The Hebron MASSACRE - 7 long years ago
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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. The Israeli occupation army is in charge of course; with Arabs and Jews now nearly totally separated, guns and knives at the ready.

There has been much violence in Hebron this century, most of it the result of the Jewish turn toward political and colonial Zionism. The small enclave of radical Jews living in Hebron today symbolizes for nearly all Arabs their oppression, and for fanatical Jews their Abrahamic "birthright".

The first two articles are what happened on February 25, 1994, are written by Muslim Palestinians and their perspective, and emotions, are deep and understandable.

The final article comes from a group of Christian Americans who have set up a "witness" presence in Hebron in recent years. For additional background information, especially about the agreement Yasser Arafat was coerced to sign with Prime Minister Netanyahu a few years ago -- http://www.MiddleEast.Org/hebron.htm

By Omar Turk

In the early morning of February 25th, 1994, one of the most heinous acts upon humanity occurred in the Palestinian town of Hebron. A Jewish zionist terrorist opened fire with machine-guns and grenades on men and boys while they were bowing and praying to God. This crime against innocent people not only occurred in the holy month of Ramadhan, but also in the Ibrahimi mosque, where the prophet Abraham is buried.

That frightful morning, over twenty-nine people were killed, and over one hundred wounded. The ages of those killed ranged from only eight years old, to over seventy years of age! The shear magnitude of how many people were affected in that act of racist hatred is almost incomprehensible. The women who lost their husbands and sons, the children who lost their fathers and brothers, etc, etc. For those who were wounded, even the most superficial wound leaves a scar for life. The high number of people permanently debilitated, or seriously physically or physiologically scarred, is distressing.

Ironically, this atrocity was committed by a person who hated others because of their race. This mass murderer was ironically in Hebron because of another person who hated others because of their race; Hitler.

The Isrealis have been granted land, money, and special privileges because of the so-called "Holocaust." In turn, they are creating a "Holocaust" for the Palestinian people. The Isreali soldiers and settlers desecrate every aspect of Palestinian life, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These gun totting, trigger happy gangsters, kill and maim Palestinian men, women and children at the blink of an eye, and without a whisper of shame from the so-called, civilized, democratic governments, most notably, the United States.

To add insult to injury, the Isrealis receive more US aid each year than the victims of the Midwest floods, California earthquakes, and East Coast storms have in the last 10 years! I am sure the billions of dollars sent to the Isrealis each year, is of no comfort to the many of poor and homeless Americans forced to live and die on the streets because of the bankrupt welfare and public health care system in the US. The Isrealis also receive unlimited US veto power and support in the United Nations, that has not, nor probably never will be, paralleled.

Through hardship after tragedy, the Palestinian people have remarkably survived.

Their sheer will and determination for freedom, have been their only companion since 1948.

With heavily armed, Isreali soldiers and settlers occupying and stealing Palestinian land and lives, and the world turning a blind and ignorant eye, generation after generation of Palestinian children will continue to struggle with stones and hope, until true justice is practiced, and freedom is achieved.

The world must realize, that until the illegal settlements are dismantled, the refugees are allowed to return to their homes, and Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state, peace will not be reached. The Palestinian dream is a simple dream, and the same dream of all peoples, to live in peace and freedom, and not under occupation and terror.

In the mean time, Isreali zionist terrorists, such as Barouch Goldstien, will have a free hand to continue their murderous rampages. (originally written March 16, 1994)

By Arjan El Fassed*

This week Palestinians commemorate the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre. The murder of 29 Palestinian worshippers by the settler Baruch Goldstein in this sanctuary in February, 1994 was only the most tragic link in a chain of settler-violence against Palestinians in Hebron. An additional twenty Palestinians were killed by Israeli occupation forces who continued to shoot at those who were trying to flee the mosque, at those who were evacuating the injured, and at those who had gathered at the hospital in order to find out about their loved ones and donate blood.

During that weekend, seven Palestinians were killed and more than 200 injured as Israeli soldiers continued to fire at Palestinian civilians who were protesting daily throughout the Palestinian territories. In drastic measures which had not been taken for some time, twenty-one Plaestinians were killed by live ammunition from the Israeli occupation forces in the first six days following the massacre.

However, this was not enough for the occupation authorities. They went even further by imposing collective punishment upon the Palestinian residents of the Westbank and Gaza Strip: curfew on the majority of cities, towns and villages, and a total closure of the occupied territories preventing entry into Israel and Jerusalem. The city of Hebron continued to be under 24-hour curfew imposed immediately after the massacre.

The settlers in Hebron and Kiriat Arba, aided by the Israeli occupation forces, have terrorised the city's Palestinian population for the last 30 years. Hebron's absurd reality is that the presence of 450 Israeli settlers dictates the lives of 120,000 Palestinians, and the illegality of the settlements under international law. Reports and pictures showing settlers beating Palestinians, destroying their property, upsetting vegetable carts in the market, and shooting and rioting have been published in most media. They even permitted reporters to photograph them doing target practice and military exercises inside the old city of Hebron. The Israeli occupation authorities gave them permission to do this, providing them with protection every Friday as the settlers made raids of terror throughout the streets of the city, under the guise of visiting Jewish sites.

For years, the entire occupied Palestinian territories have been subject to incessant, brutal actions carried out by settlers against Palestinians, all with the sanction of the government and the Israeli occupation forces who approved their establishing armed militias who have imposed a reign of terror on the Palestinians. Since the Oslo accord in 1993, the number of settlers in the West Bank and Gaza has doubled to 200,000, not including approximately 200,000 settlers now living in East Jerusalem. The building during Barak's government has actually escalated, with 14,000 settlers added and tenders issued for building 4,000 units last year alone, compared with 3,000 units a year built under Netanyahu. Compared to 1999, in the year 2000 there has been a 96% increase in settlement building.

Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have been increasing since the start of the current intifada in September 2000. These settlers have generally acted with impunity, as the Israeli military and court system historically have been reluctant to arrest, try, and punish settlers for violence they commit against Palestinian civilians.

As a result, settlers are virtually free to carry out intimidation, assaults against people and property, and even murder against the Palestinian population.

The existence of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories violates both international law and particular international agreements Israel is signed on. According to Article 49 of the fourth Geneva Convention it is prohibited to transfer civilians of an occupying power to the territory occupied.

The Hebron massacre is not another milestone, like Deir Yassin, Ailaboun, Qibya, Kufr Qassem and other massacres of Palestinians, because the number of deaths is so frightening, but rather because it occured during the process in which parties were negotiating. Now, it seems that history repeats itself. Once again an entire generation sits and watches events as they unfold. The peace process was never neutral. The presence of settlers negates the Palestinian presence on their land, and their subjugation over them is part of occupation and colonialism. Palestinians are occupied under their occupation. There can be no mutual offers of condolences because the crime continues as long as occupation continues.

HEBRON UPDATE: Feb 14 - 21, 2001

From Christian Peace Team (CPT), a witness group living in Hebron

Wednesday, February 14th - curfew Travelling back to Hebron from Beit Jala, CPTer Pierre Shantz was in a Palestinian taxi-van which was turned back several times by soldiers on the Israeli-controlled by-pass road. Finally the taxi driver tried a dirt road through the mountains, avoiding the by-pass road altogether. After driving 15 minutes, they came upon a mound of dirt blocking the road. Some Palestinians were already there digging away the mound. Shantz and others from his taxi joined in. Before they had it completely dug away, five soldiers drove up in a military jeep. The Palestinians ran for their cars, but Shantz remained to make his presence known as a foreigner. One soldier yelled at some of the taxi- drivers to come, and the commander ordered another soldier to aim his gun at the cars. Shantz immediately moved to stand by the soldier pointing the gun and said that if the soldier shot, Shantz would be witness to what was happening. "None of the people here have weapons. They are only trying to live their lives", noted Shantz. The soldier repeatedly swore at Shantz, but did not shoot. When all the taxis had gotten out of the area, Shantz left and caught up with his taxi- van which had waited for him at the bottom of a hill. The passengers in the van said that this was one of the lucky times, other times soldiers had fired on vehicles leaving checkpoints.

As Shantz continued on his way back to Hebron, he passed the Israeli settlement of Efrat and saw about 20 settlers, mostly teenagers, stopping Palestinian traffic. Israeli police were trying to push them off the road. While passing another checkpoint, Shantz witnessed Israeli police fire two canisters of tear gas into the crowd of people trying to walk across the mound of dirt blocking their way. Shantz finally made it back to Hebron after a taxi-ride of 2.5 hours. The ride usually takes 30 minutes.

Thursday, February 15th - no curfew in morning, re-imposed at noon Gunfire was heard at 5:00pm for a brief period, and heavy gunfire and tank shells were fired into the Palestinian neighbourhood of Hart isSheik at 8:00pm.

Friday, February 16th - curfew On morning patrol, CPTer, Rebecca Johnson, noticed that all the water pipes around the corner from CPT's apartment, on Shuhada St., had been punctured and water was spraying out of them. Johnson questioned soldiers stationed nearby and they reported that the water had been spraying out since the beginning of their shift at 7:00am. The water pipes and sewage system on Shuhada St. were installed in 1997 by USAID as part of the Hebron Accord.

In the afternoon, Bob Holmes accompanied Human Rights Watch investigator, Peter Bouckaert, to meet with the U.N. Commission on Human Rights regarding abuses in the Occupied Territories. The U.N. vehicle, however, was unable to get into Hebron and the meeting was postponed.

At 3:00pm, Holmes and Jamey Bouwmeester observed a large crowd of settlers on Shuhada St. near the CPT apartment. Investigating, they discovered soldiers restraining many male settler teenagers. In total, there were 46 soldiers at the scene. When the Israeli police came, one adult male yelled continuously at them. No one was arrested, and the street cleared after an hour. Soldiers informed Bouwmeester and Holmes that settlers had been trying to go up into the Palestinian- controlled neighbourhood of Abu Sneineh.

Gunfire began at 8:15pm and continued sporadically until 8:30pm. Two un-armed Palestinian civilians were killed in the shooting. One Palestinian woman was shot through the side of her car as she returned from a wedding.

Saturday, February 17th - curfew The CPT delegation arrived in Hebron in the morning, and left the apartment to meet with local Palestinian Human Rights workers in the early afternoon. At 2:00pm, heavy gunfire was shot into the main Palestinian intersection of Baab Azawia. A round of shots was also fired into Hart isSheik, after shots were fired from that neighbourhood at one of the Israeli settlements.

Shooting began again at 4:45pm into Hart isSheik, just behind the office in which the delegates were meeting. CPTer, Anita Fast, checked the streets and realized that it would be safe returning to the CPT apartment via Shalallah St. since the gunfire would be fired across and above the street, not down it. When there was a lapse in the gunfire, Fast and the delegation quickly left the office and hugged the side of the street closest to where Israeli soldiers were shooting from, keeping Bouwmeester (who was back at the apartment) on the cell phone as they progressed. There were no rounds of gunfire while the delegation was on the street, but another round was fired minutes after all were safely back in the CPT apartment.

Sunday, February 18th - curfew was lifted from 8:00am - 1:00pm While taking a taxi to the Beqa'a valley, the CPT delegation was re- routed through several other Palestinian villages to avoid military roadblocks. A trip which usually takes 5 minutes, took nearly an hour.

Monday, February 19th - no curfew Shantz and Bouwmeester, returning from Bethlehem, reported that the number of soldiers and tanks along the by-pass road was greatly increased, and that all Palestinian roads connecting villages to the highway were blocked.

Shantz and Johnson went to Beit Jala after receiving a call from a Palestinian woman who reported that her daughter's home had been hit by gunfire and missiles the night before. CPTers documented the damage on video camera. The living room had a large hole through the wall, and shrapnel had destroyed everything inside. Nearly all the windows were shattered by bullets, and even the windows in the room where the family was hiding since they thought it was the safest place, had its windows broken due to the impact of one of the explosions as missiles hit their home.

Tuesday, February 20th - no curfew in morning, reimposed at noon The CPT delegation visited a family in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Abu Sneineh which is often shelled by the military. The family showed results of mortar and gunfire, and spoke about the fears of their four children.

At 10:00am, Fast received a call about a home demolition which was taking place in Beit Ummar. Fast and Bouwmeester immediately departed for the village, and called delegation leader, Rich Meyer, to have the delegates meet them there. When Fast and Bouwmeester arrived, the military had already declared the area a closed military zone and were not allowing anyone close to the home. Fast and Bouwmeester recorded the event on video camera, and spoke with both Palestinians and soldiers about what was happening. Meyer and the delegation, along with CPTers Johnson and Art Arbour, arrived about an hour later. Two partially-constructed homes were demolished. (See Release: Israeli Occupation Forces Demolish Homes)

Upon returning to Hebron, CPTers learned that at noon, a Palestinian woman stabbed an Israeli settler near the settlement of Beit Romano. The settler, who was a Yeshiva student, was lightly wounded, and the woman was arrested. Curfew was imposed immediately afterwards.

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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