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Making Sense of the Middle East
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WORLD WATCHES, AMERICANS
MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 10/19:
Once again the United Nations is shameful in its lack of action
Once again the Europeans show how self-centered, weak, and
Once again power and evil are proving themselves dominant in our
least for the moment.
The prayerful statements from the Pope, who just a month ago made
such a big
thing that finally, after 52 years, he was visiting a Palestinian
are scandalous when not coupled with serious actions.
And when it comes to the Arab Regimes, and their Arab League, what
state of affairs they have come to represent.
As for the Americans, well the U.S. has been a co-conspirator with
all along. Oslo and Camp David were always meant as traps to end the
and to "end the conflict" nearly totally on Israeli terms. The
State" they spoke of was always meant to keep the Palestinians on
in bondage, dispossessed and controlled. That some Palestinian
rely on the U.S. is ludicrous. The articulate Hanan Ashrawi is
the rounds of talk-shows in the U.S. telling everyone who will listen
glad Yasser Arafat has agreed to come to the White House to meet with
Clinton in a few weeks, while rarely even mentioning that the CIA now
in her occupied country and it is the Americans who have brought
about this state
of affairs -- not to mention provide Israel the guns, money, and
to continually attack her people.
No wonder Hisham Sharabi, the despicable fat-cat Palestinian elite
made possible the "Arafat Regime", the State Department's "Middle
and the tragic "Foundation for Middle East Peace", are all holding a
meeting for Ashrawi at a fancy Washington hotel this morning...making
carefully restrict who can come and ask her questions! As usual,
from the Israeli/Jewish lobby and media will be well represented!
HELICOPTERS POUND PALESTINIAN SECURITY TARGETS
JERUSALEM, Oct 31 (AFP) - Israeli helicopter gunships pounded
overnight after Prime Minister Ehud Barak, fighting for his political
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat there would be no reward for
The helicopters strafed Palestinian security posts and headquarters
of a Palestinian
militia in late-night strikes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after
pledged to take the "initiative" in clashes with Palestinians.
The combat helicopters bombed a post between Rafah and Khan Yunis in
Gaza Strip of Force 17, the personal protection force of Palestinian
Arafat, and another site near the Jewish settlement of Morag,
They also fired at targets in the West Bank cities of Ramallah and
an office of Arafat's Fatah faction, witnesses said.
It was unclear whether there were any injuries or damage in the
Barak, facing off with his critics in parliament Monday, warned
would be no reward for violence after two Israelis were killed and
again in the occupied territories leaving dozens injured.
Fighting for his political life after losing his parliamentary
months ago, Barak said he believed Middle East peace was still
though Israel did not have a partner prepared for dialogue.
The army said its air strikes were specifically aimed at Force 17 and
militia of Fatah, which Israel holds responsible for instigating a
wave of violence
across the Palestinian territories that has left more than 150 people
"Tonight's operation is a part of the Israeli army's active effort to
responsible for the escalation of the violence directly," it said in
adding that Fatah had "increased the number of attacks against
and security forces in areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
It confirmed an attack on Force 17 headquarters in Gaza and those of
in El-Bireh north of Ramallah and in Nablus, both areas that have
been the scene
of fierce clashes over the past month of deadly Israeli-Palestinian
"The headquarters which were attacked were training and preparing
carried out hundreds of shooting attacks at army forces and
In the early hours of Tuesday, the army reported that some 100
hurling stones and Molotov cocktails at an army post near the Neve
settlement, but said no-one was injured.
Barak said in a speech at the opening of the winter session of the
Knesset, where he was heckled frequently by angry Israeli Arab MPs:
there is a delay, peace will be achieved".
But the former army chief who came to power 15 months ago on a
promise to forge
peace with Israel's Arab neighbours added: "We do not have a partner
time who is ready for compromise."
The Labour leader was speaking for the first time to parliament since
of violence started blazing across the Palestinian territories more
than a month
ago, leaving a total of 154 people dead, most of them Arabs.
"It is not we who chose the path of violence, it was the choice of
and the Palestinian leadership," Barak said. "We will not give any
However, Barak made no mention of his plans to form a political
the hawkish former defence minister Ariel Sharon.
Barak's political skin was saved Monday when the ultra-Orthodox Shas
an agreement not to try to topple his government for at least one
"This is a one-month safety-net for the people of Israel, not for Mr.
Shas leader Eli Yishai told Israeli public television.
Barak's acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami ruled out the creation
ruling coalition that would exclude the possibility of a peace deal
"We will not accept any government coalition that does not leave a
way open for
the peace process," he said in France, describing demands by Likud
Sharon for a right of veto over the peace process as "inadmissible."
In a new twist to the violence on Monday, a gunman shot dead an
guard at an Israeli government building in occupied east Jerusalem --
at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- and left another
An unknown Islamic group, the Martyrs of the al-Aqsa Uprising,
for the attack in a statement faxed to AFP in Beirut.
Israeli police also said the body of a Jewish settler from Gilo, a
in east Jerusalem, was found riddled with bullet holes and stab
wounds near the
Arab village of Beit Jala.
"Israel will not allow its citizens to be harmed. We shall do all we
can to protect
our civilians and our soldiers and to harm those who seek to harm
More than 90 people were wounded in violent confrontations in the
with witnesses claiming the Israelis fired shells and rockets into
border town of Rafah and opened fire with machine-guns mounted on
tanks at the
Karni crossing, near Gaza City.
On Sunday, Israel's army chief of staff Shaul Mofaz had warned that
would take the "initiative" in clashes with the Palestinians after a
Arafat vowed the intidafa or uprising would continue.
Israeli television reported that ahead of the helicopter raids, Barak
talks with top military officials.
TO FACE NEW ONSLAUGHT BY ISRAELIS
Minister sends in crack army units
combat Tanzim gunmen, while damning
attacks "'shoot-to-kill" tactics
Phil Reeves in Jerusalem
The Independent: 31 October 2000 - After bombarding Palestinian towns
missiles from tanks and combat helicopters, shooting dead a scores of
and flattening apartment blocks and orchards, Israel's army says it
go on the offensive -- and "take the initiative" against Tanzim
The new tactic was announced by the deputy defence minister, Ephraim
two human rights groups published damning statistics showing the
scale of the
killings committed by Israeli soldiers during the month-long
Israel's armed forces plan to use special squads trained in counter-
operations against the Tanzim, the armed militia of Fatah, and other
in the occupied territories who have been firing at Israeli army
and at Jewish settlements. The squads would be "effective and smart"
innocent civilian will be killed," said Mr Sneh.
His words -- underscoring a similar threat from Israel's armed forces
staff, General Shaul Mofaz -- failed to reassure the Palestinians,
Israel's repeated use of undercover assassination squads. The
"really threatening and a real sign of escalation," said Saeb Erekat,
former Oslo negotiator for Yasser Arafat.
The conflict is taking on the appearance of a low-level war with a
undercurrent of sectarian killings motivated by revenge and ethnic
The latter took a nasty new twist yesterday, surfacing -- to the
Israelis -- in Jerusalem itself. A gunman, believed to be
dead an Israeli security guard with a bullet to the head outside the
Insurance Institute in the city's eastern Arab sector. A second guard
The outrage in Israel at these deaths was compounded by the news that
bound, stabbed body of an Israeli man had been found near the Jewish
settlement of Gilo on the edge of south Jerusalem. A Palestinian
guard from a
Jerusalem hospital was being treated after being shot by a man
thought to be
a Jewish settler.
With no prospect of a successful ceasefire -- the Sharm el Sheikh
was still-born -- the signs are that the sectarian bloodletting will
increase, with tit-for-tat lynchings. But most of the killing in the
month has been by Israeli soldiers, using M-16s, steel-coated rubber
and high-powered sniper rifles. Btselem, an Israeli human rights
organisation, said that 95 Palestinian civilians had now been killed
Israeli security forces, plus a further 14 security men and 13
with Israeli citizenship.
An analysis of the injuries of the dead by Palestinian doctors --
American Physicians for Human Rights -- has found that almost half of
were shot in the head or neck, several from the back, while the other
were shot in the chest or stomach.
"This is a very clear indicator that the Israeli army is shooting to
They decide which of the demonstrators they want to kill and then
they act as
assassins," said Dr Mustafa Barghouthi, the president of the Union of
Palestinian Medicial Relief Committees, which has been collecting
data on the
victims. It also found that nine out of 10 were killed by live
including "dum-dum" style exploding bullets, used by Israeli army
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