Dozens of Palestinians wounded
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Dozens of Palestinians wounded

February 12, 2001

By Deborah Camiel

JERUSALEM (Reuters - 12 February) - Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians in the West Bank Monday as Israel's rightwing Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon sought to forge a unity government.

Sharon's right-wing Likud party was due to hold new talks with the center-left Labor party to try to forge a broad coalition to try to contain the violence.

But the latest killings underlined the challenges facing Sharon, who won a crushing victory over outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Barak (news - web sites) in elections last Tuesday.

Soldiers killed Ziad Abu Sway when they opened fire on a bus carrying Palestinian laborers near the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Palestinian witnesses and hospital sources said.

Atef Ahmed al-Nabulsi was shot dead near the West Bank city of Ramallah and was taken by Israeli soldiers to a military base. Israeli security sources confirmed Nabulsi had died.

The deaths followed the killing by Palestinian gunmen of Jewish settler Tsahi Sasson, 35, as he drove along a road outside Jerusalem Sunday.

The death toll in more than four months of confrontation has risen to at least 321 Palestinians, 53 Israelis and 13 Israeli Arabs.

The violence erupted in late September when peace talks reached deadlock and Sharon visited a site in Jerusalem sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

Violence Overshadows Talks

Sharon, 72, has demanded that Palestinians end their protests against Israeli occupation before peace talks resume, but some Palestinians have vowed to step up their struggle.

``The Middle East region is on the verge of more violence and confrontation and Sharon's criminal history represents only one episode of the bloodshed and massacres,'' Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder of the militant Islamic organization Hamas, told Saudi Arabia's Arabic-language newspaper al-Watan.

Likud party lawmaker Moshe Arens told Israel Radio there would be no negotiations as long as there was violence.

``Sharon says it clearly -- there will be no peace talks as long as there is violence,'' he said.

But Jibril Rajoub, a senior Palestinian security official, said it was up to Sharon to make reconciliatory moves such as lifting a blockade of Palestinian areas.

``The Palestinian Authority has the capability and the desire to keep control and it is not true that we have lost control in the field,'' Rajoub told Israel Radio.

``I think the ball is in the court of the government of Israel, which must encourage the Palestinian Authority.''

Palestinian officials said they expected Israel to allow flights to resume from Gaza International Airport for nine hours to allow Palestinian pilgrims to travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Israel has overriding security responsibility for Gaza's only international airport. It has closed it as part of the blockade, intended to stop guerrilla attacks in Israel. But Palestinians view the shutdown as collective punishment for the unrest.

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat (news - web sites) has said he is keeping a close eye on Sharon's coalition talks and will give the Israeli leader a chance to prove he was serious about peace.

Arabs regard Sharon as a war criminal because he orchestrated Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Hundreds of Palestinian refugees were massacred in Beirut by rightwing Lebanese gunmen backed by Israeli forces.

In Cairo, Arafat and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak discussed the future of the Middle East peace process following Sharon's election.

Presidential sources said Arafat was expected to meet visiting Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar later on Monday. Spain hosted the 1991 Madrid peace conference which launched talks between Israel and four of its Arab neighbors.

Coalition Talks To Resume

Sharon aide Eyal Arad said teams from Sharon's Likud and Barak's Labor Party would resume their efforts to forge an alliance which some party members believe is the best chance to pursue Middle East peacemaking.

Failing the formation of a government with Labor, Sharon would have to join forces with extreme nationalist and religious parties likely to obstruct peace efforts.

He must form a government by a late March deadline or face a new election for prime minister and parliament.

Arad said Sharon had emerged from coalition talks Sunday optimistic about the chances of creating a left-right government and was weighing goodwill gestures toward the Palestinians.

``Sharon is currently looking into various confidence- building measures between Israel and the Palestinians in order to improve the atmosphere and proceed toward peace,'' Arad said.

Labor's Shimon Peres, a former prime minister, told Israeli radio Sharon's offer of two top ministerial portfolios was very serious and chances for a unity government were ``50-50.''

Israeli media said Barak might yet agree to stay on as defense minister, a post Sharon has offered him, but Barak's office said he stood by his earlier rejections of the post.


[GAZA (Reuters - Monday, 12 February)] - Over 40 Palestinians were wounded by bullets and shrapnel during a fierce gun-battle with Israeli troops in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday, Palestinian hospital officials said.

Around 50 Palestinian gunmen holed up inside the Khan Younis refugee camp fought a protracted battle with Israeli soldiers guarding the nearby Gush Katif settlement bloc.

The main battle lasted over six hours, but random exchanges of fire continued late into the night.

Hundreds of Palestinians in the camp were forced to flee their homes during the fighting and two houses caught fire. Palestinian witnesses said several rifle-propelled grenades hit a mosque on the outskirts of the refugee camp.

The area has become a frequent flashpoint for violence since a Palestinian uprising erupted in late September after peace talks became deadlocked. At least 387 people, mostly Palestinians, have been killed in the unrest.

Palestinian hospital officials reported that 26 people were wounded by gunfire, and 17 others were hit by shrapnel, adding that two of the wounded were in critical condition.

Hospital officials said 69 other people were overcome by what they described as a type of teargas that causes hysteria, and a dozen of them were admitted to hospital.

``This was a type of gas that we had never seen before,'' a doctor at Khan Younis's Nasser hospital told Reuters.

Television pictures taken at the hospital's emergency ward showed several people lying on stretchers suffering from what appeared to be severe breathing difficulties, and at least one was in convulsions.

The Israeli army dismissed the charge, saying it ``did not use any type of gas whatsoever'' during the gun battle. It said soldiers set off smoke bombs to cover their positions during the fighting. They also denied firing tank or mortar shells.

A local Israeli commander said Palestinian gunmen had fired an anti-tank rocket at an Israeli army post at the start of the fighting, but it fell short and no one was hurt.

The head of a group of Palestinian gunmen who fought in the battle told Reuters the Palestinian side used light and automatic weapons, but denied firing an anti-tank rocket.

He said his men were trying to stop Israeli bulldozers from destroying farm-land belonging to Al-Mawasi village, a community of about 8,000 people situated several kilometers away on the other side of Gush Katif.

February 2001


(February 27, 2001)
Was it the Likud Party, or the Labor Party, that authorized more illegal settlements in the occupied territories since the Gulf War and the Madrid Peace Conference?

(February 26, 2001)
For those who still needed proof of the cravenness and duplicity of Israel's Labor Party, the party that spawned "Peace Now" and "Oslo" among other gross deceptions, it came today.

Defectors say Iraq tested Nuclear Bomb
(February 25, 2001)
When Iraq was more overtly building nuclear weapons, the Israelis struck in 1981 destroying the Osirak reactor near Baghdad that could have provided the crucial processed uranium fuel.

"Go back, we don't want you"
(February 24, 2001)
General Colin Powell, now combining even more closely than usual the Pentagon with the State Department, was afraid to go to Gaza; and rightly so.

The Hebron MASSACRE - 7 long years ago
(February 24, 2001)
Abraham's dysfunctional family has had unbelieveable historical ramifications for which the focal point today is Hebron, site of Abraham's burial place, a religious site to both Jews and Muslim alike who are today quite literally at each other's throats.

Council on foreign relations help legitimize Sharon
(February 23, 2001)
The Council on Foreign Relations, New York-power elite-based but in recent years integrating more with the Washington government and corporate elite, has been for quite some time, to put it bluntly, a rather tricky and chicanery Israeli-oriented Zionist center when it comes to matters relevant to Israel.

Iraq - The great Cover-Up
(February 23, 2001)
As terrible as what the Israelis, with their superpower American ally (and European connivance), are doing to the Palestinians, what has been and is being done to the Iraqis and the Chechnyans is also truly appauling.

Arab expulsion admitted by Sharon Ally
(February 22, 2001)
One day maybe Israel -- like South Africa and Chile before it -- will have some kind of "truth finding" commission to try to purge itself of the past.

Protests in Jordan
(February 22, 2001)
If it weren't for the Hashemite Regime in today's Jordan, yesterday's Transjordan, and before that the East Bank of Palestine, the Israelis would never have been able to vanquish the Palestinian people in days past and would never be able to do to the remaining Palestinians what is happening today.

Powell and Sharon - Street protests?
(February 21, 2001)
Clearly, the US is rushing to court unpopularity across the world, contrary to expectations that the Bush national security establishment would conduct itself with a degree of sophistication.

"This is only the beginning"
(February 21, 2001)
The crippling is not just physical. Psychologically, culturally, economically, and even morally, the Palestinian people are being twisted and tortured beyond all recognition of their former selves.

Gaza Ghetto, Gaza Concentration Camp, Gaza Prison
(February 19, 2001)
For four months, the Gaza Strip has been effectively isolated from the world. Over 1 million Palestinians are caged in an area of not more than 365km2.

Locked in an Orwellian eternal war
(February 19, 2001)
President Bush Jr didn't seem so confident the other day as he told the world of the newly increased bombing of Iraq. But he made it clear that "until the world is told otherwise" the Americans are convinced they run the world and it is up to them to decide whom to bomb, whom to favor, whom to take out, whom to reward.

Arafat collapsing
(February 16, 2001)
The Arafat Regime is collapsing. Here are some of the details, twisted somewhat of course because the reports are from Israel's best newspaper, Ha'aretz, in view of the fact that Palestinian and Arab news sources are unable and unwilling to provide such insights.

The realization, "perhaps the dream"
(February 16, 2001)
Out of the cycle of violence the gradual, hesitant understanding - perhaps the dream - will grow, that the only way is through a struggle to create a land of Israel/Palestine that is undivided in both physical and human terms, pluralistic and open; a land in which civilized relations, human touch, intimate coexistence and a link to a common homeland would be stronger than militant tribalism and the separation into national ghettoes.

"Collective suicide" or Zionism united?
(February 15, 2001)
If there is a national unity government, it will be evident that the differences between Labour as the main branch of the left and the Likud as the main branch of the right are not that big.

Death and assissination
(February 14, 2001)
It didn't take long for the Israelis, now Sharon-led, to start creating the escalating provocations that will then bring about still more Palestinian rage which will then give the Israelis the excuse they seek to pulverize the Palestinians still harder, possibly destroying the regime they earlier created, and possibly leading to another Palestinian "nakbah" (disaster).

Israelis strike, Palestinians without strategy
(February 13, 2001)
The Israelis have had a long-term strategy for a very long time; and they have pursued it regardless of what party was in power and who happened to be Prime Minister of the moment.

Dozens of Palestinians wounded
(February 12, 2001)
Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians in the West Bank Monday as Israel's rightwing Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon sought to forge a unity government.

"Holy war" is forever
(February 12, 2001)
Fifty four years ago when an international commission of that day was hearing from Jews and Arabs about what the new U.N. should do about Palestine there was testimony from very credible and very establishment Jewish Zionist sources opposing creation of a "separatist Jewish State" precisely because it would bring about an unending conflict with the Palestinian Arab population.

War preparations continue
(February 11, 2001)
The Arafat Regime, the "Authority", is near collapse -- not just financially, but credibility wise as well. The Israeli government is near "unity" -- with General Sharon in charge.

The PA is about to collapse
(February 10, 2001)
How ironic history can be. After generations of struggle and such suffering the regime that rules the Palestinians is now in the hands of Ariel Sharon representing Israel, the U.S. Congress representing the financial levers of the American Empire, and the European governments which in this situation operate on the pretense that they are better than either of the above.

Rocking Israel to its Biblical core
(February 9, 2001)
Well if King David was a nebbish (modern translation might be "nerd"), one has to wonder how history will record Ariel Sharon, the man with such a past whom the Jews of Israel have just overwhelming elected their leader.

Sharon maneuvers for starting position
(February 9, 2001)
It's time for serious political confusion and disinformation now. As the armies prepare themselves for the clashes likely to come in one form or another, the politicians maneuver for new starting positions.

Clinton pardoned Mossad spy for Israelis
(February 9, 2001)
The Israelis adore Bill Clinton, as all the pollsters know. Deep down even the common everyday Israelis know he was their man in the White House.

The many crimes of Ariel Sharon
(February 8, 2001)
Some incorrigible optimists have suggested that only a right-wing extremist of the notoriety of Likud leader Ariel Sharon will have the credentials to broker any sort of lasting settlement with the Palestinians.

Sharon wastes no time - Arafat bows
(February 7, 2001)
We will give him the benefit of the doubt. If he comes with good ideas that will bring us closer to the peace process, why not? The world has seen many such situations before.

Holy war for Jerusalem
(February 7, 2001)
We're on the way now to a new and expanded struggle, maybe even a religious war, Jerusalem the focalpoint.

The cold logic of Sharon
(February 7, 2001)
Many Israelis just stayed home. Others cast a blank vote. But a considerable minority thrust Ariel Sharon into the greatest electoral landslide in that country's history -- obviously as well an overwhelming majority of those who did vote.

Sharon wins and Peres wants in
(February 6, 2001)
He may be a brutish thug, he may fit the definition of war criminal, he may be a Jewish racist -- but now he is also the Prime Minister-elect of Israel, overwhelmingly swept into power in a way few imagined possible just a year ago.

All sides now committed to escalation
(February 6, 2001)
Now the real craziness begins. The Palestinians are committed to heating things up to demonstrate their resolve and their capabilities. The Israelis are committed to "stopping the violence" which means clamping the boot down on the Palestinians even more harshly.

The legacy of Ariel Sharon
(February 5, 2001)
This is a place of filth and blood which will forever be associated with Ariel Sharon. In Israel today, he may well be elected prime minister.

BBC casts doubt of Pan AM convictions
(February 5, 2001)
In advance of whatever the Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi is going to produce as "evidence" of innocence today, the BBC has published the following story quoting the very Scottish law professor who arranged the trial in The Netherlands casting great doubt about the veracity of the verdict reached:

What's left of Israel's left
(February 5, 2001)
What's left of Israel's left is in a fractured and demoralized state of affairs. Not only is Ariel Sharon about to become Israel's Prime Minister, but in all likelihood he is to be swept into power tomorrow in a landslide unprecedented in Israel's history.

The Pan Am 103 Verdict
(February 3, 2001)
The papers are filled with pictures of happy relatives of the victims of the 1988 bombing of PanAm 103. A Libyan, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, was just found guilty of the bombing by a Scottish court in the Hague, his co-defendant, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, being acquitted... What's wrong is that the evidence against Megrahi is thin to the point of transparency.

Rivers of blood
(February 2, 2001)
The bloodiness and racism of Sharon's past is fact. And these two articles help bring that past forward to the present.

Waiting for Sharon
(February 2, 2001)
They believe a Sharon victory will be a boon for their cause. 'He will expose the true face of Israel,' says an activist in Yasir Arafat's Fatah movement in Nablus, 'and force the world, including the US, to address its real responsibilities to the peace process...

Israeli Arabs boycott Barak, await Sharon
(February 1, 2001)
As the extreme right-wing revolution in Israel nears, as Ariel Sharon and friends prepare to take over political power, the "Israeli Arab vote" will not be enough to save Ehud Barak, and in fact it will not even be mobilized on his behalf this time, though Yasser Arafat and his friends have surely tried.

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