ISRAELI ARMY ON THE RAMPAGE
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ISRAELI ARMY ON THE RAMPAGE

May 17, 2001

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 5/16: The Israelis are more and more specifically targeting children, journalists, and Palestinians at all levels. The goal is to create such fear, such intimidation, such apprehension, that the Intifada will be worn down, televison coverage will be lessened, Israeli domination will be reasserted, and the Arafat Regime will be able to grab the reigns of Palestinian society once again and "renew" the "peace process". Of course this is just one more twist in a very long story now and is to be done strictly on Israeli and American terms, which is what the miserable Mitchell Report is all about.

The Palestinian people appear to realize at this point that if they are ever to achieve independence and a State worth having they must do so now; that the Intifada cannot be ended on any other terms, that the Mitchell report is one more subterfuge, that the Arafat regime can never again be trusted, that the American government is hopelessly aligned with the Israelis, that the Arab regimes are despicable in their weakness and servitude.

PALESTINIAN POLICE SHOT DEAD WHILE COOKING SUPPER

By Phil Reeves in Beituniya, West Bank

[The Independent - 15 May 2001]

Versions of exactly how and why Israeli soldiers shot dead five Palestinian security men at one of the quietest and least defended checkpoints in the West Bank differed wildly yesterday, but one incriminating fact was clear. As 50mm machine-gun bullets tore into the outpost which is nothing more than a corrugated iron shack one victim was making a late supper.

A half-cooked bowl of tomatoes and peppers was still sitting on the top of the stove, a few hours after the bodies had been cleared away. A jar of olive oil lay shattered on the ground. On a shelf there was a blood-spattered plastic bag, containing pitta bread. Some of the bread, drenched in gore, had spilt out in the mle.

Why is this incriminating? Because Palestinian security guards, no matter how young and inexperienced, do not usually cook when their paramilitary colleagues are as one senior Israeli official initially alleged yesterday shooting at Israeli soldiers.

They do not cook because they know that when their colleagues shoot at Israeli soldiers, as they sometimes do, the Israelis shoot back with heavy machine-guns, or with tank shells, or rocket-propelled grenades or sometimes even missiles fired from helicopters.

And they especially do not cook inside a half-built tin shack, a squalid wreck of a building whose roof is held on by rocks, and which is generally no more equipped to withstand a military assault than a potting shed in an English allotment.

When they hear shots in the vicinity from either side, the Palestinian guards rapidly take cover. They may also begin to shoot. But the young man who died in the squalid shed behind the equally squalid Palestinian police post at Beituniya near Ramallah at 2am yesterday did not have time to do either. Nor, claimed the Palestinians who had gathered at the scene, did the two policemen who were shot inside the shed as they were eating their suppers, or the two others who were outside the post, apparently keeping guard.

Attempts to extract an explanation from the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) yesterday about this incident, the most deadly assault in the past three months, drew a blank.

At first, IDF officials told reporters their soldiers were engaged in an operation in the area, which is where West Bank territory under total Israeli military control Area C, as it is known meets territory under Palestinian control, Area A. The Israeli troops had fired at "suspicious figures", the army said.

But yesterday afternoon, even this sparse and inadequate explanation had evaporated. A spokeswoman said the IDF had no comment at all. We are left only with suspicion the alarming possibility that it was a planned, ruthlessly executed extra-judicial mass killing. The position of the bullet holes in the walls of the shack suggested that most of the shots were fired from a tall, empty building that overlooks the outpost, about 250 yards away.

Yasser Arafat denounced the killing of the men who were all from Gaza and aged between 18 and 32 as "dirty ... assassinations". His Information Minister, Yasser Abed Rabbo, said the killings constituted "pre-meditated cold-blooded murder by the Israeli army".

The Palestinian guard post had been set up through co-ordination with the Israeli security forces, Mr Abed Rabbo said. "This post has never been engaged in attacks or exchange of fire with the Israelis."

Much importance was being attached yesterday to the timing of the killings. They came on the eve of Nakba Day a highly volatile event in which Palestinians in the occupied territories and Israel hold marches and demonstrations to mourn the founding of the state of Israel in 1948. Bloodshed seems certain. They also happened just before the deadline for both sides to submit their responses to the Mitchell committee report.

There was no suggestion that the dead men were from Force 17 the bodyguard of Mr Arafat or Fatah. It appears that they were simply guards from the Palestinian National Forces. By hitting them, Israel may be trying to pressure the Palestinian Authority, by sowing panic in its ranks. But it would be hard to find a policy more likely to backfire.

EXCERPTS from recent press reports about Israeli targetting of journalists:

The Committee to Protect Journalists

"....we remain deeply concerned about the IDF's record of harassing, intimidating, and attacking journalists, despite the Israeli government's stated commitment to press freedom. Since the current unrest began last September, CPJ has documented nearly two dozen cases in which journalists were wounded by Israeli gunfire, beaten by security forces, or otherwise prevented from doing their work. Meanwhile, physical attacks by Jewish settlers against journalists continue with impunity."

"These incidents appear to match a pttern of similar abuses documented by CPJ over the years. On March 8, for example, an IDF soldier in an armored carrier opened fire in the direction of three Reuters journalists at the Netzarim Junction in Gaza. According to Reuters, reporter Christine Hauser, cameraman Ahmed Bahadou, and free-lance photographer Suhaib Salem were about 50 meters (160 feet) from the armored carrier when the soldier started firing a heavy machine gun in their direction. The journalists quickly took cover."

". Recently, our organization sent a letter of inquiry to the IDF requesting information about the wounding of French photographer Laurent Van der Stock, 36, a veteran photographer working with the Gamma photo agency and Newsweek. On February 9, Van der Stock was seriously wounded by live gunfire near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Based on CPJ's investigation into the case, it appears likely that he was hit by IDF gunfire"

Mideast-Journalist Shot

31.10.2000 23:09:00 AP "Ben Wedeman, 41, the CNN bureau chief in Cairo, was in stable condition after a bullet entered his back and came out his side, officials at the Shifa hospital inGaza said."

Israelis shoot US photographer in West Bank

11.11.2000 Israeli troops confronting stone-throwing Palestinians shot and wounded a U.S. news photographer outside Bethlehem on Saturday, Palestinian hospital officials said. They said Yola Monakhov, 26, was hit by a so-called "dumdum" bullet, which fragments inside the body. She suffered a ruptured bladder and fractured pelvis.

Reporter Shot

21.4.2001 "A Palestinian journalist was wounded in the Gaza Strip on Friday in what she said was an unprovoked shooting by Israeli troops... Laila Odeh, 33, a reporter for Abu Dhabi Television, said she was shot in the back of her right thigh as she tried to evade fire from Israeli soldiers manning a tower about 40 yards away on the Israeli-Egyptian border. "There were no clashes while I was there. The Israelis fired without any warning," Odeh said in a telephone interview."

Reporter Shot

16.5.2001 (yesterday) "RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- A flak jacket may well have saved the life of a French TV reporter shot Tuesday while covering violence in the West Bank. Bertrand Aguirre, a correspondent for the French TV network TF1, was hit in the midsection by a bullet, apparently fired by an Israeli. The protective vest stopped it. Aguirre was standing among TV cameramen near Ramallah in the West Bank. An Associated Press Television News photographer's video shows an Israeli border policeman, a cigarette dangling from his mouth, jump out of a dark green jeep, aim his M-16 rifle in the direction of the reporters and fire a single shot. He charged that the Israeli paramilitary policeman targeted him. "It was clear that I am a journalist and the camera was proof," Aguirre said.


May 2001


Magazine



FEISAL HUSSEINI - DEAD AT 60 IN KUWAIT
(May 31, 2001)
Feisal Husseini will be buried tomorrow in Jerusalem with great circumstance. However whatever else he was, and many think he was a good and committed man, he was a fairly simple man and he certainly was not a great man.

SHARON SHOULD SURRENDER TO HISTORY
(May 25, 2001)
Like many nation states born out of war, Israel must re-evaluate its past in order to move forward, argues Mark Mazower*

THE GAZA GHETTO/PRISON
(May 25, 2001)
The "Gaza Strip" is a huge ghetto; created of course by the Israelis. In a sense it is also the largest prison in the world as the great majority of those who reside in Gaza are unable to leave and return through any of the handful of Israeli army checkposts which control who comes and goes.

APARTHEID ISRAEL
(May 24, 2001)
"There is a huge gap between us (Jews) and our enemies -- not just in ability but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience. They are our neighbors here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred meters away, there are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy."

WATER WARS
(May 24, 2001)
In the end its not really the "settlements" that will determine which civilization will prosper in the once Holy Land now so fought over by the descendants of Abraham. Control and use of WATER is even more at the heart of the conflict between the two competing societies.

CONTINUE THE INTIFADA
(May 23, 2001)
It's a terrible deal for the Palestinians actually -- they expected to give up their very justifiable struggle against the occupier in exchange for another promise to "freeze settlements". Gee...it was just last year that Yasser Arafat was proclaiming ad infinitum that no matter what there would be a Palestinian State by the end of the year!

WHAT THE "MITCHELL COMMISSION REPORT" REALLY SAYS
(May 23, 2001)
"Here's your lifeline Yasser, Nabil, Jabril, and all you Palestinian VIPs -- and you better grab it because it may be the last one you get".

THE MITCHELL COMMISSION REPORT -- A LONG SORDID HISTORY
(May 22, 2001)
The big fix is on of course with the "Mitchell Commission Report". Other madmen desperately scampering from one TV studio to the next are "Ambassador" Dennis Ross, now back at the Israeli/Jewish lobby from whence he came, and of course Senator Mitchell, himself retired from the most pro-Israeli political body on the planet ...

ARAFAT AND THE WORLD FORCED TO DANCE TO SHARON'S WAR TUNES
(May 21, 2001)
The Israelis are pushing their lies, schemes, deceptions, and brutality more than ever these days. It's all designed of course to demoralize and confuse the Palestinians, to twist and torture them into submission.

BREAKING NEWS - RAJOUB HIT
(May 20, 2001)
Jibril Rajoub is a favorite of the CIA, the headquarters of which he has personally visited numerous times in recent years on his visits to Washington. His force is the main one trained by the CIA in order to keep the Arafat Regime in power ...

TRUE MARTYRDOM
(May 20, 2001)
Mahmoud Ahmed Marmash -- 21 and now departed -- never knew anything other than Israel's brutal military occupation. He never knew anything other than Arab "client regimes" and the Arafat "Authority". He never knew anything other than a savage Israeli army, fueled by an increasingly racist ideology, armed and financed by America.

ISRAEL - APARTHEID IN THE MIDDLE EAST
(May 20, 2001)
A little trip back in history's lane will result in all kinds of close connections between Israel and South Africa in the days of Apartheid. And during that trip one will discover that Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin were at the top of the list of those promoting those relations.

THE ARAB AMERICANS and their "CLIENT ORGANIZATIONS"
(May 19, 2001)
There are many desperate and depressed people out there these days, especially among Palestinians, their friends, and the Jewish left that is mortified to awaken to find itself with Ariel Sharon as Prime Minister, the hoped for salvation of the Oslo "Peace Process" destroyed, and one of their false prophets, Shimon Peres, at Sharon's side.

SUICIDE BOMB, ISRAELI AIR STRIKES CAUSE NEW CARNAGE
(May 18, 2001)
A suicide bombing followed by retaliatory Israeli air strikes killed 16 people and injured 200 on Friday in one of the bloodiest days since a Palestinian uprising erupted nearly eight months ago.

ISRAEL'S ARMY - A NEW, PERHAPS DANGERSOUS, FREEDOM
(May 18, 2001)
TRIGGER-HAPPY troops set loose? Questions about the response of Israeli soldiers facing Palestinian demonstrators are being asked, and not just by Palestinians. But suspicions about individual behaviour are less relevant than the clear fact that the army, given its head by Ariel Sharon, has made a deliberate decision ...

SEVEN KILLED, OVER 50 INJURED IN SUICIDE BOMB ATTACK
(May 18, 2001)
A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to the Hasharon shopping mall in the center of the coastal town of Netanya at around 11.30 A.M on Friday morning. Seven people were killed in the blast, one of them most likely the bomber himself.

ISRAELI ARMY ON THE RAMPAGE
(May 17, 2001)
The Israelis are more and more specifically targeting children, journalists, and Palestinians at all levels. The goal is to create such fear, such intimidation, such apprehension, that ...

MORE BLOOD AND MEMORIES FLOW ON "DISASTER DAY"
(May 16, 2001)
Yesterday was the 53rd anniversary of what the Israelis believe was the start of their independence and the Palestinians believe was the start of their ongoing and tortuous "disaster", the "nakba".

"SCHOLARS, INTELLECTUALS, EXPERTS BETRAY THEIR VOCATIONS..." - MER FLASHBACK
(May 15, 2001)
The recent orgy of 'activism' surrounding the new "Har Homa" settlement has given 'peace groups' and various Arab Americans groups something to do again.

THERE WERE WARNINGS THEN, THERE ARE WARNINGS NOW
(May 15, 2001)
It's 53 years now since Palestine was fractured, a Jewish State was born, the Palestinian refugee crisis created. There were warnings from both Arab and Jewish leaders what would result if a "Jewish State" were declared when the British withdrew from Palestine in 1948.

NO JUNITY, NO ALLIES, NO FUTURE
(May 14, 2001)
Let's get right to the bottom line here first. Those American Jews, and whoever else for that matter have been looking to what is called "JUNITY" (that's "Jewish Unity For a Just Peace" so they say) ...

AN AFFRONT TO CIVILISATION
(May 13, 2001)
I was on my way to Khan Yunis, a desperately poor Palestinian refugee town in the Gaza Strip, when we learned it was under heavy bombardment. Please, urged my Palestinian guides, could I postpone my visit to the next day?

IN MEMORY OF PROF. CHARLES BLACK
(May 12, 2001)
"Against hugh odds...they decline to submit, and instead go out on the streets and pick up stones. They are beaten without let or mercy. They are imprisoned under obscene conditions, after kangaroo trials, or no trials at all.

THREATENING WRITERS AND MORE ASSASSINATIONS
(May 12, 2001)
Of course what the Israelis are doing in so many areas to many classes of people is dastardly and deserves widespread condemnation. The first article details what the Israelis are doing to Palestinian writers who are citizens of Israel; the second to Palestinian activists who are struggling against Israel's occupation.

HASHEMITE COLLUSION AND REPRESSION
(May 11, 2001)
The Hashemite Regime of King Abdullah the Second is running more and more scared; and for good reason. After all, the collusion of this regime with the Israelis, going way back to the beginning of the conflict...

MAHMOUD DARWISH ON 53RD NAKBA ANNIVERSARY
(May 11, 2001)
Next Tuesday, 15 May, is the 53rd Anniversary of what the Palestinians call the Nakba, the "Disaster", and what the Israelis call their Independence. In a very unusual move some 250 Arab Professors and Intellectuals have issued a call for their own countries to finally join in a serious way the Palestinian struggle.

FROM HERZL TO SHARON - STEALTH DISPOSSESSION
(May 10, 2001)
"The removal of Arabs bodily from Palestine is part of the Zionist plan to 'spirit the penniless population across the frontier' by denying it employment... Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly."

THE POLITICAL PROSTITUTION OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN PALESTINE
(May 10, 2001)
We're talking here about political prostitution; for it too is an age-old profession and it too leads to many other vices.

THE POPE GOES VISITING
(May 9, 2001)
With the creation of a "Jewish State" in the Holy Land, in a sense a new era began twisting the modern-day concept of nationality back to one of ethnic and religious identification.

FROM HELL WITH LOVE
(May 8, 2001)
Ironically, in the early years of this ignoble "Peace Process", Dr. Sarraj himself -- a dignified psychiatrist and recipient of the Physician for Human Rights Award -- was arrested three times, tortured, and threatened with death...not by the Israelis but by the forces of the Arafat "Palestinian Authority".

ISRAELIS SEE THROUGH GLOSS OF LIFE AMID ORANGE GROVES
(May 7, 2001)
When the real estate sharks of California began to coax Americans to Los Angeles early in the last century, they stuck oranges on the trees to make the desert more alluring. The oranges are real enough in the groves on the hills around Jerusalem, but the hard selling is just the same.

WE ARE ACCUSED OF TERRORISM
(May 7, 2001)
The incomparable Nizar Qabbani was buried in Damascus earlier this week. "We Are Accused Of Terrorism" was one of his last poems first published a year ago; key excerpts from that poem follow.

GUNNING DOWN ISRAEL SHAMIR - Part II
(May 4, 2001)
Previously we outlined how the regimes-sponsored Arab American establishment, using the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) to try to control everyone as usual...

SHARON'S RISE TO THE PINNACLE OF POWER - HELPED BY THE ARABS THEMSELVES
(May 3, 2001)
Ariel Sharon's becoming Prime Minister of Israel didn't happen overnight. He pursued the job for a very long time and whatever one thinks of his person and policies he carried out a masterful political coup.

GUNNING DOWN ISRAEL SHAMIR
(May 3, 2001)
The worst thing that happened to the people of the Middle East in recent history was the imposition on them by the Western powers of the "Client Regimes" -- those who read MER regularly know what we are talking about...

ARAB REGIMES COWER AND BEG; ISRAELIS CONTINUE TO KILL AND DESTROY
(May 2, 2001)
Shimon Peres runs around the world, especially to the gullible American media, and especially to CNN and PBS, with soothing rhetorical jibberish while his Generals further demolish Palestinian homes making fools of those who believed in the "Oslo Peace Process" and its associated "agreements".

FORMER SHIN BET HEAD TALKS SOME SENSE IN PUBLIC....BUT WHY?
(May 2, 2001)
Motives are of course a very important aspect of life and politics...as is timing. And when it comes to someone who has been head of the Shin Bet, like Ami Ayalon, and who is saying these things now, at this particular crucial and sensitive time, there are good reasons to have many suspicions, and many questions, and many doubts.

EXTINGUISHING THE INTIFADA
(May 2, 2001)
A major effort is underway to somehow smother and snuff out the Intifada, one way or another. Those heading up the effort, in order of importance, are:

ARAFAT'S FIRST INTERVIEW SINCE THE INTIFADA BEGAN
(May 1, 2001)
Yasser Arafat often describes his struggle as a "long march" to the "spires and minarets" of Jerusalem, capital of his Palestinian state-to-be.




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