Manger Square has become a wild, blood-drenched place
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Manger Square has become a wild, blood-drenched place

MOB LYNCHINGS...VIGILANTE JUSTICE

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 3/14/2002: After nearly 35 years of increasingly brutal military occupation since the 1967 war, Palestinian society itself has been tortured and disfigured. The Israelis have used informers and all kinds of means to bring the Palestinians to their knees -- in recent days masked informers were used to tell who of the thousands arrested from the refugee camps should be held, interrogated, and in most cases tortured. Furthermre, in recent years the Israelis have clearly been trying to foment a Palestinian civil war. This kind of vigilante justice, with all the attendant dangers, is part of the result.

Though "The Independent" has been slipping of late, for instance the casual reference to Zinni's "peace mission" and the mistaken sloppy reporting a few days ago that "for the first time" the U.N. has supported a "Palestinian State", even so the British press remains considerably more palatable about most things relating to Israel and the Palestinians than the American -- and MER is at this time limited to English. NBC News Andrea Mitchell's (wife of Alan Greenspan) assault on Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians this evening; but one more example of the extraordinary imbalance and politically/Jewish lobby-inspired biases that have so warped U.S. opinion and policies.

LYNCH MOBS RUN WILD ON BETHLEHEM'S STREETS

As US envoy Anthony Zinni
starts his peace mission, West
Bank Palestinians resort to
execution of collaborators

By Phil Reeves in Bethlehem
[The Independent - 15 March 2002]: Wars breed hate, inhumanity and lawlessness. And this degrading trinity was on full display in Israeli-occupied Bethlehem yesterday outside the ancient church marking the place of Christ's birth.

Manger Square has become a wild, blood-drenched place, the scene yesterday of a lynching. Two years ago, the Pope shuffled across its flagstones, blessing Catholic pilgrims who had come by the thousand from across the globe to glimpse him.

This is where the BBC broadcast the turning of the millennium live to the world which - labouring under the illusion that the Middle East was making peace with itself - watched contentedly as a flock of white doves crashed into the corporation's cameras, before reeling up into the midnight sky.

Dozens of armed Palestinian men - some wearing the fatigues of Yasser Arafat's assorted security services, others in the jeans and black jackets of the Tanzim militia - were strolling across the same flagstones yesterday.

Kalashnikovs slung across their chests, they lounged on benches once used by elderly American tourists recovering from queuing to see the now echoingly empty Church of the Nativity, one of Christianity's holiest shrines. They darted across the square's exposed south-eastern corner, fearful of being caught in the crosshairs of Israeli snipers on a nearby high-rise. They smoked and stroked their weapons.

For some, this is home now. Hundreds of young men have taken refuge here after the Israeli army stormed into the overcrowded refugee camps in which they lived, and rounded up many hundreds of males, taking off suspected activists for interrogation by its Shin Bet security agents. Knowing that their names would show up on Israel's computer records, leading to their certain arrest, they have preferred to seek sanctuary. At night they bed down on mattresses in a car park and under the empty frame of a quarter-built luxury hotel near Manger Square.

"The naive think that this is a place of shelter for them because of the Church of the Nativity," said Nafiz al-Rifai, a Bethlehem city councillor who helps organise food supplies for an estimated 600 displaced men. "But the political people among them know that Ariel Sharon [Israel's Prime Minister] knows no boundaries."

The latter point has become clear to the residents of Bethlehem's Holy Family Maternity Hospital, whacked yesterday by an Israeli tank shell. During a barrage of bullets and artillery, the shell punched a bowling ball-sized dent in the fašade of its 200-year-old church.

But Manger Square was also witness to a barbarity of a different order. Early yesterday, two Palestinian men accused of collaborating with Israel were shot dead by a militia gang. They spat on the corpses and pummelled them with iron bars.

The bullet-riddled body of one of them, Mahmoud Sabatin, was tied to the back of a pick-up truck and dragged from neighbouring Beit Sahour to Bethlehem. He was hauled into the square, where his killers showed him off on the steps of the Bethlehem Peace Centre, just a few yards from the Church of the Nativity. Then they dragged him away again, by a rope tied to his ankle. His lifeless frame bumped across the flagstones.

The immediate family of the second lynched man, a 29-year-old mechanic called Mohammed Deifallah, live nearby and have been fired from their jobs and ostracised by neighbours. They could not get permission yesterday to bury their murdered relative on Palestinian land, and were hoping to persuade the Israelis to allow them to bury him in a Muslim cemetery in nearby Israel.

"This is brutal terrorism. Even animals don't do this," his wife told The Independent.

The arrival yesterday of the US envoy, Anthony Zinni, charged with forging a ceasefire, was heralded by more bloodshed. Guerrillas killed three soldiers by blowing up an Israeli Merkava tank in the Gaza Strip - their second successful strike on an allegedly invulnerable war machine.

Israel further stoked the fires of war by assassinating Mutasen Hammad, a leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades near the West Bank town of Tulkarm.



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March 2002


Magazine



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(March 29, 2002)
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Arafat Surrounded - And A Letter from Bir Zeit University near Ramallah
(March 29, 2002)
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(March 28, 2002)
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The "Saudi Peace Plan"...of 20 Years Ago
(March 28, 2002)
In April 1981 Crown Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia unveiled the "Saudi Plan" which then dominated the Arab League summit held in Fez, Morocco, in November.

Saudis Humiliated, Betrayed, and now "Invited"
(March 28, 2002)
Quite literally as Saudi Royal "Crown Prince" Abdullah was following his script in Beirut no matter what, the U.S. Government was announcing in Washington that he had "accepted" to visit the Bush Presidential Ranch in Texas at the end of next month.

"The summit is heading toward total chaos"
(March 27, 2002)
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(March 27, 2002)
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(March 26, 2002)
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(March 26, 2002)
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(March 26, 2002)
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(March 25, 2002)
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Vital History - Origins of Israel's "Arab Problem"
(March 25, 2002)
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(March 25, 2002)
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(March 23, 2002)
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Cheney Admits US will attack Iraq 'for Israel's sake'
(March 22, 2002)
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(March 22, 2002)
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(March 22, 2002)
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(March 21, 2002)
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(March 21, 2002)
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(March 20, 2002)
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Marching toward an American Police State - "Washington Scene"
(March 20, 2002)
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(March 19, 2002)
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(March 15, 2002)
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(March 14, 2002)
After nearly 35 years of increasingly brutal military occupation since the 1967 war, Palestinian society itself has been tortured and disfigured. The Israelis have used informers and all kinds of means to bring the Palestinians to their knees ...

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(March 13, 2002)
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(March 12, 2002)
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(March 12, 2002)
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(March 12, 2002)
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(March 9, 2002)
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(March 9, 2002)
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(March 8, 2002)
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(March 8, 2002)
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Israeli Spying on US - Spiked Story from FOX News - Who Done It?
(March 7, 2002)
Just who pressured FOX News? Why did FOX News cave in so easily? What now months later when an expanded story is not just coming back to life in foreign publications but appears to be the greatest spy scandal ever involving the Israelis spying on the Americans?

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(March 6, 2002)
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(March 5, 2002)
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(March 5, 2002)
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Arafat in Dog Kennel, Sharon in Twilight Zone, Hosni Lost in Space
(March 5, 2002)
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