WAITING FOR "TERRORISM"
MER - WASHINGTON - 9/13:
In the past year far fewer Israelis have died as a result of
"terrorism" than any other year since "Oslo". Far more Israelis die
yearly in traffic accidents than at the hands of Palestinians quite legitimately fighting
against their occupation, dispossession, and torture -- now through the "triple
occupation" of the Arafat regime, the Israeli army, and the American CIA.
It's quite a game that's been going on over the past year
actually.The Israelis will never admit it, but they've been doing all they can to
stimulate terrorism, while at the same time badgering Arafat all they can to have him
repress and terrorize his own people.
And the Hamas organization will never admit it but they've been
doing all they can to hold back the many Palestinian activists and potential martyrs, not
wanting to play into Israel's hands at this time, hoping to get the Israeli army
roadblocks moved abit further away through "redeployments", even if they
understandable oppose the overall "Oslo" arrangements signed 5 long years ago
today on the White House lawn.
With the recent Israeli assassinations of leading Hamas
activists,coupled with Israeli manipulation of the Arafat "Authority" to
increasingly and severely repress Hamas-oriented persons and institutions, ongoing
attempts continue to be made to heat up the overall situation and provoke a
"terrorist" response. These two AP articles from yesterday and today outline
quite mildly the still growing tensions in the area.
INTENSIFY IN WEST BANK
By LAURA KING
JERUSALEM (Associated Press - 9/12)
U.S. envoy Dennis Ross struggled Saturday to
revive the moribund Mideast peace process while street clashes in West Bank cities injured
at least 16 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier.
The latest violence was triggered by Israel's slaying of two top
Hamas fugitives, which drew threats of vengeance from the Islamic militant group and
prompted some calls to scrap the peace talks altogether.
The Israeli military was on high alert and the Palestinian lands
remained sealed off for a second day after Hamas threatened to stage suicide-bomb attacks
inside Israel -- something that has not happened in more than a year.
`We are under a constant threat of terrorism,'' Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said as he headed into talks with Ross, demanding that
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat do everything possible to crack down on groups that stage
attacks in Israel.
As if to pre-empt that call, Palestinian police staged an
extraordinary display of public force against Hamas on Saturday. About 3,000 officers beat
and dispersed a protest by about 200 Hamas activists in Gaza City.
Palestinian police later explained the action by saying the
demonstration was unauthorized -- although such gatherings are often condoned -- and
claiming the Hamas supporters had thrown stones at police.
Meanwhile, Israeli peace activists staged their biggest rally in
months on Saturday to denounce the government's failure to move the peace process ahead. A
crowd estimated by police at 40,000 and organizers at up to 100,000 gathered in a Tel Aviv
square, some holding signs reading: ``Bibi is dangerous for Israel'' - a reference to
Against this tense backdrop, Ross held a three-hour meeting with
Arafat in the West Bank town of Nablus.
Neither spoke to reporters afterward, but Arafat walked the envoy to
his car and they talked for another five minutes there, with Arafat whispering insistently
into Ross' ear.
While the two were meeting, about 2,000 students at a nearby
university staged a rally to protest Thursday's killings of fugitive Palestinian brothers
Imad and Adel Awadallah and call for a halt to any further peace talks.
Little progress has been reported so far in the shuttle meetings
Ross has been holding daily since his arrival on Wednesday.On the table is a U.S. proposal
for an Israeli withdrawal from 13 percent of the West Bank and detailed provisions for
Palestinian cooperation with Israel and the United States on security, an issue Ross has
been try to untangle during this visit.
Israel has long said the Palestinians are not doing enough to fight
Islamic militants. A security blueprint was worked out by Israeli, Palestinian and U.S.
security officials in December, but was rejected by Netanyahu as insufficient.
In Saturday's West Bank clashes: About 80 teen-agers, some masked
and armed with slingshots, hurled stones and bottles at Israeli troops at the Jewish
enclave of Rachel's Tomb. At least four Palestinians were hit by rubber bullets, and army
radio said a soldier was injured as well.
Soldiers in and around Ramallah fired tear gas and rubber bullets to
disperse dozens of stone throwers. Army radio said at least 10 Palestinians were hurt. Two
Palestinians were hit by rubber bullets after a crowd stoned soldiers in the divided town
The Palestinian Cabinet, meeting at its customary late hour on
Friday, suggested Israel's killing of the Hamas fugitives -- who were slain in a hail of
bullets in their West Bank hideout -- was timed to doom Ross' mission.
``There is no hope for progress if Israel continues with such
policies,'' the Cabinet said in a statement.Israel sometimes targets alleged terrorists
for assassination, a practice tacitly accepted by the Israeli public but consistently
condemned by human rights groups.
``Events ... prove the relentless continuation of the Israeli policy
of extra-judicial executions,'' the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens'
Rights said in a statement Saturday.
Meanwhile, in a show of defiance, the Palestinian Cabinet said it
had discussed preparations for a declaration of statehood in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
at Friday night's meeting. Arafat has said he would proclaim statehood on May 4, 1999,
regardless of whether a final peace agreement with Israel had been negotiated.
Netanyahu has hinted he might respond to such a declaration by
annexing chunks of the West Bank, which would likely set off an explosion of violence.
BRACES FOR REVENGE ATTACKS
By LAURIE COPANS
JERUSALEM (Associated Press 9-13)
Israel braced for threatened revenge attacks
by Islamic militants, deploying troops Sunday to guard bus stops, shopping centers and
other possible targets. Israeli media said the alert status was unprecedented.
Speaking on the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Oslo
accords, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the peace process for not preventing
``The Oslo agreement was supposed to bring peace. This means that
there wouldn't be terror attacks here from the territory handed over to the
Palestinians,'' Netanyahu said on Israel Radio.
Despite these misgivings, Netanyahu reaffirmed his commitment to the
agreement signed by the previous Labor government. ``We are trying to fix its damage,'' he
Netanyahu said he had, in recent meetings with U.S. peace envoy
Dennis Ross, demanded the Palestinians suppress terror groups like Hamas as a condition
for advancing the peace process.
Hamas has promised to retaliate against Israel for its killing
Thursday of two fugitives of the group's military wing who were wanted for their alleged
involvement in attacks against Israel.
Hundreds of Palestinians called for revenge bombings against Israel
in pro-Hamas demonstrations Saturday throughout the West Bank. At least 16 Palestinians
and two Israeli soldiers were injured in ensuing clashes.
In efforts to avert a possible Hamas attack, security forces
canceled leaves for police and soldiers and troops fanned out to cities throughout the
country to protect shopping areas and bus stops -- targets of previous suicide bomb
Despite the threats, Ross continued in his efforts to get Netanyahu
and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to agree on a U.S. proposal to end the 18-month
stalemate in the peace talks.
According to the intiative, Israel would withdraw troops from 13
percent of the West Bank in tandem with Palestinian agreement to smother anti-Israeli
Neither side has reported any progress in Ross' meetings, which
began Wednesday. Sunday marked the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 13, 1993 signing of the
first Oslo peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians, which set a framework for
eventual Palestinian autonomy.
Since the signing, Palestinians have assumed self-rule in the Gaza
Strip and now control large towns in the West Bank, but other major provisions of Oslo
have not been implemented amid mutual recriminations.