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24-HOURS AND COUNTING

June 2, 2001

FOREIGNERS AND U.N. EVACUATING GAZA

ARAFAT TRIES TO CAPITULATE HOPING FOR INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT

GENERAL POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE, CANCELS LATIN VISIT
TO STAY IN WASHINGTON AS WAR BREWS IN MIDDLE EAST

"Americans should not travel to Gaza at the present time and those who live there should depart to a safer location when they can do so." U.S. Embassy, Israel

A convoy of cars carrying foreign staffers of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency left the agency's compound in Gaza Saturday afternoon. The cars were loaded with luggage.

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 6/02: Arafat is in an impossible situation, one prepared for him by his worst enemies but one he has considerably helped put himself in by incompetence, corruption, and ineptitude. If he turns to severe repression of his own people on orders from the Israelis and the CIA, the only way the Intifada can now be stopped, he creates the conditions for his own eventual demise from within, and maybe a Palestinian civil war. If he does not, the clock for demolishing his "Authority" and exiling or even capturing him is ticking. There have been other moments in history like this in the Middle East, often with non other than General Ariel Sharon in command at one crucial level or another. Sharon waited more than a year for the excuse to invade Lebanon in 1982, and then pounced when Israel's Ambassador in London was shot even though Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher at the time publicly went on record that those who did it were anti-PLO anti-Arafat Palestinians. It appears Sharon has once more set the stage, is now waiting for and provoking the excuse, with the tanks positioned and set to roll.

FOREIGNERS LEAVE GAZA STRIP

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip Associated Press, 2 June: Dozens of foreigners living and working in the Gaza Strip left Saturday amid fears of an Israeli military retaliation for a suicide bombing that killed the bomber and 18 young people at a Tel Aviv disco.

The foreigners packed lightly, expecting to return within a few days, after being contacted by their consulates and embassies in Israel, said a Palestinian employee of a foreign consulate who requested anonymity. He said he knew of at least 20 foreigners who left Gaza on Saturday.

Eighteen young people were killed late Friday when a suicide bomber blew himself up near dozens of people waiting in line to enter a Tel Aviv beachfront nightclub. Ninety Israelis were wounded in the attack, including 14 who were in serious or critical condition.

After previous bomb attacks, Israel has responded by shelling Palestinian security installations, but not civilian offices. But in the West Bank and Gaza Saturday, the Palestinian Authority ordered its employees to leave their offices.

Other foreigners took measures to prevent their homes and offices from becoming Israeli military targets, flying their national flags from official residences and offices.

A large Omani flag flew from the top of its ambassador's home Saturday, while Egyptian flags were hoisted on the front gate and the roof of the residence of the Egyptian representative to the Palestinian Authority, which is located near Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's compound in Gaza.

Four Australian flags were erected over a tourist resort north of Gaza City operated by Abdel Karim Sabawi, a Palestinian-Austrialian.

The U.S. embassy said recent events, including the brief detention of an American journalist by militants several days ago, heightened its concern for the safety of U.S. citizens in Gaza.

"Americans should not travel to Gaza at the present time and those who live there should depart to a safer location when they can do so," the embassy said in a travel warning issued to American citizens Saturday.

A convoy of cars carrying foreign staffers of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency left the agency's compound in Gaza Saturday afternoon. The cars were loaded with luggage.

U.N. officials would not say whether the United Nations had ordered its foreign staffers to leave the Gaza Strip.

ISRAEL GIVES ARAFAT 24 HOURS TO WORK FOR CEASEFIRE

JERUSALEM, June 2 (AFP) - A tough Israeli response to the Tel Aviv bombing looked unlikely Saturday evening, as Israel gave Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat 24 hours to carry out his promise that he would do "whatever is necessary" to achieve a ceasefire.

Following Arafat's pledge, Israel's inner security cabinet gave Arafat no more than 24 hours to prove he wants to work to calm the violent situation in the region, according to Israeli public radio.

The Tel Aviv suicide bombing, which left 19 dead and more than 100 injured, was the deadliest incident so far in the eight-month Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, and brought the death toll to nearly 600.

The Gaza Strip was eerily silent on Saturday, with Palestinians evacuating public buildings in fear that Israel would abandon its 10-day-old unilateral ceasefire and come at them with all guns blazing, witnesses said.

Despite wide Israeli scepticism over Arafat's declaration, Israeli Arab parliament member Ahmed Tibi told Israeli television that Arafat had already started to work for a ceasefire.

"Arafat made an important declaration to that effect and has started to phone his aids over the past hours in order to make sure his commitment to a return to calm is carried out in the field", Tibi said after a meeting with the Palestinian leader.

Pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to strike back at the Palestinians has been mounting domestically, with demonstrators calling for "war" outside the defence ministry in Tel Aviv where Sharon met with senior ministers and military chiefs.

Israeli Science and Culture Minister Matan Vilnai, a member of the security cabinet, implied Israel would wait to see if Arafat's ceasefire statement is consolidated by acts on the ground.

"He says he will do everything. Let him do it, and we will see."

For his part, Dan Meridor, the head of the Israeli parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee, said: "The ball is in Arafat's court. The only way for him to avoid dangerous developments is to clearly order a ceasefire on his radio".

"We are in the process of judging how serious this order is, if he arrests the men in Hamas and Islamic Jihad, in all about 100 terrorist experts whom he has previously freed," Meridor said about Arafat's declaration.

But Israeli television's military commentator reported that the security cabinet had secretly decided to break its unilateral ceasefire without authorising any spectacular military strikes that could harm Israel's image.

Arafat condemned Friday's as-yet-unclaimed attack, which ripped through a line of Israeli teenagers waiting to enter a beachside night club, saying he was against any killing of civilians.

"We are ready to make the utmost effort to stop the bloodbath among our people and the Israeli people, and to do whatever is necessary for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire," Arafat told reporters.

Shortly afterwards, senior Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erakat, called for US Middle East envoy William Burns to return to the region immediately to help the sides work to implement a ceasefire.

Three radical Palestinian groups, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine groups, which have mounted previous suicide bomb attacks, refrained from claiming responsibility.

But Hamas politbureau chief Khaled Meshaal justified the attack as a form of "self-defence" and said more suicide bombings would surely follow.

"Nothing can halt these attacks and resistance except the departure of (Israel's) occupation forces" from Palestinian land, he said.

Seven people were lightly injured Saturday in clashes with police as hundreds of enraged Israelis sought revenge against Arabs after the bomb blast, throwing rocks at a mosque near the Tel Aviv neighborhood of Jaffa.

The Israeli army said Saturday it had imposed a blockade on all Palestinian towns and villages in the neighbouring West Bank following the bombing and advised all Palestinians to leave Israel immediately.

Israeli leaders roundly condemned Arafat for the bombing, saying he had not taken action against perpetrators of violence.

US President George W. Bush had earlier urged Arafat to call for an "immediate ceasefire" after the Tel Aviv bombing which he denounced as a "heinous terrorist attack."

"There is no justification for senseless attacks against innocent civilians," Bush said in a statement issued from the presidential resort in Camp David, Maryland.

Condemnations of the attack poured in from numerous other world capitals, the European Union and the United Nations, while Egypt, Jordan and Russia called for restraint.

Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer accused Arafat of wanting "to provoke chaos in the Middle East."

Following the security cabinet meeting, Sharon's office said the security situation had forced the premier to cancel a trip planned for next week to Germany, Belgium and France to press Israel's case among European leaders.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and US Secretary of State Colin Powell both cancelled a visit to an Organization of American States meeting in Costa Rica.

Israeli Communications Minister Reuvin Rivlin suggested Saturday that Israel might expel Arafat from the territories if he does not bring an end to the violence, underlining that it was only a possibility.

"Arafat himself is saying that he is controlling everything on the Palestinian side. If he can't, let him leave Palestine," Rivlin said. "Maybe we should send him far away from Gaza," Rivlin told AFP.


June 2001


Magazine






TURKEY HEADING TOWARD "SOCIAL EXPLOSION"...i.e., "REVOLUTION"
(June 30, 2001)
In geostrategic and military terms, the unnamed U.S.-Israel-Turkish military alliance that emerged full-blown during the last decade -- of course with the Turks using the "peace process" as the excuse for such close relations between Turkey and Israel -- was one of the most important developments.

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTIONS EMERGING
(June 29, 2001)
In a sense there is an arms race under way at this time of a different kind -- a race for whether weapons of mass destruction will be used in a serious and ongoing way should a new war break out first in the Subcontinent over Kashmir or in the Middle East over Palestine.

LABOR AND LIKUD MORE ALIKE THAN DIFFERENT - MER FLASHBACK
(June 29, 2001)
Long before what was to happen with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (remember him?), MER was informing who he really was and what to really expect. Same with regard to Shimon Peres. Expect the same cutting-edge information and analysis in the months ahead.

Washington Scene: THE HISTORICAL MOMENT
(June 27, 2001)
The Middle East region totters now between further repression and oppression, terrorism and war. The outcome in the short term is indeterminate of course. But the winds and directions are clear; however much camaflouged by the politicians and the usually gullible mass media.

THREATCON DELTA ORDERED TODAY
(June 22, 2001)
One day they will probably get Osama bin-Laden, former confident of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia, former CIA asset against the once mighty Soviet Empire, now arch nemesis of the American Empire.

"ALGERIA IS IN CRISIS"
(June 22, 2001)
"The Battle of Algiers" left North Africa biggest country terribly bloodied and traumatized. This time it was French imperialism and the French military that did the dirty horrifying deeds.

EGYPT ARMING WHILE REGIME IS SHAKING
(June 21, 2001)
Arab States, including Egypt, are arming at a growing pace. Even combined they are still no match to defeat Israel. But their detterence capabilities are growing, they might be able to seriously bloody Israel in years ahead...

ARAFAT'S FLUNKIES
(June 20, 2001)
There are many reasons the Palestinian people are suffering so terribly, worse by the year in fact, and are now endangered by the possibility of a second "nakba" (disaster).

"THE SECOND HALF OF 1948"
(June 20, 2001)
Official declarations and many reports in the Israeli media indicate that the Israeli military and political leadership are aiming, eventually, at a total destruction of the Palestinian authority, and, with it, the process of Oslo, which is now dominantly considered by them a 'historical mistake'.

TELEGRAPHING WHAT I S TO COME
(June 19, 2001)
Arafat had two roles he had been assigned. That's why none other than former "terrorist" Arafat was the most frequent visitor to the White House during the years 1993 through 2000.

SHARON'S LONG MARCH: NEXT TO WASHINGTON THEN TO THE ATTACK
(June 19, 2001)
Ariel Sharon is proving what others before him, including Generals Patton and MacArthur of American legend, learned about modern warfare. There's a heavy messure of political theatrics and personal legend involved in making war, more so now than ever in this age of instant TV and the Intenet.

SHARON Coming To US Again To Coordinate War Plans
(June 19, 2001)
Sharon is coming to the States again next week. Only a firm "absolutely not" from the Americans is likely now to prevent much further brutal subjugation of the Palestinians; quite possibly the exiling again of Yasser Arafat.

SON OF IMPORTANT ISRAELI FAMILY REFUSES OCCUPATION MILITARY SERVICE
(June 17, 2001)
Coordinated non-violent but serious civil disobedience -- there in the Middle East, in Europe, and in the United States -- that is what today's situation desperately calls out for.

ARIEL SHARON - WAR CRIMINAL?
(June 15, 2001)
Years ago the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kurt Waldheim, was brought before a mock international court through a joint effort of Home Box Office (HBO) in the USA and a major British TV network. The question before the court was whether Kurt Waldheim was possibly guilty of war crimes ...

PREPARING FOR DESTRUCTION
(June 15, 2001)
"If a cease-fire does indeed take hold, then all the better... If Arafat rejects the document or professes to accept it, but does not fulfill his part of the bargain, Israel will win more points in the court of world opinion and a more conducive political backdrop will be created for a military response to Palestinian violence."

ALGERIANS FIRE INTO DEMONSTRATING CROWDS TODAY
(June 14, 2001)
The Berbers in Algeria, the brutal civil war in Sudan, the Palestinians in the once Holy Land, the Kurds in Iraq and Turkey, the ongoing Kashmir crisis -- all conflicts exploding throughout the greater Middle East region today in 2001, all conflicts the legacy of Western colonial policies of yesteryear and American imperial policies of today.

MARCH TO WAR CONTINUES: ISRAEL WARNS IRAN AGAIN
(June 14, 2001)
There are major historical and military reasons why Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton (representing of course huge constituencies who at the time pushed them to pursue the policies they did) pressed Yasser Arafat so hard to sign an agreement at Camp David.

THE SO-CALLED "AGREEMENT"
(June 13, 2001)
There is no real "agreement". There is a dictate. Yasser Arafat is in no position anymore to do much other than what his American handlers tell him to do; a day of reckoning he brought on himself by so many mistakes and so much corruption over such a long time.

Another Muslim Rep Foolishly Plays To The Cameras On Behalf of the Regimes
(June 13, 2001)
A week ago outside the State Department one of the latest Muslim organization reps to grab for the cameras -- Khalid Turaani -- declared in loud tones how the time had finally come for "civil disobedience" and how he and the other leaders of the assembled Muslim "client organizations" were going to get arrested in a peaceful protest ...

HASHEMITE KINGDOM CLOSES BORDERS TO PALESTINIANS
(June 13, 2001)
The Hashemite Regime has always, right from the start, been in deep collusion with the Israelis and since World War II with the CIA. This latest step to close off Jordan to Palestinians -- to essentially put a seal on the jar which now contains the Palestinians ...

CIA TELLS ARAFAT WHAT HE HAS TO DO AND WHAT IT WILL DO FOR HIM
(June 12, 2001)
When the Director of the CIA is himself involved so extensively, goes on site half way around the world for a lengthy stay, and the situation is so critical he has to publicly acknowledge his role ...

CLOVIS MAKSOUD DID IT TWENTY YEARS AGO, APPEARING WITH SHIMON PERES
(June 11, 2001)
Those who know Raghida Dergham know what she is, and its certainly not a truly independent journalist. She's been an opportunist for a very long time, and she's used her sexuality to climb the ladder with backing from one influential Arab diplomat or royal along the way for a long time now.

CALAMITY AHEAD
(June 10, 2001)
"A whole nation is now huddled around one tribal bonfire to lament its bitter fate, mourn its dead and ignore the dead of the other side. As usual, it views itself as the victim, turns the enemy into Satan and waits, inactive and bravely unthinking, for the calamity that is about to befall it and for which it is in no small measure to blame."

WAR POSSIBLE WARNS TOP SAUDI
(June 10, 2001)
Normally one of the last places one would turn for truthfulness, integrity, and information would be the Saudi royal family. Currently headed by a former playboy who drank, gambled, and womanized his life away in Beirut and London -- before assuming the throne -- it is the Saudi "royal family which epitomizes the "client regime" realities that have so fractured, weakened, and prostrated the whole region once known as "the Arab world."

CHRISTIAN LEADERS: WRONG TIME, WRONG ADVICE, WRONG REASONS
(June 8, 2001)
"Be assured of our prayers for you and the President and all others in the Administration as you seek to forge a fair and just policy for the two peoples and three faiths who share a common religious heritage in the land we hold as holy."

THE CRUEL REGIMES OF ARABDOM
(June 7, 2001)
There are huge cultural gulfs between East and West, old world and new world. And of course the West is extraordinarily dominant these days not only it terms of financial and military might, but also in terms of cultural influence and "moral" standards.

SHARON'S RISE
(June 7, 2001)
"In reality the Zionist and Hashemite leaderships continue to plot how to control and repress the Palestinians in ever more crafty and ever more duplicitous ways."

ARAFAT 4 YEARS AGO - MER FLASHBACK
(June 6, 2001)
Last year MER first carried information about the increasingly close CIA, Shinbet, and Mossad connections with Yasser Arafat's "Palestinian Authority".

MUSLIM ORGS EMBARRASS THEMSELVES AT STATE DEPT
(June 5, 2001)
With much press fanfare (they just love to play to the cameras) leaders of half a dozen Muslim American groups held a press conference gathering across from the State Department today.

DESPITE THE LULL, WAR CLOUDS LOOM
(June 4, 2001)
Despite the lull, there are many ominous signs of impending major attacks against the occupied Palestinians about to take place; and there is a real possibility of regional war.

EGYPTIANS THREATEN WAR!
(June 4, 2001)
When the American Secretary of State cancels long-planned foreign travel and publicly warns of the "abyss" from which "there may no return" you can bet the situation behind-the-scenes is far more dangerous and explosive than is publicly realized.

SHARON'S HAWKS PLAN FOR WAR
(June 3, 2001)
Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor, reports on Israel's growing mood for full-scale hostilities in the aftermath of 17 deaths in a nightclub suicide bomb attack

24-HOURS AND COUNTING
(June 2, 2001)
"Americans should not travel to Gaza at the present time and those who live there should depart to a safer location when they can do so." U.S. Embassy, Israel

HATED RAJOUB GETS READY
(June 2, 2001)
With the days of Yasser Arafat maybe coming to an end one way or another, with Feisal Husseini passed from the scene, with the other Palestinian tough guys bottled up in Gaza, the frontrunner strong man to "control" the Palestinian people throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem appears to be Jibril Rajoub.

ARAFAT'S LEGACY
(June 2, 2001)
Yasser Arafat was hired, courted, and well-paid to control his own people and lead them, however much they tried to resist, to the Apartheid-style arrangement the Israelis always had in mind with the so-called "Oslo Peace Process".

ISRAELIS PLANNING BLITZKRIEG?
(June 1, 2001)
For a long time now we have been desperately warning about what the true Israeli intentions are. We have also been warning that the Palestinians are not at all prepared for these eventualities, neither with the terrible leadership provided by the "Palestinian Authority" nor for the world-wide information and public relations battle that accompanies all major developments in our world these days.




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