was a guy in his mid-fiftieths or sixtieths, very old. No arms. Later we understood, that, including the one at the cemetery, no one of them was armed.

Were they uniformed?

They wore the uniforms of Palestinian policemen but were unarmed. And we went and threw another grenade into this thing that was burning…



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majorvictory64
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posted 26 September 2005 02:19 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Cabinet okays options of shelling Gaza, assassinations

quote:
Israeli helicopters launched three separate attacks late Saturday night and early Sunday morning on Gaza Strip locations believed to facilitate attacks by armed groups on Israeli targets.

The air strikes launched what the military said would be a "prolonged" offensive against Hamas militants in retaliation for the bombardment of Israeli towns with some 40 Qassam rockets over the weekend.

Palestinian sources said that some 20 people were injured in the attacks.

In the latest of the three attacks, Israeli helicopters fired three missiles in the northern Gaza Strip early Sunday morning, striking a weapons-storage facility and the offices of a Palestinian militant group, the army said.

Israel Defense Forces sources said the army attacked a weapons-storage facility in the Jabalya refugee camp used by the Popular Resistance Committees, and struck a building in Beit Hanun housing the offices of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Residents in Beit Hanun said the PFLP building suffered heavy damage, but said no one was believed to be inside at the time.

A few hours earlier, an Israeli aircraft attacked a school in a crowded Gaza City neighborhood, wounding at least 17 people, Palestinian medical officials said.

The blast struck the Arkam school, which was established by the late founder of the militant Hamas group, Sheik Ahmed Yassin. The army said the building was used by a Hamas-linked foundation to raise money for terrorist attacks.

The blast collapsed part of the school, and caused damage to at least five nearby homes. Hospital officials said women and children were among the wounded, and one person was in serious condition. Electricity in the neighborhood was knocked out, and dozens of people ran in the streets following the attack.

Also Saturday night, Israel Radio reported that an Israeli helicopter fired three missiles at warehouses belonging to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade near Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip, wounding two people.



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majorvictory64
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posted 03 October 2005 03:46 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Seeking justice abroad

quote:
Domestic remedies exhausted, Palestinians are seeking redress in foreign courts, much to the chagrin of Israel

By Khaled Amayreh in the West Bank

09/29/05 "Al-Ahram Weekly" -- -- Having lost faith in the Israeli justice system, Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories are contemplating seeking redress for their numerous grievances against the State of Israel in international courts, especially in Europe.

Palestinian and foreign human rights activists have long complained that the Israeli justice system doesn't give equal and real justice to non-Jews, particularly if they are Arabs. One Arab Knesset member last week described the Israeli justice system as "designed to be accommodative for Jews and punitive for non-Jews". "The plain truth," said Ahmed Teibi, "is that Palestinians can't find justice in Israel, neither here, nor in the occupied territories." He cited a study by a Haifa University professor, Arieh Ruttner, showing that Israeli courts systematically discriminate against Arabs, whether as defendants or as plaintiffs.

Teibi's remarks came in reaction to the acquittal last week by an Israeli Justice Ministry inquiry commission of the police killers of 12 Israeli Arab protesters in October 2000. Paramilitary police had then opened fire on thousands of "48ers" -- Palestinians displaced from their original homes since the 1948 War which ethnically cleansed three quarters of the Palestinian population from what was thereafter declared as Israel -- protesting against the bloody repression of Palestinians in the West Bank. The commission ruled that there was no way to determine the identity of the killers, saying it had no choice but to close the cases of all police officers involved in the killings.

Shocked by the exoneration of the killers, Teibi, Islamic movement leader Sheikh Raed Salah and other leaders of Israel's Arab community said they might now appeal to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for redress. "If a state doesn't or is not capable of giving justice to a segment of its own citizens, those citizens have every right to seek justice against their state abroad," said Azmi Bishara, another Arab Knesset member. "We will continue to sue all those responsible for the murder of our children, in Israeli courts and international forums," said lawmaker Muhammed Baraka. "If Israeli justice doesn't or can't bring relief to the citizens of the state, we'll have to look for it elsewhere."

On Sunday, 25 September, hundreds of Israel's Palestinian citizens demonstrated in Jerusalem against what one demonstrator described as "the inherent racism of the Israeli justice system towards non-Jews". Protesters shouted slogans and carried signs reading "Barak, fear not. We are waiting for you in The Hague," referring to former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and "With Peres, Ezra and Sharon, fascism rules."

If the "justice" meted out to Israel's Arab citizens is bad, Israel's judicial treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territory is far worse, beyond scandalous, as the Israeli occupation army often behaves and acts as investigator, judge and executioner, not to mention murderer. Last week, the Israeli Chief of Staff Dan Halutz decided not to pursue any disciplinary measures against soldiers who, on 24 August, killed in cold blood five Palestinians, including three teenagers (Halutz himself is widely viewed, even by some Israelis, as a war criminal for ordering a one-tonne bomb dropped on an apartment building in Gaza in 2002, killing 14 people, including 11 children). The Israeli army then said in a terse statement that the five victims were Islamic Jihad "terrorists" who had been involved in attacks against Israel. A joint investigation by the Israeli human rights organisation B'tselem and Haaretz newspaper concluded, on the contrary, that none of the five was armed at the time they were killed, and that none belonged to any militant group.



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majorvictory64
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posted 17 October 2005 06:34 PM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Disengaged

quote:
“We rode to a fall with Ehud Barak,” Landau told me in his British-accented English. And this sentence alone, simple though it sounds, constituted a tectonic shift away from Haaretz’s traditional political stance.

Landau was referring to the former prime minister who, in July 2000, made what most Israelis believed was a very generous territorial offer at the Camp David peace talks. When Arafat rejected his proposal, and Palestinian violence quickly erupted, Barak and his advisers began selling a certain narrative of the conflict to a confused and bewildered people. This narrative, this communal understanding, has tenaciously persisted. Barak said that the Palestinian rebuff at Camp David and the start of the uprising two months later had revealed once and for all that the Palestinian leader and his people had never really been interested in peace. Armed conflict had always been their intention. All the Oslo-period handshakes and expressions of good faith had been ploys. The true intention of the Palestinian people was to kill, to annihilate, and to destroy Israel. A true “partner for peace,” it seemed, would only emerge after a generation, maybe two.

Most Israelis quickly internalized this. No one stopped to ask what Barak’s role in the failure of negotiations might have been. No one examined what part Israel played in perpetuating the bloodshed. No one even questioned Barak’s contention that the Palestinian violence was organized, rather than a spontaneous reaction born of frustration.

Not even Haaretz.

“Even though we continue to abhor and deprecate the occupation and the practices of the Israeli army and the Shin Bet [Israel’s security service], and we proudly run Gideon Levy, nevertheless we rode to a fall with Ehud Barak in 1999-2000, and all our hopes and aspirations were shattered like his,” Landau said. “We continued to put most of the blame on the other side, on Yasir Arafat. That has shaped our evolving outlook on the whole period of the intifada and, now, on Sharon’s transformation.”

This was surprising. But what he told me next was even more so...



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majorvictory64
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posted 20 October 2005 03:55 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fleeing Palestine: My right to return

quote:
To the sound of gunfire, Ghada Karmi was forced to flee her home in Palestine 57 years ago. Now back in Ramallah, she has chronicled every detail of her harrowing flight.

By Donald Macintyre
Published: 19 October 2005

It is one of those perfect autumn late afternoons in Jerusalem; the sunlight filtered through the heavy cypress branches, the street just as still as Ghada Karmi can remember it from her early childhood.

"You see, there's the lemon tree that was there when that was my parents' bedroom," she says, pointing across the verandah from just outside the old iron gate through which she and her family had made their hurried and final departure to the sound of automatic gunfire and mortar explosions that fateful April morning 57 years ago.

As she poses for pictures by sitting on the stone steps in the way she must have done so often as a little girl, the years suddenly roll away and for a fleeting moment you can see again the pensive, pretty eight-year-old from the only two family photographs that were not left behind for good in the Karmis' precipitate - and as they tried to tell themselves, temporary - flight from Palestine.

We are at what is now 18 Mishmar Ha'am in Qatamon, as prosperous and bourgeois a west Jerusalem Jewish neighbourhood today as it had been an Arab one before the war that ended with the creation of the state of Israel. A street above here, between two 1950s apartment blocks, there is nothing left of the Semiramis Hotel, flattened by a Haganah bombing in January 1948 that killed 30 people, and was part of the rapid escalation of violence that eventually made it impossible for the family to stay. But apart from the added second storey, the stone-built villa from which the Karmis fled has hardly changed since it and the others in the street were built between the two world wars to accommodate the expanding population of the Old City.

In her memoir*, In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story, Dr Karmi has recorded, from memory and reconstruction, every significant detail of the days and hours before their escape as seen and heard by a child who was desperate not to leave, however bad the shooting got. How the day before their hasty departure for Damascus she heard the adults whispering agitatedly about something called "Deir Yassin" - the scene, as she only much later realised, of the notorious massacre by Irgun and Stern Gang forces of 245 Arabs, many women and children, in a village to the west of Jerusalem.

How Rex, the family's beloved mongrel, somehow squeezed through the very gate we are standing at now and stood in the middle of the road "staring after the retreating car, his tail stiff, his ears pointing forward".

But above all, the pain of parting from Fatima, the stoical peasant woman from the village of al-Maliha who worked for the Karmis and of whom in the absences of her own highly sociable mother, Dr Karmi writes: "From the start I adopted Fatima for my mother."

And how after sitting on her lap on the drive to a taxi depot outside the Old City she "clung desperately", when the moment for parting came, to Fatima's kaftan, and that Fatima, tears coursing down her cheeks "gently disengaged my fingers". She never saw Fatima again.



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majorvictory64
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posted 21 October 2005 01:11 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Israel redraws the roadmap, building quietly and quickly

quote:
Settler population grows as Sharon grabs more West Bank land than he returned in Gaza

Chris McGreal in Jerusalem

10/18/05 "The Guardian"

At the northern edge of Jerusalem, on the main road to the Palestinian city of Ramallah, three towering concrete walls are converging around a rapidly built maze of cages, turnstiles and bomb-proof rooms.

When construction at Qalandiya is completed in the coming weeks, the remaining gaps in the 8m (26ft)-high walls will close and those still permitted to travel between the two cities will be channelled through a warren of identity and security checks reminiscent of an international frontier.

The Israeli military built the crossing without fanfare over recent months, along with other similar posts along the length of the vast new "security barrier" that is enveloping Jerusalem, while the world's attention was focussed on the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon's removal of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip.

But these de facto border posts are just one element in a web of construction evidently intended to redraw Israel's borders deep inside the Palestinian territories and secure all of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and to do it fast so as to put the whole issue beyond negotiation. As foreign leaders, including Tony Blair, praised Mr Sharon for his "courage" in pulling out of Gaza last month, Israel was accelerating construction of the West Bank barrier, expropriating more land in the West Bank than it was surrendering in Gaza, and building thousands of new homes in Jewish settlements.

"It's a trade off: the Gaza Strip for the settlement blocks; the Gaza Strip for Palestinian land; the Gaza Strip for unilaterally imposing borders," said Dror Etkes, director of the Israeli organisation Settlement Watch. "They don't know how long they've got. That's why they're building like maniacs."

At the core of the strategy is the 420-mile West Bank barrier which many Israeli politicians regard as marking out a future border. Its route carves out large areas for expansion of the main Jewish settlements of Ariel, Maale Adumim and Gush Etzion, and expropriates swaths of Palestinian land by separating it from its owners.

In parallel, new building on Jewish settlements during the first quarter of this year rose by 83% on the same period in 2004. About 4,000 homes are under construction in Israel's West Bank colonies, with thousands more homes approved in the Ariel and Maale Adumim blocks that penetrate deep into the occupied territories. The total number of settlers has risen again this year with an estimated 14,000 moving to the West Bank, compared with 8,500 forced to leave Gaza.

Israel is also continuing to expand the amount of territory it intends to retain. In July alone, it seized more land in the West Bank than it surrendered in Gaza: it withdrew from about 19 square miles of territory while sealing off 23 sq miles of the West Bank around Maale Adumim.

Israel's strategy is to "strengthen the control over areas which will constitute an inseparable part of the state of Israel", the prime minister said after the Gaza pullout.



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majorvictory64
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posted 03 November 2005 03:35 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
From Gaza to the Galilee: Same Policy, Same Agenda

quote:
By Isabelle Humphries

ANYONE WHO thought Ariel Sharon’s unilateral “disengagement plan” was about planning for the best way to leave Gaza should think again. The Israel lobby currently is working on getting as much as $1.6 billion in aid from the U.S. government as part of the “disengagement” aid package, to be specifically earmarked for “developing the Galilee and the Negev.” Whatever the final details, President George W. Bush vocalized his support for the project, and U.S. sources have openly stated that “substantial” aid will be available for the Galilee/Negev component of the plan. For those unfamiliar with the geography, the Galilee and the Negev are regions within the area occupied by Israel in 1948, and are currently being targeted specifically because of their high density of Arab residents.

Plans to “Judaize” the Galilee and Negev are nothing new, and are aimed at the entire Israeli population, not just at creating housing to relocate the small number of Gaza settlers. In the 1950s Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, toured the country, expressing disgust at the number of Arab towns and villages he saw in the Galilee. His visit marked the start of a public policy of “Judaization” of the Galilee, the latest phase of which has been cleverly tacked on to Israel’s request for aid for the Gaza disengagement. Dispossessing Bedouin of their land in the southern Negev (Naqab) desert has been an equally important item on the Israeli agenda. Since 1948, land confiscation, crop spraying and home demolitions have forced Bedouin communities into overcrowded settlement towns with high unemployment and no access to the land, the traditional source of community life.

From the beginning, demographics within the areas occupied in 1948 have obsessed Israeli strategists, academics and politicians. With higher Arab than Jewish birthrates, the Zionist agenda of maintaining a state for one ethnic group only becomes increasingly difficult. In 1948 around 150,000 Palestinians managed to remain in their homes within the new borders of Israel. Today this Palestinian group numbers a million—or 20 percent of the Israeli population. The majority live in the Galilee and the Negev.

Throughout Israel’s history, land confiscation, housing demolition and underdevelopment of Arab towns and villages has been consistent government policy. While the current phase is just the latest in a long-running struggle, it represents Israel’s biggest push for “Judaization” of the Galilee since the building of a string of exclusively Jewish hilltop settlements in the 1970s. These settlements succeeded in boosting the Jewish population in Israel’s northernmost district, successfully breaking land contiguity between Arab villages and towns. Today not one Arab family lives in the 29 settlements of “Misgav,” the new Jewish municipality created in the Galilee.

As part of the new campaign to encourage Israeli Jews to move away from the coastal cities such as Tel Aviv and Haifa to fight the demographic battle in the hinterland, the government announced on June 19 that, for the next two years, land in the Galilee will be sold for half price. But in the overcrowded streets and homes of Arab villages no one is jumping for joy. ‘“Technically they don’t say it is for Jews only,” said Waleed, an architect from Nazareth, “but we are excluded. For example, a while back they created a housing project in Nazaret Illit (the Jewish settlement built on confiscated land around Nazareth). But when they saw that large numbers of those who had put their names down were Arabs they canceled it. Next thing it reappeared as a housing project for those who had served in the police or army, which of course is not us. They always find a way around it.”



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majorvictory64
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posted 07 November 2005 06:31 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Marooned

quote:
Bethlehem, a place of Christian pilgrimage for centuries, will soon be encircled by Israel's security barrier. Is the town to become no more than a museum among ancient shrines? John Harris meets the people campaigning to keep it alive

Saturday November 5, 2005
The Guardian

Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity seems bizarrely quiet, given that it's Sunday morning. A young man dressed in a Harley Davidson T-shirt distractedly sweeps the floor in front of its main altar, the odd group of tourists is escorted through the chapels and cloisters, and in a underground chamber, a small Armenian Orthodox service - a ceremony-cum-mystic-rite involving unbearably sweet clouds of incense and the booming incantations of a priest dressed in a pointed black hood - nears its conclusion. Every few minutes, the thought once again hits home: how strange that while people flock to churches in Tennessee, Lagos and London, the supposed birthplace of Jesus Christ is almost empty.
"For me, things are actually starting to improve," says Adel, one of the handful of tour guides who still make their living here. This is a regular refrain - that since the death of Yasser Arafat and the tentative revival of the peace process, visitors are starting to trickle back. "But it's still quiet," he continues. "People are scared to come to Bethlehem because of the checkpoints and so on. And we need them to stay here. Most of them have lunch in Bethlehem and then go back to Israel." This morning, he's seeing to the needs of a party of Indonesian Christians, who tumble into the so-called Grotto of the Nativity in a small riot of awe-struck gasps and popping flashbulbs, excitedly crowding around a 14-pointed metallic star said to mark the spot on which Christ took his first earthly breaths. "We were a little scared to come here," one of them tells me. "The Israeli soldiers came on the bus and checked all our bags. But it's OK now. We feel safe."

This is the message that Bethlehem is desperate to send to the world. This month sees the launch of an initiative - Open Bethlehem - intended to help rescue this town, at least, among all the towns on the West Bank facing isolation and collapse. By spreading word of Bethlehem's surprising calm and the endlessly hospitable spirit that has made pilgrims welcome for centuries, the campaigners hope to encourage visitors to return. There is a particular urgency because Israel's infamous security barrier is near completion, while a ring of expanding Jewish settlements eats into Palestinian territory. According to Open Bethlehem's first briefing paper, "The cradle of biblical history is in peril. Today, it resembles a bleak prison town surrounded by a concrete wall." The unspoken question is this: why, given the place of Bethlehem in the Christian imagination, does the outside world seem so unconcerned?



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majorvictory64
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posted 17 November 2005 04:26 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The victim is required to guarantee the security of his oppressor

quote:
By Mike Odetalla

11/16/05 "ICH "

Dear Hillary,

My name is Mike Odetalla. I am a Palestinian/American and a father of three, who was born in 1960 in my ancestral village of Beit Hanina, which is a suburb of Jerusalem, and according to internationally recognized laws, conventions, and resolutions, is considered part of the occupied Palestinian Territories that were invaded and captured by Israel in the 1967 war. I was a child of war, having lived through the 1967 war, whereby my mother, my siblings, and I were forced to flee our home and seek refuge in the scorpion infested caves that populate the hills that surrounded our village.

During the first night of the war, our family and the other 20 odd women, children, and the elderly, which included my 6 days old nephew, barely escaped getting blown to bits by an Israeli fighter jet that circled over head, its metallic body glistening under the full moon lit sky, which then proceeded to fire a missile into the mouth of the cave a mere few moments after my mother grabbed us, imploring the others in the cave to follow, as we scampered into a nearby olive grove, clinging to each other for comfort as the flash and deafening thunder of the blast rang in our years.

We spent the next 20 odd days moving from cave to cave as my mother and the other women tried to sneak back into the abandoned houses in our village, managing at times only gather flour and precious water for their children. Jews celebrate Passover by eating unleavened bread, which signifies their hurried Exodus out of Egypt whereby they took and baked the dough before it had time to rise. My mother baked our bread in the same fashion since we also did not have the luxury of waiting for the bread, as we were on the move, trying to stay one step ahead of the Israelis.

In 2002, when my American born children were old enough to fully understand and comprehend, I took them back to the hills of Beit Hanina and the to the very same caves that I huddled in with my family 35 years prior. We retraced our steps as we fled our homes in that June moonlit night, stopping in front of the cave whose mouth was destroyed by the Israeli fired missile. It was important for me to show my children and tell them of my experiences as well as the experiences of their grandparents on their mother’s side who were ethnically cleansed from their homes and lands by the Zionist founders of Israel in 1948, forcing them and more than 750,000 other Palestinians to become homeless refugees, living in squalid conditions in refugee camps. Their grandparent’s home in the village of Lifta still stands today, even though their grandparents are not allowed to move back, contrary to UN Resolution 194, and other internationally recognized Laws, and conventions that deal with the refugees Right of Return to their homes.

I know that these details might not be of importance to you, but they are very important to me and to the millions of other Palestinians, especially in light of your recent trip to the Holy Land, whereby you reiterated your support for the Apartheid wall that Israel has been building to imprison my people into discombobulated walled off ghettos and in the process, steal their precious lands.



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majorvictory64
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posted 21 November 2005 08:47 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The frog is exhausted

quote:
By Amira Hass

If you throw a frog into boiling water, it will jump out and save its life. But a frog swimming in room temperature water that is gradually heated will grow used to the heat; by the time the water boils, it's too late and the frog dies. That's another metaphor for the resilience of the Palestinians against any new weapon with which they are attacked, a new Israeli regulation further limiting them, a land expropriation. True, the frog doesn't die, but it is exhausted.

But there's an absentee present making sure the temperature constantly rises. In the development of the Israeli system of control over the Palestinian people and their land, the Israeli occupation has raised to the level of genius the use of gradualness as a means of making people grow used to something. The gradualness is implemented over a period of time, but it is also spread out over space.

The Israeli assault on the chances of the Palestinian people to lead normal lives is evident in millions of different ways. Here, a family is hurt, there, a village. Here it's from ammunition, there from settlers, here it's a new military order. A lot of it is reported on our side, but spread out. The assault is intensified gradually. But the overall totality of the damage is not felt, because of the way it is gradually applied, dispersed over large areas.

Gideon Levy reports on children from the south Hebron area, killed and wounded by an Israel Defense Forces phosphorus shell. According to international law, the use of phosphorus shells in populated areas is forbidden, Levy reminds his readers. The IDF Spokesman promises the use of phosphorus shells is "only to mark boundaries and the boundaries of sectors," and that the IDF will scout the area and neutralize any shells or similar devices, if found, for the safety of the residents. In other words, Levy notified the army that there was a population in the area, and that when the army leaves a training area it should neutralize any remaining dangerous ammunition left behind. The report in the weekend paper passed without any other media reaction to it, since it's just another Palestinian child who will be killed and just another Palestinian child who will suffer dreadful pain because of a wound, so it's not news. We've gotten used to it.



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majorvictory64
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posted 08 December 2005 12:35 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No peace with Sharon

quote:
The Gaza withdrawal has been a veil for continued persecution and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians

Gerald Kaufman
Wednesday December 7, 2005
The Guardian

I know the attractive Israeli seaside resort of Netanya well, having stayed several times at my niece's flat there. Not long ago I heard on BBC radio a series of interviews with residents of Netanya, which has in the past suffered a number of terrorist attacks. They rejoiced at how much easier the situation had become following the building of the Israeli separation wall, designed specifically to protect places like Netanya, located at the narrow neck of Israel's pre-1967 border. Two days ago five people were killed in a suicide bombing in Netanya.
All terrorist attacks are unjustifiable atrocities. Five Israelis are the latest victims. Over the past months, 15 Palestinians, two of them children, have been killed by Israeli troops. Their deaths attracted no headlines, but they are dead just the same.

I recently returned from leading the first British parliamentary delegation to the Palestinian Authority. What we saw is never seen by ordinary, decent Israelis, like the citizens of Netanya - who, since they dare not venture into the occupied territories, have no idea of the persecution of Palestinians being carried out in their name.

Last there two years ago, I was appalled at how an already unacceptable situation has deteriorated. There are now more than 600 fixed checkpoints in the tiny Palestinian area, which, with so-called flying checkpoints, make free movement almost impossible. In Bethlehem, which used to be crammed with tourists, we saw just two groups in Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity. The Old City of Nablus, which I knew for a quarter of a century as a hub of commercial activity, is also desolate. Heavily-armed Israeli troops man walls, gates and huts, all preventing Palestinians from moving about.

When our delegation, with Nablus Palestinians as our guides, tried to walk down one street our way was barred by Israeli soldiers pointing threatening weapons. When I explained our mission, a soldier said: "You can pass, but the Arabs cannot." Naturally, we refused to proceed. Meanwhile, we saw busloads of illegal Jewish settlers sailing through this restricted area at will.

One of the motivations of this policy is to make the lives of the Palestinians so intolerable that they get out. The success of this ethnic cleansing is shown in Ramallah, which in the two years since I was last there (meeting Yasser Arafat in the bunker where he was incarcerated) has become bloated as Palestinians from other areas of the West Bank huddle together there.

After Monday's bombing, Shaul Mofaz, defence minister and would-be successor to Ariel Sharon as Likud leader, put targeted killings of Palestinian "extremists" and blowing-up of suicide bombers' homes back on the Israeli agenda, though even he cannot be too stupid to understand that such reprisals will be used by Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organisations as a pretext for the murder of more Israeli civilians.



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The Danite
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Babbler # 10896

posted 09 December 2005 01:24 AM      Profile for The Danite        Edit/Delete Post
Cue Ballafter reading your very sick analogies between Zionis and Nazism I can only conclude that you are one sick mother fucking degenerate anti semite.I suspected it along you have that certain smell we know well.Michelle for some reason you ban someone for saying cue ball has become"unhinged" with hatred but its okay for him to say Israel is a concentration camp.You are totaly biased and blind in your one sided application of the rules.Pathetic to see an anti semite degenerate protected by someones distorted sense of polictical correctness.
From: Quebec | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3807

posted 09 December 2005 03:28 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Before you leave, I'd like to ask if you just skimmed over the part where Cueball said he was part-Jewish and that his grandparents survived the Holocaust.
From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
ixnay
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4418

posted 09 December 2005 07:20 AM      Profile for ixnay     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iranian president's latest rage against Jews

quote:
"Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and they insist on it to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that they condemn that person and throw them in jail," Mr. Ahmadinejad said at a news conference in Mecca yesterday, according to the Iranian news agency IRNA. "Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, our question for the Europeans is: Is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for their support of the occupiers of Jerusalem?
...
An Iranian-produced film questioning the veracity of the Holocaust is expected to be broadcast soon on Iranian state-owned television and on the Lebanese al-Manar TV, owned by the Iranian terrorist proxy organization Hezbollah, Mr. Amir said.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 December 2005 07:47 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry you had to leave so soon, The Danite.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ohara
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7961

posted 09 December 2005 08:03 AM      Profile for ohara        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:
Before you leave, I'd like to ask if you just skimmed over the part where Cueball said he was part-Jewish and that his grandparents survived the Holocaust.
I certainly do not defend Danite's methods on Babble. That is not how we play the game and Michelle took appropriate action according to the rules which by now should be well known to all.

As for al-Qa'bong's admonition, it is no defence against actual anti-Semitism.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 December 2005 10:36 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree with you on that, ohara. However, that's not really the issue - I honestly don't think Cueball's remarks that prompted The Danite's outburst were antisemitic, which is why I didn't say anything in the thread.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 09 December 2005 02:44 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:
Before you leave, I'd like to ask if you just skimmed over the part where Cueball said he was part-Jewish and that his grandparents survived the Holocaust.


I don't think that is really relevant. However, people are always bringing up their credentials. I think anyone should be allowed to say anything, more or less.

My idea, actually expressed on the thread in discussion, is losely based on the ideas of Zygmund Bauman, whom in the epilogue to his book Modernity and the Holocaust, made the case that the parts of the Zionist culture that inheritted the psychological legacy of abuse by the Nazis is playing out the guilt fixation of those who did not directly experience the abuse that their forefathers and mothers edured.

"Where better" to play out those psychological schisms, than in the West Bank among the cursing and "stone throwing Palestinians?"

In particular he is talking about the settlers movement, as a kind of messianic American cult of abuse.

While my heritage is irrelvant, all of the sources I quouted are European Jewish scholars.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3807

posted 09 December 2005 05:26 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I don't think that is really relevant.

I agree, but given that The Danite was calling you an antisemite, it seemed an appropriate bit of information to point out.


quote:
As for al-Qa'bong's admonition, it is no defence against actual anti-Semitism.

What does this mean?


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Peech
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9272

posted 09 December 2005 06:24 PM      Profile for Peech   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
My beef is with other Jews who are Zionists. I can think of nothing that would have please Hitler more than to have all the Jews, stuck in fucking camp in the middle of a desert suroundd by gun toting enemies. He'd have loved it.

My idea, actually expressed on the thread in discussion, is losely based on the ideas of Zygmund Bauman, whom in the epilogue to his book Modernity and the Holocaust, made the case that the parts of the Zionist culture that inherited the psychological legacy of abuse by the Nazis is playing out the guilt fixation of those who did not directly experience the abuse that their forefathers and mothers edured.



I read (with great pain) the last thread. For the record it's unfortunate that those 2 posters crashed and burned and definately needed to be "disposed of". I wonder whether they came here with a huge chip or became frustrated with what goes on in the ME forum. (not to excuse them in any way.)At any rate I feel for Michelle who has the unenviable job of babysitting this forum.
Cue I do not believe you are anti-semitic.
However you posts are very troubling. I too believe in free speech but one must be accountable for the logical consequences of speech. You say it's only Zionists not all Jews you "have a beef with." well at least 50% if not more of Jews believe in the necessity of Jewish homeland. Ergo, you "have a beef with" what 50% or is it 60 or maybe 75% of Jews? Secondly the only logical conclusion I have drawn from your continuous (and articulate if not misguided) argument is that Israel should not exist, not as a Jewish state. In fact should there be a Jewish state at all? Believe it or not there are leftist Zionists, who want peace which includes justice for the Palestinians, but not without participation of all the Middle East players. Israel, Palestine, and all their neighbours. And not with exclusive blame on Israel. For God's sake Israel exists. Get over it! You can't put the tooth paste back in the proverbial tube.

I know you are a well meaning "liberal" thinker. But many true racists and anti-semites (of which you are not) have hidden behind the "I am not against Jews just Zionists" line. Just cruise the far right web sites. Maybe that's what caused Danite and Ginger Gar to detonate (again not to excuse them in any way.) Liberalism is not in a vacuum. I have had this debate with Norman Finklestein at length. I think he is genuine and and not a racist, but a lot of anti-semites and Jew-haters eat up what he has to say. He provides fuel for them. I am sorry but he cannot claim ignorance or purity of thought. This is the real world with real consequences.

Finally I came across this victims victimizing other victims analogy long ago to "explain" Israel's "victimizing" of the Palestinians. While I am no expert on Zygmunt Bauman, his comment was in an epilogue and he said "parts of Zionism". I would agree. Israel was founded by the old guard (of which Sharon is one.) But it has and will evolve. Many wrongs need to be corrected. But to tar the whole nation as you do is incorrect. I have wanted to say these things to you for a while, but unfortunately it seems the ME forum has become well...a dysfunctional palce. A pissing match. It's not productive and it's abusive. So much so, that I have questioned ever returning. But, you have been accused of something serious and I think it's important that I state as much as I profoundly disagree with you, I believe your intentions are genuine.


From: Babbling Brook | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
ohara
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7961

posted 09 December 2005 06:46 PM      Profile for ohara        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:

What does this mean?


You just dont get it do you. See Michelle's position. It may help you. For the record the fact that someone is allegedly Jewish is no cloak against bigotry and anti-Semitism

From: Ottawa | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 09 December 2005 08:26 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, and the alledgedly part is the part which it the rub isn't it?

How would you know?

So for the record it is irrelevant.

My statements stand as they are, as an opposition to the racialist ideas which inspired many of the original Zinoists, as well as their racist European compatriots.

These are the views of many articulate Jewish and non Jewsih people, and you will either confront them on their merit, based on the evidence, or you can simply engage in cheap shot slander and covert accusation of lying.

By which I mean, alledgely covert accusation of lying.

But its a message board, and I am anonymous, so you can either confront the issue raised, which is the fundamental acceptance of European racism and the belief that Jews should not be in Europe that lies both at the heart of Zionism and Christian european racism, or you can lower yourself to mere speculations.

The fact is that there is a strong current among many Jews, including many Zionist who agree that the British intent for the creation of a Jewish state on Arab land was as much an advent of British Gentile anti-semetism (AKA the Jewish problem) as it was anything to do with an inate Jewish desire for seperation.

So, instead making vague and unprovable allegation, why not simply go to a book store and pick up the books that I have referenced here.

Again, "Modernity and the Holocaust" Zygmund Bauman and also "I will Bear Witness" bu Victor Klemperer.

And yes, you are right, the mythology of the "self-hating" Jew, is just another mode that Zionists use to club the non-Zionist community into submission, and to force them into embarassed silence, so that no one ever questions your warped belief that Arab land is free, and can be taken with club and gun, while you must purchase property from the Christians.

[ 09 December 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 09 December 2005 08:33 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks Peech. I appreciate your respectful and up front manner, and your refusal to sink into the gutter of inuendo. No matter how much we disagree, I know that you are honestly looking for solutions not justifications, which is the most important thing.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3807

posted 09 December 2005 10:17 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by ohara:
You just dont get it do you. See Michelle's position. It may help you. For the record the fact that someone is allegedly Jewish is no cloak against bigotry and anti-Semitism

I guess I don't get "it" (especially since "it" wasn't defined). Michelle said that she didn't think Cueball was antisemitic.

And don't worry; babble's given us ample evidence to demonstrate that being Jewish and being a bigot are not necessarily mutually exclusive.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Peech
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9272

posted 09 December 2005 10:58 PM      Profile for Peech   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:
And don't worry; babble's given us ample evidence to demonstrate that being Jewish and being a bigot are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

And this is a demonstration of a very deliberately nasty, and totally uncalled for innuendo.


From: Babbling Brook | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3807

posted 10 December 2005 12:33 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh please.

Jewish babblers have made bigotted statements , as have Gentile babblers.

And saying so isn't innuendo.

[ 10 December 2005: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Peech
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9272

posted 10 December 2005 02:13 AM      Profile for Peech   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:
And don't worry; babble's given us ample evidence to demonstrate that being Jewish and being a bigot are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

You're right again! I misunderstood. This is just more fun-loving innocent Q'amedy. Or, an "altruistic" "observation." Maybe a "cultural, or anthropological theory."

[ 10 December 2005: Message edited by: Peech ]


From: Babbling Brook | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
majorvictory64
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7194

posted 10 December 2005 02:19 AM      Profile for majorvictory64     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Foreign Ministry denounces U.S. lawsuit against ex-Shin Bet chief

quote:
By Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz Correspondent, and AP

The Foreign Ministry condemned on Friday a civil lawsuit filed in the U.S. against former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter for the deaths of 14 Palestinian civilians who were killed in a targeted hit on a senior Hamas operative in 2002.

"We see this as a cynical manipulation of the courts by groups with extremist agendas," said Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Palestinians filed the suit against Dichter in a U.S. federal court Thursday, seeking millions of dollars in damages.

The plaintiffs are relatives of the 14 civilians who were killed when Israel assassinated senior Hamas operative Salah Shehadeh in July 2002.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court - Southern District of New York.

While Palestinians have previously filed suit in the United States against other Israeli security officials, Dichter, unlike the defendants in those cases, is currently in the U.S. As a result, the plaintiffs have been able to serve him with the papers, thereby enabling the court to hear the case.

According to the suit, Dichter shares responsibility for the deaths both because of his role in the decision to drop a one-ton bomb on the building where Shehadeh was staying and because he supplied the intelligence on which that decision was based.

The plaintiffs seek to hold Dichter responsible under customary international law and the Torture Victim Protection Act. They say the court would have jurisdiction for human rights violations and war crimes under the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act, a law that has been used by Holocaust survivors and relatives of people killed or tortured under despotic regimes from South America to the Philippines.

The lawsuit, brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights, says the bombing occurred as part of a series of targeted attacks on suspected terrorists that has killed 327 people and at least 174 non-targeted bystanders, including at least 47 children, since September 2000.



From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 10 December 2005 02:13 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
al-Q and ohara, seriously, can't you bicker by private mail instead?

This thread is long, so I'm closing it.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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