Israel Further Defies U.N. and Arab League
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Israel Further Defies U.N. and Arab League


Defying Security Council and Arab League to Dare to Act

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 2/28/2002:

More Palestinians have died and been shot in the past weeks than in any other comparable period since the major wars in 1948 and 1967. Adjusted for the size of the U.S. population, about 100,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israelis, with continual American assistance, just since Intifada II began!

While the mythology of a "new Saudi Plan" continues to be played up by the Western media -- after all it is a diplomatic/media concoction primarily conceived in Washington for its own ends and launched by the New York Times for its -- the Israelis are showing their true intentions as usual "on the ground".

Preparing for the far greater war that is now planned to come in the region the Israelis are now sending their military machine even more mightily into refugee camps preparing for the day when they may do so on a massive scale, devastating the camps, and possibly "ethnically cleansing" the people. As a further show of utter defiance they are perpetrating these acts at the very time the U.N. Security Council is meeting about the MiddleEast, and just weeks before the miserably weak Arab League, 57 years old on 22 March, meets.

The Israelis are indeed throwing down the proverbial gauntlet. But don't expect anything real and serious and potent from either the U.N. or the Arab League. For the Americans will take care of protecting the Israelis one way or another, and Abdullah, the de facto King of Saudi Arabia, is actually playing Washington's game falling right into one more huge historic trap as is the sordid history of the "Royal" al-Saud family of Arabia


By Mohammed Daraghmeh

NABLUS, West Bank (AP - 2/28/2000) - Israeli troops launched a major assault on two West Bank refugee camps early Thursday, a first in 17 months of fighting. Eight Palestinians and an Israeli soldier were killed in heavy gun battles, and more than 90 Palestinians were wounded.

The military said the Balata and Jenin camps were strongholds of Palestinian militants, and that Thursday's operation was intended to show that ``there is no refuge for terror.'' A militia leader said his men would die rather than surrender.

The military strike came just hours after a Palestinian woman with an explosives belt strapped to her body blew herself up near an Israeli checkpoint late Wednesday.

The suicide bomber was identified as Dareen Abu Aisheh, a 21-year-old English literature student at An Najah University in the West Bank town of Nablus, adjacent to Balata. Abu Aisheh was the second woman to blow herself up since the fighting began in September 2000.

The fighting took to 1,005 the number of deaths on the Palestinian side since violence erupted on Sept. 28, 2000. On the Israeli side, 288 people have been killed.

In the past 17 months, Israeli troops have repeatedly entered Palestinian towns and villages, but have largely stayed out of the 27 refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, many of them strongholds of militants.

Tanks cannot enter the narrow alleys of the crowded camps, and the military has not sent in ground troops, apparently to avoid Israeli casualties. Referring to the gunmen's boasting that Israeli soldiers would not dare enter the camps, the army said in a statement that until Thursday's operation, ``the terror organizations saw these refugee camps as a safe haven from the Israeli security forces.''

Last week, after six Israeli soldiers were killed by gunmen from the Al Aqsa Brigades militia, the army took up positions around Balata, commandeering four apartment buildings overlooking the camp. A leader of the militia, Nasser Awais, and hundreds of his followers are holed up in Balata, home to 20,000 Palestinians.

Early Thursday, dozens of Israeli tanks surrounded the camp, and helicopter gunships flew overhead. Gunmen patrolling the outskirts of Balata alerted each other by mobile phones and began firing at the Israeli forces, said one of the militiamen, 23-year-old Mohannad Sharaya.

Israeli troops fired heavy machine guns from the tanks and helicopters, and at least two Israeli missiles hit Balata, plunging it into darkness. Sharaya said that at one point, he and six militiamen were seeking cover in an alley when Israeli troops from a hilltop post overlooking the camp aimed a laserbeam at the group to guide their fire. Militiamen set off dozens of homemade bombs during the fighting. Israeli troops also took up positions in an elementary school on the edges of the camp.

Speaking to The Associated Press by phone as the Israeli assault got under way, Awais, the militia leader, said that ``Israeli troops will not enter the camp except over our dead bodies.''

Fighting in Balata continued throughout the morning. Two Palestinians - a militiaman and a bystander - and an Israeli soldier were killed. Palestinians said more than 85 people were wounded in Balata, a majority of them gunmen.

Israeli tanks also entered the West Bank town of Jenin from three directions, Palestinians said, surrounding the refugee camp at the western edge of the town.

Palestinians said six Palestinian policemen were killed in exchanges of fire, and eight people were wounded, including several civilians.

Ahmed Abdel Rahman, an adviser to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, accused Israel of trying to destroy hopes for peace. Asked about Israel's charge that the camps are strongholds of militants, Abdel Rahman said: ``We cannot prevent the Palestinians from defending themselves and their land as long as there is occupation.''

Wednesday's suicide bombing took place at an Israeli roadblock at the entrance to the West Bank on a road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Police stopped the assailant's car for a routine check. At one point, the woman got out of the car and blew herself up, police said. Two other Palestinians in the car were wounded by Israeli fire, and three Israeli policemen were lightly hurt.

The Al Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibility, and Abu Aisheh, the bomber, left behind a videotaped farewell message.

A woman suicide bomber is a rarity, though more than 30 Palestinian men have carried out such attacks. On Jan. 27, a woman blew herself up in downtown Jerusalem, killing herself and an Israeli, but it was unclear if she planned to commit suicide.

The violence persisted despite local efforts to calm the tensions and a Saudi proposal to end the decades-old Israel-Arab conflict.

Israeli and Palestinian security commanders were to meet later Thursday to consider the situation in the Gaza Strip, said Palestinian West Bank security commander Jibril Rajoub.

On Tuesday, the security chiefs had a stormy meeting, trading demands and charges. Rajoub said tempers flared several times. He said the Palestinians asked the Israelis for a timetable for lifting the many roadblocks in the West Bank and Gaza, imposed shortly after the violence began.

Israel told the Palestinians that they must dismantle the Fatah militias, said Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Yarden Vatikay. He said Israel would ease restrictions in places where Palestinian security takes concrete action against militants.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia raised its Middle East peace initiative for the first time in a world forum Wednesday night, while accusing Israel of ``systematic terrorism'' and trying to expel the Palestinians.

Israel expressed disappointment, saying it had hoped for peaceful words - not confrontational language.

Saudi Arabia's U.N. Ambassador Fawzi Shobokshi was a late addition to speakers at a two-day open meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the Mideast, and his address was eagerly awaited because of the attention focused on Crown Prince Abdullah's proposal, floated in Saudi and American media this month.

Comment on these article(s)

February 2002


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Israel Further Defies U.N. and Arab League
(February 28, 2002)
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(February 27, 2002)
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(February 23, 2002)
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We all know who Uncle Sam is. And there are many who think of Colin Powell as Uncle Tom, thought admittedly he usually plays his role so well in public. The Israelis and Sharon have Shimon Peres. And the Americans and Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld have Colin Powell. But...Uncle Ben?

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(February 22, 2002)
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(February 19, 2002)
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King Bandar of Arabia
(February 16, 2002)

Israel sets up Iran as next target for the US
(February 8, 2002)

"Americans Can Be A BloodThirsty Lot"
(February 4, 2002)

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