by Laura King. First published: Los Angeles Times 10.12.03
attitude of the Israeli army towards the Palestinian population
during Ramadan MachsomWatch
the Muslim holy month, a moveable date (in 2003 from October 27
to November 24) during which many obligations are placed on the
daily lives of the Muslims. The characteristic activities of Muslims
during this period: fasting from sunrise to sundown, breaking the
fast around 5:00 p.m., attending Friday prayers in the great mosques
in Jerusalem and visiting family members. All these were significantly
hindered or prevented altogether by the Israeli occupying forces.
There was a
complete contradiction between official Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
spokesperson announcements to the Palestinian population and the
situation on the ground.
29 the following announcement was published: "due to recognition
of the month of Ramadan, the IDF and the Office of the Coordinator
of Government Activities in the Territories are implementing a policy
of easing of restrictions for the Palestinian population in the
West Bank and Gaza Strip". On November 2 further easing of
restrictions in movement were announced and on November 3 the IDF
spokesperson declared that the closure around all Palestinian cities,
except Nablus and Jenin had been lifted. On November 20 it was announced
again that IDF and the Civil administration are preparing to facilitate
the passage of Palestinian civilians desiring to attend the "Lelat
al-Kadir" prayers and the last Friday of the month of Ramadan
prayers. These announcements produced the image inside Israel and
abroad that Israeli Government is sympathetic to religious and traditional
needs of the Palestinian population. At the same time it was announced
to the Palestinian population that only persons with special permits
issued by the Civil Administration will be allowed to enter Jerusalem
for prayers at the Temple Mount.
The small number
of permits issued shows the difficulty of obtaining them. During
the whole month of Ramadan 5000 permits for praying at the Temple
Mount were issued (4000 for the West Bank and 1000 for the Gaza
Strip) for a population of 3.5 million people. Our volunteers, who
took field notes at the Civil Administration offices in Beit El
(responsible for Ramallah population) reported on November 23 (Morning)
and at the Civil Administration offices in Gush Etzion (responsible
for Bethlehem population) reported on November 21 and 25 (Bethlehem,
morning), all describing serious malfunctioning of these offices,
where people spend long hours and often have to return again and
again in order to receive the required permit. The absurd Catch
22, of people needing a permit in order to reach the Civil Administration
office in order to get a permit is well documented in the report
from November 19, Qalandiya, afternoon . The pretence of the Israeli
Government to a recognition of the Palestinian population's needs,
including freedom of worship, while on the ground the opposite is
true, and the Civil Administration in fact functions, as an additional
tool to persecute the civilian population, is fully disclosed in
the extensive report "Systematic Abuse by Administrative Means:
A Matter of Policy" prepared by our volunteer and published
on our website (see below for link).
volunteers reported on the first Ramadan Friday Oct 31 morning at
checkpoints A-Ram and Qalandiya, that a big crowd of Palestinians,
many of them old people, was prevented from going to Jerusalem to
pray at the great mosques in the most rude and aggressive way. On
Friday November 14 morning our observers reported from Abu Dis,
about the most appalling scene of abuse of a whole crowd of people
festively dressed and headed for their Friday prayers (including
many old persons and children) by border policemen who drove their
jeep through a crowd and "herded it like cattle down the muddy
alley". On November 17 at Tulkarem checkpoint it was reported
that a group of teachers were prevented from going to their school
in order to prepare the traditional feast for their students. On
Thursday November 20 (Leilat al-Kadir) and Friday November 21 (the
last Friday of Ramadan) no southbound passage whatsoever for Palestinians
without special permits was allowed as reported at Qalandiya and
A-Ram checkpoints. The promised concessions during Ramadan were
never implemented. On the contrary, it seems that hard line policy
became even harder and the detention time, as a punishment for bypassing
the Qalandiya checkpoint was increased from 3 hr to 7-8 hr (see
November 11 and November 18, both afternoon, Qalandiya).
in observing traditional family visits during month of Ramadan was
well described at Qalqiliya checkpoint on November 22 afternoon.
This complete disregard of the religious needs of the whole Muslim
population in the occupied territories was in complete contrast
to the attitude towards a large zealous Jewish group in 40 buses,
(first week of November) who for three days celebrated with music
and dancing at the traditional site of the Tomb of Rachel located
at the entrance to Bethlehem city.
there were two attacks on Israeli security forces and the policy
of collective punishment of the whole Palestinian population was
very evident. On November 19 afternoon (two days after the killing
of two Israeli soldiers at the tunnel road near El-Khader area)
our volunteers reported from Qalandiya about the most rude and aggressive
behavior towards Palestinians with disregard towards humanitarian
cases and open justification of this behavior as a legitimate response
to the above mentioned soldiers killings. Similarly, on November
23 morning (two days after the killing of two security guards at
the separation wall in Abu Dis) people present at the wall area
were sprayed in the eyes with tear gas and ambulances were prevented
from entering Abu Dis.
The need to
create friction so that the subsequent response (by security forces)
can show "who is a boss" is well documented by the report
from November 18 morning where our volunteers witnessed stone throwing
by students from Abu Dis University towards patrolling border police,
who responded with rubber bullets causing injury to 10 persons.
Blue (civil) police join the Israeli army in the effort to abuse
and persecute the civilian Palestinian population in the West Bank.
Our volunteers reported absurd fines of 50 to 500 NIS ($10 to $110
for a population where nearly 70% live below the poverty line -
i.e. an income of less than $2 per day) imposed by Israeli police,
on November 6 in Huwarra, November 18 morning in Abu Dis, and November
31 morning in Waadi Nar near Abu Dis. On November 16 morning in
the Bethlehem area a Palestinian woman was fined 250 NIS ($50) for
crossing the main road illegally or imprudently (according to civil
laws, i.e. not at a designated pedestrian walkway).
Nablus area checkpoints
made extensive observations at Huwarra, Beit Furik, Saara ,Izhar
and Tapuach junctions, checkpoints placed in the heart of the West
Bank. The reports about those checkpoints can be found under Huwarra
section at our website. It is very clear that settlers and soldiers
from settlements who very often serve at those checkpoints have
a very negative impact on the attitude towards Palestinians (see
report from November 4-afternoon, Izhar junction part).
Each of those
checkpoints has its own characteristics. Through Huwarra checkpoint
the largest number of people pass and sometimes hundreds of people
are checked by only a few soldiers. Soldiers are usually very aggressive,
putting a lot of energy into enforcing order instead of speeding
up the passage. (see reports from November 11 afternoon, November
15 morning ,November 19 afternoon ) The lack of any common sense
in order implementation was observed on November 11 morning when
an ambulance was denied passage, because of bypassing a waiting
line of cars. At the slightest sign of 'disobedience' people are
punished by long (3-5 hours) detention (see November 16 morning
) with the most extreme case of detaining a 14 year old boy by handcuffing
for 6 hours , see November 20 afternoon . Very often people going
for medical treatment are denied passage on the alleged grounds
that their medical papers are forged, and the absurd argument that
"if you are ill go by ambulance" could be heard (see November
22, morning ).
At Beit Furik
our volunteer noticed the presence of particularly violent and rude
soldiers who felt free to force people to wait on their knees with
handcuffed hands behind their backs and to make joyful rides on
"beach buggy-vehicles" in order to hunt Palestinians who
tried to bypass this checkpoint (see November 24 afternoon and November
29 morning reports). Saara checkpoint is an example of those checkpoints
that are obviously intended as harassment, preventing local Palestinian
residents from getting using transportation to reach their homes.
Instead, they are supposed to climb a very steep hill on foot and
our observers reported old and young doing this with great physical
effort. (see November 19 afternoon, November 26 afternoon and November
are near to the Green Line with the notorious Separation Wall nearby,
greatly disrupting the life of villages in this area. Jubara village
is one of many along the Separation Wall, where people live under
constant closure, see November 3-morning and November 17-morning
. Jubara is trapped between the Separation Wall and the checkpoint
and citizens of this village are required to obtain special residency
permits allowing them to move through Jubara checkpoint, see October
20 morning , however very often those permits are not respected
and people cannot leave this "ghetto" not in order to
seek medical help (see November 17 morning). Jubara village totally
depends on food aid distributed by the Red Cross and medical services
are provided once a week by Physicians for Human Rights. (The Red
Cross and other international aid agencies announced in November
that they are discontinuing their services to the West Bank because
of the difficulties created by the Curfew-closure-checkpoint policy
and the Israeli security forces there). School children need to
pass through a special gate in a wall, which is opened for a few
minutes by soldiers in spite of many promises that it will be open
at least for half an hour, when children go and come back at the
beginning and the end of their school day. Our observers reported
about serious disruptions in schoolchildren's and student's passage
to their school in A-Ras and to their collage in Tulkarm, respectively
(see November 3 morning and afternoon, November 10 afternoon, November
17 morning and afternoon and November 20 afternoon).
Punched an Arab in the Face
Gideon Levy, Haaretz Weekend Magazine 21/11/2003
For years and years one of our chief slogans in demonstrations against
the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians was: "The occupation
corrupts". Decades have elapsed, and Israel reaps what it sowed:
average Israeli kids go to the army and turn sadistic animals, just
by complying with the consensus, with the general rule.
is one soldier's belated report about his regular service at the
checkpoints of the IDF.
Please read the recent report by Gideon Levy in Ha'aretz, and think:
where does the monster grow? Not in remote, twisted regions, but
in our own back yard (or rather front yard?).
For better days,
Professor Avraham Oz
I Punched an Arab in the Face - Gideon Levy, Haaretz Weekend Magazine
Staff Sergeant (res.) Liran Ron Furer cannot just routinely get
on with his life anymore. He is haunted by images from his three
years of military service in Gaza and the thought that this could
be a syndrome afflicting everyone who serves at checkpoints gives
him no respite. On the verge of completing his studies in the design
program at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, he decided to
drop everything and devote all his time to the book he wanted to
write. The major publishers he brought it to declined to publish
it. The publisher that finally accepted it (Gevanim) says that the
Steimatzky bookstore chain refuses to distribute it. But Furer is
determined to bring his book to the public's attention.
"You can adopt the most hard-line political positions, but
no parent would agree to his son becoming a thief, a criminal or
a violent person," says Furer. "The problem is that it's
never presented this way. The boy himself doesn't portray himself
this way to his family when he returns from the territories. On
the contrary - he is received as a hero, as someone who is doing
the important work of being a soldier. No one can be indifferent
to the fact that there are many families in which, in a certain
sense, there are already two generations of criminals. The father
went through it and now the son is going through it and no one talks
about it around the dinner table."
Furer is certain
that what happened to him is not at all unique. Here he was - a
creative, sensitive graduate of the Thelma Yellin High School of
the Arts, who became an animal at the checkpoint, a violent sadist
who beat up Palestinians because they didn't show him the proper
courtesy, who shot out tires of cars because their owners were playing
the radio too loud, who abused a retarded teenage boy lying handcuffed
on the floor of the Jeep, just because he had to take his anger
out somehow. "Checkpoint Syndrome" (also the title of
his book), gradually transforms every soldier into an animal, he
maintains, regardless of whatever values he brings with him from
home. No one can escape its taint. In a place where nearly everything
is permissible and violence is perceived as normative behavior,
each soldier tests his own limits of violence impulsiveness on his
victims – the Palestinians.
His book is not easy reading. Written in terse, fierce prose, in
the blunt and coarse language of soldiers, he reconstructs scenes
from the years in which he served in Gaza (1996-1999), years that,
one must remember, were relatively quiet. He describes how he and
his comrades forced some Palestinians to sing "Elinor"
- "It was really something to see these Arabs singing a Zohar
Argov song, like in a movie"; the emotions the Palestinians
aroused in him - "Sometimes these Arabs really disgust me,
especially those that try to toady up to us - the older ones, who
come to the checkpoint with this smile on their faces"; the
reactions they spurred - "If they really annoy us, we find
away to keep them stuck at the checkpoint for a few hours. They
lose a whole day of work because of it sometimes, but that's the
only way they learn."
how they would order children to clean the checkpoint before inspection
time; how a soldier named Shahar invented a game: "He checks
someone's identity card, and instead of handing it back to him,
just tosses it in the air. He got a kick out of seeing the Arab
have to get out of his car to pick up his identity card ... It's
a game for him and he can pass a whole shift this way"; how
they humiliated a dwarf who came to the checkpoint every day on
his wagon: "They forced him to have his picture taken on the
horse, hit him and degraded him for a good half hour and let him
go only when cars arrived at the checkpoint. The poor guy, he really
didn't deserve it"; how they had a souvenir picture taken with
bloodied, bound Arabs whom they'd beaten up; how Shahar pissed on
the head of an Arab because the man had the nerve to smile at a
soldier; how Dado forced an Arab to stand on four legs and bark
like a dog; and how they stole prayer beads and cigarettes - "Miro
wanted them to give him their cigarettes, the Arabs didn't want
to give so Miro broke someone's hand, and Boaz slashed their tires."
The most chilling
of all the personal confessions: "I ran toward them and punched
an Arab right in the face. I'd never punched anyone that way. He
collapsed on the road. The officers said that we had to search him
for his papers. We pulled his hands behind his back and I bound
them with plastic handcuffs. Then we blindfolded him so he wouldn't
see what was in the Jeep. I picked him up from the road. Blood was
trickling from his lip onto his chin. I led him up behind the Jeep
and threw him in, his knees banged against the trunk and he landed
inside. We sat in the back, stepping on the Arab ... Our Arab lay
there pretty quietly, just crying softly to himself. His face was
right on my flak jacket and he was bleeding and making a kind of
puddle of blood and saliva, and it disgusted and angered me, so
I grabbed him by the hair and turned his head to the side. He cried
out loud and to get him to stop, we stepped harder and harder on
his back. That quieted him down for a while and then he started
up again. We concluded that he was either retarded or crazy.
"The company commander informed us over the radio that we had
to bring him to the base. `Good work, tigers,' he said, teasing
us. All the other soldiers were waiting there to see what we'd caught.
When we came in with the Jeep, they whistled and applauded wildly.
We put the Arab next to the guard. He didn't stop crying and someone
who understood Arabic said that his hands were hurting from the
handcuffs. One of the soldiers went up to him and kicked him in
the stomach. The Arab doubled over and grunted, and we all laughed.
It was funny ... I kicked him really hard in the ass and he flew
forward just as I'd expected. They shouted that I was a totally
crazy, and they laughed ... and I felt happy. Our Arab was just
a 16-year-old mentally retarded boy."
In his sister's
rooftop Tel Aviv apartment, where he is living now, Furer, 26, comes
across as a thoughtful, intelligent young man. He grew up in Givatayim,
after his parents immigrated from the Soviet Union in the 1970s.
Before Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, his mother was a right wing
activist, but he says that their home was not political. He wanted
to be in a combat unit in the army, and served in two elite infantry
units. He did his entire army service in the Gaza Strip.
After the army, he traveled to India, like so many others. "Now
I was free. The crazy energies of Goa and the chakras opened my
mind ... You stuck me in this stinking Gaza and before that you
brainwashed me with your rifles and your marches, you turned me
into a dishrag that didn't think anymore," he wrote from Goa.
But it was only afterward, when he was studying at Bezalel, that
the experiences from his army service really began to affect him.
"I came to realize that there was an unchanging pattern here,"
he says. "It was the same in the first intifada, in the period
that I was serving, which was quiet, and in the second intifada.
It's become a permanent reality. I started to feel very uncomfortable
with the fact that such a loaded subject was hardly mentioned at
all in public. People listened to the victim and they listened to
the politicians, but this voice that says: I did this, we did things
that were wrong - crimes, actually - that's a voice I didn't hear.
The reason it wasn't being heard was a combination of repression
- just as I repressed it and ignored it - and of deep feelings of
"As soon as you get away from army service, the political and
media reality around you is not ready to hear this voice. I remember
that I was surprised that no soldier had gone public with this yet.
It all somehow dissolved in the debate about the legitimacy of settlement
in the territories, about the occupation - for or against - and
nothing connected to the routine of maintaining the occupation appeared
in the media or in art."
Not an individual case
Furer is out to prove that this is a syndrome and not a collection
of isolated, individual cases. That's why he deleted a lot of personal
details from the original manuscript, in order to underscore the
general nature of what he describes. "During my army service,
I believed that was atypical, because I came from a background of
art and creativity. I was considered a moderate soldier - but I
fell into the same trap that most soldiers fall into. I was carried
away by the possibility of acting in the most primal and impulsive
manner, without fear of punishment and without oversight. You're
tense about it at first, but as you get more comfortable at the
checkpoint over time, the behavior becomes more natural. People
gradually test the limits of their behavior toward the Palestinians.
It gradually becomes coarser and coarser.
"The more confident I became with the situation, as soon as
we reached the conclusion – each one at his own stage - that
we are the rulers, we are the strong ones, and when we felt our
power, each one started to stretch the limits more and more, in
accordance with his personality. As soon as serving at the checkpoint
became routine, all kinds of deviant behavior became normal. It
started with 'souvenir collecting': We'd confiscate prayer beads
and then it was cigarettes and it didn't stop. It became normative
"After that came the power games. We got the message from above
that we were to project seriousness and deterrence to the Arabs.
Physical violence also became normative. We felt free to punish
any Palestinian who didn't follow the 'proper code of behavior'
at the checkpoint. Anyone we thought wasn't polite enough to us
or tried to act smart - was severely punished. It was deliberate
harassment on the most trivial pretexts.
"During my army service, there wasn't a single incident that
made us understand, or made our commanders interfere. No one talked
about what was permitted and what was not. It was all a matter of
routine. In retrospect, the biggest source of guilt feelings for
me didn't happen at the checkpoint, but by the Gush Katif fence,
when we caught the retarded boy. I demonstrated the most extreme
behavior. It was a chance for me to catch one - the closest thing
to catching a terrorist, a chance to vent all the pressure and impulses
that had built up in all of us. To lash out the way we wanted to.
We were used to giving slaps, to handcuffing, to a little kicking,
a little beating, and here was a situation in which it was justified
to let go entirely. Also, the officer who was with us was himself
very violent. We gave the kid a real beating and as soon as we got
to the post, I remember having a great feeling of pride, that I'd
been treated like someone strong. They said, 'What a nut you are,
how crazy you are', which was basically like saying, 'How strong
"At the checkpoint, young people have the chance to be masters
and using force and violence becomes legitimate - and this is a
much more basic impulse than the political views or values that
you bring from home. As soon as using force is given legitimacy,
and even rewarded, the tendency is to take it as far as it can go,
to exploit it much as possible. To satisfy these impulses beyond
what the situation requires. Today, I'd call it sadistic impulses
"We weren't criminals or especially violent people. We were
a group of good boys, a relatively 'high-quality' group, and for
all of us - and we still talk about this sometimes - the checkpoint
became a place to test our personal limits. How tough, how callous,
how crazy we could be - and we thought of that in the positive sense.
Something about the situation - being in a godforsaken place, far
from home, far from oversight - made it justified ... The line of
what was forbidden was never precisely drawn. No one was ever punished
and they just let us continue.
"Today, I feel confident saying that even the most senior ranks
– the brigade commander, the battalion commander - are aware
of the power that soldiers have in this situation and what they
do with it. How could a commander not be aware of it when the more
crazy and tough his soldiers are, the quieter his sector is? The
more complex picture of the long-term effects of this violent behavior
is something you only become conscious of when you get away from
"Today it's clear to me that that boy whose father we humiliated
for the flimsiest of reasons will grow up to hate anyone who represents
what was done to his father. I definitely have an understanding
of their motives now. We are cruelty, we are power. I'm sure that
their response is affected by elements related to their society
- a disregard for human life and a readiness to sacrifice lives
- but the basic desire to resist, the hatred itself, the fear -
I feel are completely justified and legitimate, even if it's risky
to say so.
"It's impossible to be in such an emotional state and to go
back home on leave and detach yourself from it. I was very insensitive
to the feelings of my girlfriend at the time. I was an animal, even
when I was on leave. It also sticks with you after your service.
I saw the remnants of the syndrome in India - something about being
in the Third World, among dark-skinned people, brings out the worst
of the 'ugly Israeli', which is as Israeli as it gets. Or the way
you react to a smile: When Palestinians would smile at me at the
checkpoint, I got tense and construed it as defiance, as chutzpah.
When someone smiled at me in India, I immediately went on the defensive.
"I was an average soldier," he says. "I was the joker
of the group. Now I see that I was often the one to take the lead
in violent situations. I often was the one who gave the slap. I'm
the one who came up with all kinds of ideas like letting the air
out of tires. It sounds twisted now, but we really admired anyone
who could beat up some guy who supposedly had it coming. The officer
we admired most was the officer who fired his weapon at every opportunity.
Out of everyone I've spoken to, I've been left with the most guilt
feelings ... A friend from the army read the book and said that
I'm right, that we did bad things, but we were kids. And he said
that it's a shame that I took it too hard."
Face 'Humanitarian Catastrophe', UN Report 12/11/2003
in the Israeli-occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank are
"on the verge of humanitarian catastrophe," according
to a report released at UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday
by the UN Human Rights Commission's Special Rapporteur on the right
to food, Jean Ziegler.
based on a visit to the territories last July, as well as statistics
accumulated over the past year by UN and U.S. agencies that have
studied the situation, describes the ongoing conflict between Israelis
and Palestinians as a "horrifying tragedy" and stresses
that Israel has the right to take defensive measures to protect
its citizens against attacks.
a recognized authority on international law and human rights from
Switzerland, charges Israel with failing to uphold its legal obligation
to ensure the right to food of the civilian Palestinian population,
with the result that more than half of Palestinian households are
currently eating only one meal a day and are fully dependent on
international food aid.
Palestinians who the Special Rapporteur met spoke of trying to subsist
on little more than bread and tea," Ziegler wrote in his 24-page
report. "Severe malnutrition reported in Gaza is now equivalent
to levels found in poor, sub-Saharan (African) countries, an absurd
situation as Palestine was formerly a middle-income economy"
with a rich agricultural base.
of the ways in which current security measures are applied in the
OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territories) are entirely disproportionate
in the sense that they jeopardize the food and water security of
the great majority of the Palestinians and thus amount to collective
punishment," according to Ziegler who called on Israel to "immediately
lift internal closures within the OPT" that restrict movement
and access to food and end "the regime of closures and curfews
where these are causing an increase in the malnutrition and poverty
levels of the civilian Palestinian population."
The new report
was released just one day after another UN study by the Office for
the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warning that Israel's construction
of a barrier separating Palestinian from Israeli populations around
and within the West Bank will cause major additional hardships for
Palestinian civilians, separating some 680,000 of them from their
fields, jobs, and schools.
It said that,
when completed, the 400-mile-long fence/wall will also effectively
expropriate or render useless some 14.5 percent of the West Bank.
to the report, the Israeli government, which says the wall is necessary
to prevent the infiltration into Israel and Jewish settlements of
Palestinian suicide bombers and other assailants, insisted that
no more than four percent of the land will be cut off by the barrier,
and that the number of Palestinians to be affected will run into
the thousands, rather than the hundreds of thousands.
an overwhelming vote by the UN General Assembly last month to cease
work on the wall and tear down what has already been built. Only
four countries voted against the resolution: the Marshall Islands,
Micronesia, and the United States, and Israel itself. The U.S. earlier
vetoed a similar Security Council resolution condemning the barrier's
At the same
time, however, the government of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
also appears to be increasingly concerned about the humanitarian
situation in the occupied territories, particularly since the armed
forces chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, told reporters late
last month that Israel risked an explosion if the situation remain
impact of curfews, road-blocks and crackdowns, he warned, are "tactics
that operate against our own strategic interests" and are only
increasing hatred for Israel among the Palestinian population likely
to translate into greater support for terrorism. "The war,"
he said, "is taking place on the backs of civilians."
Sharon announced that he was ordering an easing of restrictive measures
in advance of Wednesday's investiture of a Palestinian government
under its new prime minister, Ahmed Qurei. "I have a strong
desire to implement humanitarian measures rapidly but our problem
is that as we take important steps to ease the situation and open
the roadblocks, terrorist actions will increase," he said after
reportedly warning his fellow Likud Party members Monday that he
was increasingly concerned that a collapse of the Palestinian Authority
would force Israel to assume responsibility for the welfare of Palestinians
in the occupied territories.
In his report,
however, Ziegler insists that "the vast majority of the OPT
is under the effective control of the occupying army," and
thus Israel has the responsibility under international humanitarian
law to ensure that the civilian population receive adequate supplies
of food and water.
He also criticized
the construction of the barrier, which he referred to as "the
security fence/apartheid wall" in a reference to the racial
separation policies implemented by the National Party government
in South Africa, noting the assessment of "many Israeli and
Palestinian intellectuals and non-governmental organizations"
that it is intended to further a strategy of "Bantustanization"
of the Palestinian territory that will make it impossible for any
future Palestinian state to "realize the right to food of its
of land, extension of settlements and settler-only roads, and the
building of the security fence/apartheid wall, where this deprives
thousands of Palestinians of their lands, homes, crops and means
of subsistence, is a violation of the right to food," according
to the report.
wrote, often appear arbitrary and sometimes result in the spoilage
of produce or other food. The number of checkpoints through which
produce trucks must pass also delay delivery of food and add to
Palestinians, the inability to feed their families is leading to
a loss of human dignity, often heightened by bullying and humiliation
at checkpoints," according to Ziegler who noted that at one
point during his nine-day visit to the territories, a soldier at
one checkpoint "deliberately took aim with his weapon at very
short range at the Special Rapporteur's vehicle."
the soldier did not fire his weapon, but the Special Rapporteur
noted that these types of incidents are occurring far too frequently."
ask critical questions about Amneh Mounah's situation, 02/11/2003
in the Neve Tirtza Prison we don't hear and don't see a lot. Today
we got the following very worrying information about Amneh Mounah,
now on the 7th day of hunger strike after being attacked by prison
Support and Human Rights Association is gravely concerned for the
health of Palestinian female prisoner Amneh Mounah, who has begun
her seventh day of open ended hunger strike, protesting against
physical attacks against her and her continued isolation. Addameer's
lawyer, Adv. Mahmoud Hassan, was able to take a full account of
the attack against Mounah during a visit on Thursday 30 October
2003, and able to see the physical effects of the attack. Mounah
is suffering from extreme pain in her lower back, left hand, and
eyes as a result of injuries sustained from the attack. She has
to date not received adequate medical attention.
On the morning of Saturday 25 October 2003, Mounah was transferred
from her cell at Ramleh Prison to an isolation cell within the same
prison. After an hour of being in isolation, a number of prison
guards came to her cell and told her to strip in order for them
to search her. According to testimony given by Mounah, the prison
guards gave her a choice, either she removed her clothes of her
own free will, or they would bring a large force of guards to strip
her. She refused to strip, particularly as there were male prison
guards in the cell. The prison guard told her that they would make
the male guards stand behind the door while she stripped, but she
The prison guards then left, but after an hour returned with a larger
force of soldiers and prison guards, headed by "Asher",
and began to physically assault Mounah, also forcing her to strip
and attacking her with tear gas in the isolation cell. She suffered
forceful blows to the waist, back and hands. According to Mounah's
testimony, one of the guards, "Shabi", grabbed her by
the throat and began to strangle her, at the same time screaming
at her "You are a terrorist!" She began to lose consciousness,
and also began to bleed from her mouth. At that point, Mounah felt
someone pull "Shabi" away from her.
Three hours later, she was transferred to another isolation cell
and given a sedative. She received no other medical attention. The
prison director visited her in the isolation cell, informing her
that she was to remain in isolation for 7 days, charging her that
she had attacked 3 prison guards. On Sunday 26 October, Mounah began
an open-ended hunger strike in protest of the attack and the conditions
of her detention in isolation. On Monday 27 October, she was transferred
to another isolation cell at the Ramleh Hospital, where she has
also not received medical attention, and on Tuesday 28 October,
she began refusing water.
The isolation cell in which she is being held at Ramleh hospital
does not have a toilet, and in order for her to use the toilet or
to bathe she must be taken out of the isolation cell in shackles.
Mounah has refused to bathe while shackled, and was not allowed
to bathe without the shackles until Wednesday 29 October.
In her testimony, Mounah also noted that 40 of the female prisoners
held with her began a solidarity hunger strike in protest of the
attack on Monday 27 October. Six women were subsequently placed
in isolation, including 'Aishah 'Abeyat, 'Umayah Dammaj, Ra'eda
Jadallah, Wasfiyeh Abu 'Ajamiyeh, Samar Bader and Su'ad Ghazal.
Prison guards also attacked two of the female prisoners, 'Aishah'
Abeyat and Su'ad Ghazal. As punishment, the prison administration
confiscated mattresses and television sets from the cells, and refused
all 40 women canteen privileges, which are vital in order to acquire
Addameer is gravely concerned for the well being of Amneh Mounah,
particularly as she has not received medical treatment for her injuries
and the fact that she remains in isolation despite her health conditions.
Addameer strongly urges the international community to protest these
conditions. Letters of protest and enquiries regarding the well
being of Amneh Mounah may be addressed to:
Mrs Orit Adato
Israel Prison Service
Fax: +972 8 921 0649
Attorney-General/Legal Advisor to the Government
Ministry of Justice
29 Salah al-Din Street
Jerusalem 91010, Israel
Fax: 02 6285438
(Department for International Agreements and International Litigation)
Fax: 03 6899792/758, Email: email@example.com
To query the Israeli Prison Service directly, contact:
Tel: +08 9776806
ADDAMEER - Prisoners' Support and Human Rights Association
PO Box: 17338, Jerusalem.
Ramallah, West Bank.
Tel: +972-2-2960446 Fax: +972-2-2960447
for boycott of Israeli academic institutions, 26/11/2003
outlines the position of Palestinian academics and intellectuals
on the international boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Our
position is a consequence of decades of debilitating occupation,
the dispossession of most Palestinians, Israel's continuing atrocities,
its campaigns to disrupt Palestinian educational and other civil
institutions, its breaches of international law and of humanitarian
standards, as well as the general discriminatory nature of its system.
These practices are all well documented in UN resolutions, in reports
of human rights agencies, and are starkly visible in the form of
facts on the ground.
facts speak for themselves but a solution is nowhere in sight, it
is time for people of conscience to take a stand and influence both
public opinion and government policies. It now must be so since
the world's powers have failed to take measures that hold Israel,
like any other state, accountable for its abuses and force it to
adhere to international standards. In the absence of any such accountability,
it becomes the duty of citizens to act independently to expose and
of Israeli academic institutions is a peaceful form of resistance
already available the world over and has demonstrated growing potential.
It sends a strong message of concern over the ongoing destruction
of Palestinian educational institutions and, in particular, helps
expose to the world's public the culpability of Israeli academic
institutions in perpetuating the illegal occupation.
entails a pledge not to support or participate in any conference,
cooperative research, grant writing or grant evaluation, or other
supportive activities, such as academic exchanges or visits, held
at or involving Israeli universities and other state institutions.
this international boycott should be sustained until Israel withdraws
from all lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, removes
all its colonies [settlements] in those lands, agrees to United
Nations resolutions relevant to the restitution of Palestinian rights,
and dismantles its system of apartheid. Meanwhile, we encourage
dialogue with people (internationally and in Israel) who demonstrate
readiness to participate in realizing these objectives.
other academics and intellectuals not to remain unmoved, or by their
silence become complicit, but rather to take a stand and act in
solidarity with the Palestinians, with Israeli dissenters, and with
the growing international movement against the Israeli government's
colonial war in occupied Palestine. We urge fellow academics and
intellectuals worldwide to adhere to and publicize this call to
boycott, and to affirm it as an act of conscience.
is it all about? - Samah Jabr, M.D. native of Jerusalem
overwhelming and ceaseless atrocities of Israel's government leave
most Palestinians with little opportunity to reflect on the moral
aspect of our resistance. Most often our reactions to events are
immediate, instinctive and emotional. The few who still manage to
consider the moral, political and strategic aspects of our struggle
may find themselves all but stymied by the contradictions, the lack
of choice, and the damage done by war to both reason and conscience.
How can Palestinian resistance be fairly assessed, then, with due
consideration given to the entire history of the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict? The occupation of Palestine is based on a 19th century
ideology that denied the very existence of the Palestinian people
and pursued a colonial agenda asserting divine claims to a "land
without a people". In response to this "theo-colonial"
aggression, the Palestinian resistance adopted the strategy of "a
protracted people's war" to regain recognition as a dispossessed,
rather than "nonexistent" nation.
To this day Palestinians still have no state or armed forces. Our
occupiers subject us to curfews, expulsions, home demolitions, legalised
torture, and a highly imaginative assortment of human rights violations.
No justifiable comparison can be drawn between the level of official
accountability to which Palestinans are held for the actions of
a few individuals and the responsibility for the systematic and
intense violence against the entire Palestinian population practiced
with impunity by the state of Israel. The American media call our
search for freedom "terrorism", thus casting the Palestinian
in the role of the international prototype for the terrorist. This
has shaped Western public consciousness and resulted in an international
bias that tends to describe instances of violence against Palestinian
civilians in neutral language, reducing Palestinian losses to mere
faceless statistics, while using emotional language and visuals
to describe Israeli losses.
This distortion of the Palestinian resistance has clouded all reasonable
dialogue. Many of our efforts to defy the arbitrary rules of the
occupier are reflexively dismissed as "terrorism," and
we are always expected to apologize for and condemn Palestinian
resistance, despite the lack of agreement on a definition of terrorism,
and the fact that the right to self-determination by armed struggle
is permissible under the United Nations Charter's Article 51, concerning
Why is the word "terrorism" so readily applied to individuals
or groups who use homemade bombs, but not to states using nuclear
and other internationally prohibited weapons to ensure submission
to the oppressor? Israel, the United States and Britain should top
the list of terrorism-exporting states for their use of armed attacks
against non-combatants in Palestine, Iraq, Sudan and other parts
of the world. But "terrorism" is a political term used
by the colonizer to discredit those who resist - as the Afrikaaners
and Nazis named the Black and French freedom fighters, respectively.
Distortion of the Palestinian resistance has clouded all reasonable
dialogue. There also is a trend among those who oppose Palestinian
resistance to use the term "jihad" as a synonym for terrorism.
In doing so, they reduce the meaning of jihad to mere death. Jihad
is a rich concept which includes struggling against one's lesser
self, the effort to do good deeds, actively opposing injustice,
and being patient in times of hardship. It is not about violence
against God's creatures, or not fearing death in defending the rights
of God's creations. Violence can, however, be a rational human's
means of defense. When a woman reacts violently when threatened
with rape, that is a form of jihad.
Moreover, jihad is an Islamic value, and not all Palestinian fighters
are Muslims. The reason why young, sincere altruistic Palestinians
blow themselves up is a secret they take with them to the grave.
Perhaps it is the strange fruit of revenge growing in the fertile
soil of oppression and occupation, or their profound protest against
merciless cruelty; or a desperate attempt at attaining equality
with Israelis in death, since it is impossible for them in life.
Those who live under inhuman conditions all their lives are, unfortunately,
capable of inhuman acts. What is left for the homeless thousands
in Rafah except their resistance? It is not Islam; it is human nature,
shared by religious, secular and agnostic Palestinian men and women.
Certainly our women bombers do not die in the expectation of 70
virgins awaiting them in Paradise.
Another factor influencing Palestinian resistance is the gloomy
history of peace talks and the lack of international support. Negotiations
with Israel have given us nothing but promises of autonomy over
our impoverishment, while enforcing the will of the powerful and
establishing illegalities, as the basis for a lasting settlement.
The most glaring absence in this peace process was an honest peace
broker. The United Nations has been unable to take steps to ensure
the implementation of Palestinian rights. The world has offered
not a single remedy for the numerous wounds the Palestinians have
suffered; Washington repeatedly has used its veto in the Security
Council to thwart the broad consensus calling for an international
monitoring presence in the West Bank and Gaza. The relentless denial
of Palestinian rights without an effective verbal or actual international
response has left us acutely aware that self-defense is our only
International law grants a people fighting an illegal occupation
the right to use "all necessary means at their disposal"
to end their occupation, and the occupied "are entitled to
seek and receive support" (I quote here from several United
Nations resolutions). Armed resistance was used in the American
Revolution, the Afghan resistance against Russia (which the U.S.
supported), the French resistance against the Nazis, and even in
the Nazi concentration camps, or, more famously, in the Warsaw Ghetto.
Palestinian resistance arises out of a similarly oppressive situation.
The degree of violent response varies from case to case, indeed,
in many instances resistance is mainly non-violent. Despite all
the odds against them, people resiliently continue to live, study,
pray and plant crops in occupied land. In a few cases, they actively
resist and resort to violence. This violent resistance may be defensive
(and, thus, to my mind, morally acceptable), such as the resistance
of the Jenin refugee camp fighters as Israeli death machines approached;
or it may take the form of unacceptable offensive acts, such as
the bombing of Israeli civilians celebrating a Passover meal.
In all cases, however, it is individual Palestinians who choose
the form of resistance, and the choices they make should not characterize
the entire nation. Also, as we have seen, both peaceful and violent
resistance are met with sanctioned, deliberate state violence by
the democratic and free Israeli government and its forces. The death
of American peace activist Rachel Corrie is evidence enough of that.
"Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?" some people wonder.
Our Gandhis are either in prison, in exile or in graves. Nor do
we have a population in the hundreds of millions. We are 3.3 million
unarmed, defenseless individuals facing 6 million Israelis, virtually
all of them soldiers or reservists. This is not industrial colonization;
the Israelis are practicing ethnic cleansing to secure the land
for Jews alone.
It is ironic that few of those who exhort Palestinians to emulate
Gandhi question Zionism, the root cause of the Israeli occupation.
In 1938, however, Gandhi himself questioned the premise of political
Zionism. "My sympathy does not blind me to the requirements
of justice", he said. "The cry for the national home for
the Jews does not much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought
in the Bible and in the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered
after their return to Palestine. Why should they not, like other
peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are
born and where they earn their livelihood?"
rejected the idea of a Jewish state in the Promised Land by pointing
out that the "Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a
arises from an inhuman military occupation, one that levies punishment
arbitrarily and without trial, denies the possibility of livelihood
and systematically destroys the prospects of a future. The Palestinian
people have not gone to another people's homeland to kill or dispossess.
Our ambition is not to blow ourselves up in order to terrify others.
We are asking for what all other people rightfully have, a decent
life in the land of our birth.
What is most
troubling about the criticism of our resistance is that it cares
little for our suffering, our dispossession, and the violation of
our most basic rights. When we are murdered, these critics are unmoved.
Our peaceful, everyday struggle to live a decent life makes no impression
on them. When some of us succumb to retaliation and revenge, the
outrage and condemnation is directed at us all. Israeli security
is deemed more important than our right to a basic livelihood; Israeli
children are seen as more human than ours; Israeli pain more unacceptable
than ours. When we rebel against the inhuman conditions imposed
upon us, our critics dismiss us as terrorists, enemies of human
life and civilization.
But it is
not to appease our critics that we must revisit our resistance.
It is because we care about Palestinian morality and morale.
law and the historical precedent of many nations sanction the right
of a people suffering from colonial oppression to take up arms in
their freedom struggle. Why should it be different in the case of
Palestinians? Is not the point of international law that it is universal?
claim life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as their most fundamental
human rights. It is fitting that the right to life should be mentioned
first. After all, without the right to remain alive, to be safe
from attack, to defend oneself against attack, the other rights
become meaningless. Fundamental to that right is exercising the
right of self-defense.
continue to face a brutal occupation with exposed chests and empty
hands. I believe in dialogue in the Israeli-Palestinian encounter,
but negotiations should never be the only option; they must go hand-in-hand
with resistance to the occupation. While the Israelis talk to us
they continue to build settlements and hastily construct a wall
that will further constrict and violate our rights. Why should we
abandon our right to resist and remain living in the realm of the
To live under
oppression and submit to injustice is incompatible with psychological
health. Resistance not only is a right and a duty, but is a remedy
for the oppressed. Even if not as a strategic, pragmatic option,
we should resist as an expression of, and insistence on, our human
must always be in defense, and as the last resort. It is important,
however, to distinguish between permissible (military) and impermissible
(civilian) targets, and to set limits for the use of arms. Nor must
the oppressor be exempt from these same principles.
of our resistance must be explored and assessed from the perspectives
of law, morality, experience and politics, taking timing and context
into account and with due regard for human rights, international
law and widely shared norms of behavior. Palestinians must be creative
in providing effective peaceful alternatives for resistance that
can invite the progressives of the world to join our struggle.
the strength of the Palestinian plight lies in its moral, humanitarian
characteristics; it is to our benefit to find moral, humanitarian
means to protect that strength.
Samah Jabr, M.D. is a native of Jerusalem.
carrying out policy of ethnic cleansing by inducing
poverty, starvation, and cases of forceful expulsion, 20/10/2003
construction of the West Bank apartheid wall is clearly a politically
motivated maneuver intent on reshaping the West Bank, rendering
a viable Palestinian state, and with it any lasting peace through
a two state solution, impossible.
the West Bank and slicing off huge portions of Palestinian land
east of the 1967 border, Israel has also annexed thousands of Palestinians
- Palestinians it is now trying to expel through forceful expulsion
but also through destroying any remaining quality of life within
this isolated area of land.
2, the Israeli military released an order declaring all occupied
West Bank land between the "security" wall and Israel's
pre-occupation 1967 border a "Closed Zone". The order
states that "no person will enter the (Closed Zone) and no
one will remain there". Free access to the Closed Zone will
only be granted to "Israelis". In this October 2nd order,
General Moshe Kaplinski defines "Israelis" as any citizen
of the state of Israel, resident of the state of Israel, and any
one eligible to immigrate to Israel in accordance with the Law of
Return, 1950. This means therefore, that while the 15,300 Palestinian
residents in this 115 square km area, or those in adjoining communities
who own agricultural land here (180,000 people) must now obtain
highly unreliable permits to validate their existence, any Jewish
person, from anywhere in the world, is quite free to come and settle
on this land.
The order stipulates
that all crossing into the isolated areas is prohibited unless a
"permit" from the Occupation "Civil Administration"
is obtained, which can only be done by land owners who "prove"
that they have land residing behind the Wall or are "officially
registered" workers. Farmers and residents are fearful however
that were they to apply for "permits" the well-grounded
reality is that they would be denied on the basis that their Jordanian
land certificates will not be recognized - Israeli authorities are
all too aware that the majority of Palestinian certificates are
Jordanian since land registration in the West Bank took place under
Jordanian rule prior to the 1967 Occupation.
On the ground
this policy is already causing extensive suffering. The prevention
of access to land has meant that many families are losing their
livelihoods - farmers prevented access to their crops are forced
to watch their untended crops rot - either that or see their produce
stolen by settlers free to wonder through Palestinian lands.
The idea of
applying for a permit to be on one's own land is rejected by Palestinians
who have been on these lands for generations. Those few who have
sought permits have been confronted with a haphazard policy of discrimination
which randomly rejects applications for permits citing
various criteria yet at the same time failing to establish any formal
set of guidelines.
Many heads of households for instance have already been denied permits
to reside in their villages on the grounds that they were not born
there. Furthermore those who are granted permits are not assured
permanent residency rights - the permits are to be renewed from
"time to time" as demanded by the Occupation Civil Administration.
efforts to protest this latest stunt in Israel's ongoing colonization
process have been met with severe punishment. The community of Jubara
for instance lies west of the apartheid wall and is completely isolated
within the de facto annexed area. Jubara has no schools or health
facilities of its own, residents have always depended on reaching
nearby Kafryat for such services yet residents are doing their utmost
to defy the Occupation's system of expulsion and permits. As a result
the village has remained under closure for more than sixteen days
- no one is allowed in or out which, considering that all services
are only available outside the village, is having stark consequences
for the residents.
intention of the Israeli government is to see that the reality of
forced poverty and starvation, brought on by the imposition of the
wall and the new "closed zones" become so unbearable for
communities in the northern West Bank that people choose to leave
in the hope of finding a better life. The village of Jubara is just
one of many cases being fatally affected in this latest attempt
by Israel and it's military to cleanse the recently seized "closed
zone" of all its Palestinian inhabitants and thus annex the
land, and its existing illegal settlers to Israel proper.
Conference with Dr Mustafa Barghouthi, Director,
Health Development and Information Policy Institute, 16/10/2003
purpose of the press conference was to present an update of conditions
within the Occupied Palestinian Territories, after 3 years of the
Second Intifada, which began on the 28th of September 2000. Israeli
measures taken against the Palestinians have been and are perhaps
more dangerous than those taken in 1948. Under Sharon's plan for
the Palestinians, they may now be clustered in ghettoes over no
more than 9% of historic Palestine. Although Palestinians are described
as having thrown away opportunities for achieving their own state
and peace, it is actually Israel that has destroyed all such opportunities.
45% of historic Palestine has been reduced to 9%, and this is not
the end. They are actively seeking to decrease this amount even
29th of September 2000 and the 14th of October 2003, 2,654 Palestinians
have been killed. Of this figure, 493 were children – one
in every five killed was a child aged 17 years or younger. 47,000
have been injured. Of this, 2,500 will be permanently disabled,
500 of who are children. 100 children have lost their eyes due to
being shot with rubber bullets. 279 people have been killed by Israeli
assassinations - 132 were civilian bystanders and of this 32 were
children and 25 were women.
2003, Israeli occupation forces reinvaded Rafah (Gaza Strip) leaving
8 people dead; 114 destroyed refugee shelters; 117 damaged buildings;
120 demolished houses; and 1240 homeless. One of the youngest killed
was 15 year old Sami Salah - shrapnel ripped his head off his body.
This recent attack on Rafah has brought the total number made homeless
in Rafah, since the start of the second Intifada, to 7,523. In the
whole of the Gaza Strip, 11,987 have been made homeless.
There are now
482 Israeli military checkpoints across the West Bank and Gaza Strip,
dividing the West Bank into 300 clusters and the Gaza Strip into
4 pieces. These checkpoints have resulted in 82 Palestinians dying
because they have not been allowed to pass through checkpoints to
access medical care. Of this figure, 27 were children. There have
been 52 cases of women giving birth at checkpoints resulting in
the death of 17 new born babies. Together with closures and checkpoints,
curfews have imprisoned more than 2 million people in the homes.
Wall is playing a major role in the appropriation and annexation
of Palestinian land, as it does not follow the Green Line. The first
phase of the Apartheid Wall is now almost complete and it cuts deep
into the West Bank. Land between the Wall and the Green Line is,
as of a recent declaration made by the Israeli Army, a "closed
zone". This area is only open to Israelis or people of Jewish
origin. Palestinians living in these areas have to prove this, in
order to be granted permission to remain living there. All other
Palestinians are prevented from entering these areas. Once the Wall
in the West Bank is complete, a total of 600,000 people will be
isolated in this zone and 58% of the West Bank will be practically
annexed by the Israelis. The wall will also be constructed within
the West Bank, to take in Israeli settlements. This is an extremely
dangerous development in the Israeli Policy. The Apartheid Wall
is a clear indication of Israel's policy of ethnic cleansing - by
annexing all this Palestinian land, the Israelis hope to force the
Palestinians to leave.
against the Wall, we are conducting a major campaign using the slogan
"The Wall must Fall". During the week of the 9th of November,
events are to be held in cities across the world including Florence,
Rome, Paris, Stockholm, Brussels, London, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro,
Santiago, Belfast, Dublin, Los Angeles, Seattle, and in Switzerland,
Bahrain, Bangladesh, locations in Israel and in every Palestinian
village/district affected by the Wall in order to draw attention
to this clear violation of human rights and International Law.
to current discussions in Geneva, what is being discussed is far
from related to what is happening on the ground because they center
on the possibility of a two state solution, however, the existence
of the wall completely destroys this hope. What is really happening
now is the destruction of the physical possibility of a Palestinian
State. This is the destruction of the possibility of a two state
solution and Sharon is engaging in the second stage of 1948. As
the late Edward Said claimed, "We have been made the victims
of the victims"
settlers are running terrorist organizations, 26/08/2003
have revealed a shocking new dimension to the Palestinian Israeli
conflict. Not only do Palestinian civilians experience attacks by
the Israeli armed forces, but Jewish illegal settlers are also contributing
to their inhumane oppression through terrorist attacks. Whilst the
Israeli armed forces continue to impose "security" measures
upon the Palestinians, underground Jewish terrorist cells seem to
from the West Bank settlement of Edi Eid is one of nine settlers
recently arrested for plotting, and carrying out, terror attacks
against Palestinian civilians. Dvir-Zeliger is suspected of planning
terror attacks against Palestinians, preparing dangerous materials
and attempted murder. On Friday the 8th of August two Jewish settlers
were also charged with possessing army explosives and preparing
for a terrorist attack on Palestinian civilians. At least fifteen
terrorist attacks have been carried out in Palestinian territories
since April 2001, killing nine people.
arrests have helped to expose the very real existence of a terror
network within the settlements; however, Jewish terror attacks against
Palestinians are certainly not a marginal phenomenon. One of the
most horrific attacks was carried out by Baruch Goldstein, a Jewish
settler who shot and killed 29 Palestinians, while they were praying
in Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque in February, 1994. In the past two years,
five bombs have also been planted in Palestinian cities and schools.
Last May a Jewish terrorist cell was uncovered as it planed to bomb
an Arab Hospital and a school. Shlomo Dvir, 26 and Yarden Morag,
25, both from the illegal Israeli settlement of Bat Ayin were apprehended
whilst planting a powerful bomb near a Palestinian Girls school
in occupied East Jerusalem. Just weeks later another bomb exploded
in the courtyard of an Arab boy's school in Sur Bahir. In July 2001
a group calling itself "the committee for security on the roads"
claimed responsibility for the killing of a Palestinian family in
a drive-by shooting near the village of Idna. Similar groups were
uncovered during the 1980s, and members were charged with plotting
to blow up Arab buses and the Dome of the Rock. Only last month
Israel publicly admitted that there were Jewish terror cells operating
within the West Bank who they knew were responsible for a series
of attacks on Palestinian civilians over the past years.
It is difficult
to establish the extent of these Jewish terrorist organizations.
Israeli authorities have forbidden the publishing of any real details
and the security service, Shin Bet, claim their investigations are
impeded due to the difficulty of penetrating the hard core of extremists
living in the settlements. In truth, the resources and legal measures
the Shin Bet and the police use against Israeli citizens living
in the Palestinian territories are significantly weaker than any
used against the Palestinians. And, with the existence of such organizations
as Kah's illegal summer camps, where Jewish youth are taught how
to bluff interrogation, it seems likely that last weeks exposures
are just the tip of the iceberg.
new designer flag for the state of Israel