Boycott israHell!

Boycott israHell!
Бойкот на израел и печелещите от окупацията! Boycott israHell and those who profit from occupation!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

design by Jesus Barraza ©

The U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel Mission Statement:

Responding to the call of Palestinian civil society to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement against Israel, we are a U.S. campaign focused specifically on a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions, as delineated by PACBI (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel):

“In light of Israel’s persistent violations of international law, and Given that, since 1948, hundreds of UN resolutions have condemned Israel’s colonial and discriminatory policies as illegal and called for immediate, adequate and effective remedies, and Given that all forms of international intervention and peace-making have until now failed to convince or force Israel to comply with humanitarian law, to respect fundamental human rights and to end its occupation and oppression of the people of Palestine, and In view of the fact that people of conscience in the international community have historically shouldered the moral responsibility to fight injustice, as exemplified in the struggle to abolish apartheid in South Africa through diverse forms of boycott, divestment and sanctions;

Inspired by the struggle of South Africans against apartheid and in the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to injustice and oppression, We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era. We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel. We also invite conscientious Israelis to support this Call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace.

These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN
resolution 194.”

[For more information: /campaign_statement.htm]

PACBI and the entire movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (representing the overwhelming majority among Palestinian civil society parties, unions, networks and organizations) emphasize fundamental Palestinian rights, sanctioned by international law and universal human rights principles that ought to be respected by Israel to end the boycott. We struggle to achieve an end to Israel’s three-tiered injustice and oppression:
1) occupation and colonization in the 1967-occupied Palestinian territory;
2) denial of the refugees’ rights, paramount among which is their right to return to their homes of origin, as per UN General Assembly Resolution 194; and 3) the system of racial discrimination, or apartheid, to which Palestinian (all non-Jewish) citizens of Israel are subjected to.

The principles guiding the PACBI campaign and the three goals outlined above are also points of unity for the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USCACBI). We believe it is time to take a public, principled stance in support of equality, self-determination, human rights (including the right to education), and true democracy, especially in light of the censorship and silencing of the Palestine question in U.S. universities, as well as U.S. society at large. There can be no academic freedom in Israel/ Palestine unless all academics are free and all students are free to pursue their academic desires.

If you are committed to these principles of unity, and wish to work
on a campaign of boycotting academic and cultural institutions guided by this approach, please join our campaign. [See information below.]

Urgent Appeal:
We are also responding to the Open Letter to International Academic Institutions from the Right to Education campaign at Birzeit University in Palestine (January 17, 2009), calling on the international academic community, unions and students “to show support and solidarity with the people of Gaza by calling upon their respective governments to impose immediate boycott, divestment and sanctions against the state of Israel.”

Gaza is but the latest incident in a series of ongoing massacres–from Deir Yassin (1948 ) to Kafr Kassim (1956) to Jenin (2002) to the wars on Lebanon (from 1980s to 2006)—which demonstrate a pattern of violence by a state which will not end its violations of international law without international pressure. As academics working in the U.S., we wish to focus on campaigns in our universities and in institutions of higher education to advocate for compliance with the academic and cultural boycott, a movement that is growing internationally across all segments of global civil society.

This call for an academic and cultural boycott parallels the call in the non-academic world for divestment, boycott and sanctions by trade
unions, churches, and other civil society organizations in countries such as the United States, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa, and New Zealand.

As educators and scholars of conscience in the United States, we fully support this call. We urge our colleagues, nationally, regionally, and internationally, to stand up against Israel’s ongoing scholasticide and to support the non-violent call for academic boycott, disinvestment, and sanctions.

If you wish to endorse this call for an academic and cultural boycott, please email us at: uscom4acbi [at] If you are willing to indicate your support publicly, please send us your name and institutional/organizational affiliation (for identification purposes only).

For more information on actions suggested by the boycott campaign,
please join one of the discussion groups linked on the top right-hand
corner of this website.

Actions you can take:
Since Israeli academic institutions (mostly state-controlled) and the vast majority of Israeli intellectuals and academics have either contributed directly to maintaining, defending or otherwise justifying
the above forms of oppression, or have been complicit in them through their silence, we call upon our colleagues to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation, colonization and system of apartheid, by engaging in the following actions. We aim at the full implementation of all these steps. However, recognizing that different actions may be feasible and appropriate under the many different academic and political circumstances that pertain in US institutions, we urge our colleagues to undertake as many of the following initiatives as possible:

1. Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support;

2. Encourage your university and college administrations to institute funding for scholarship sand fellowships for Palestinian students;

3. Request your administration/president to issue a public statement censuring Israeli destruction of and interference with Palestinian schools and universities, archives and research centers, both in Gaza and throughout occupied Palestine.

4. Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations;

5. Organize teach-ins or similar events with campus and community organizations at which the campaign for the economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel can be fully and openly discussed;

6. Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions;

7. Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;

8. Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by academic institutions, and place pressure on your own institution to suspend all ties with Israeli universities, including collaborative projects, study abroad, funding and exchanges.

ISRAEL: Something bad is happening to us

Saturday, February 28, 2009

ISRAEL: Something bad is happening to us

Insomniac: Damn right.

By Haaretz Editorial

Three years ago, the CBS television network broadcast photos of American soldiers abusing prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The horrifying pictures led to the trials of eight soldiers, dismissals and a storm of outrage in America. At the trial of one prison guard, who was sentenced to eight years in jail, a psychologist gave his evaluation: that the man was an entirely ordinary person, without any particular violent tendencies, who served as a guard for many years in civilian life but never behaved sadistically toward American prisoners. The situation of occupier and occupied, as opposed to that of citizen versus citizen, causes ordinary people to become violent and lose restraint. At Abu Ghraib, the trial found, there was institutionalized contempt at every level. The prison guards understood that "this is the way to behave here."

Last night, the investigative television program "Fact" broadcast pictures of our own Abu Ghraib affair. It is doubtful whether a country that has grown used to 40 years of occupation, and the stories that accompany it, will be shocked. We have become accustomed to treating the Palestinians as inferior people. Generations come and go, and new soldiers abuse the residents of occupied Hebron in almost the same manner. Stories similar to those broadcast last night were exposed by the Breaking the Silence group three years ago. The saying "occupation corrupts" has become a slogan of the left instead of a warning signal to everyone.

This time, it was regular soldiers in the Kfir Brigade. They exposed their backsides and sexual organs to Palestinians, pressed an electric heater to the face of a young boy, beat young boys senseless, recorded everything on their mobile phones and sent it to their friends. One of their "mischievous acts" was to test how long a Palestinian who was being choked could survive without breathing. When he passed out, the experiment was stopped. The soldiers described activities to "break the routine" that consisted entirely of abuse. It was enough for a boy "to look at us the wrong way" for him to be beaten.

Earlier, at the trial of First Lieutenant Yaakov Gigi, officers spoke of burnout, of "something bad happening to the brigade," of a Wild West, of a moral crisis. The commander of the brigade, Colonel Itai Virov, said "we failed on several parameters." His words reflect a denial of the depth of the failure. This continuing routine, far from the eyes of the commanders, must lead to a series of investigations, and perhaps to dismissals as well. It is unconscionable for the head of the Hebron Brigade, the division commander, the GOC Central Command and even the chief of staff to ignore the ongoing behavior of soldiers in the brigade responsible for routine security in the West Bank. Colonel Virov admitted that there was a conspiracy of silence in the brigade - in other words, a norm of abuse and its concealment. To change norms, one has to shock and be shocked, not be satisfied with a few imprisonments and empty words about a loss of values.

Perfectly ordinary people, as the American psychologist said of the Abu Ghraib abusers, are capable of behaving like monsters when they receive a message from the top that it is permissible to abuse, beat, choke, burn, make people miserable and generally do anything that man's evil genius is capable of inventing to others who are under their control. Something bad is happening to us, they are saying in the Kfir Brigade. That "something" is the occupation.

Suspend EU-Israel Association Agreement

Target: The European Parliament, The European Union

Sponsored by: The Peace Cycle

Note: English first, French follows.

We call on the EU to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement until Israel respects human rights and International Law.

The EU is Israel's biggest importer of goods, and its second biggest exporter. In 2006 the total traded between the EU and Israel amounted to 23.5 BILLION Euros.
The EU-Israel Association Agreement forms the legal basis for this relationship which gives Israel preferential trade terms with EU countries.
Article 2 of the Agreement states that these relations shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles which must guide internal and international policy.

The EU is therefore obligated under this Article to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement whilst Israel is in breach of human rights.

The Peace Cycle has travelled to the Occupied Palestinian Territories and witnessed first hand the many abuses of human rights by the Israeli Authorities, including:

** Loss of freedom of movement of the Palestinian people by the placement of checkpoints and earth mounds at strategic locations within the Occupied Territories, making travel between villages and towns often impossible and inhibiting the movement of trade across the territories.

** Israeli-only roads that prohibit use by Palestinian cars and passengers thereby making their journeys far longer than necessary, and often impossible.

** Demolition of Palestinian houses by the Israeli authorities resulting in the heartbreaking loss of family homes and possessions, and destroying their sense of security and belonging.

** Theft of Palestinian land in order to build the separation wall; a barrier deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice, and which has served to further limit freedom of movement and cause loss of trade, resulting in high unemployment and extreme poverty levels.

** Refugee camps where families have been waiting for sixty years to return to their lost homes or to have compensation addressed.

** The uprooting of millions of olive trees, a symbol of Palestinian life, to make way for continuous Israeli settlement building on stolen Palestinian lands, despite the settlements having been deemed illegal and even though cessation of this activity is clearly defined in the latest peace initiative at Annapolis.

** Countless more acts of Israeli aggression towards the Palestinian people, which continue daily, and remain unchallenged on the pretext of security.

What the Peace Cycle has witnessed illustrates the abuses of human rights that at different times over many years have been judged to be illegal by international courts across the world. Yet the EU does nothing visible to bring Israel to account. Whilst this abuse goes on, the EU-Israel Association Agreement has allowed trade with Israel to flourish, with the addition of the EU-Israel Action Plan in 2005-2008 that has allowed for even closer partnerships to develop.

We call for an immediate suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement and any further trade between Israel and EU Member States in protest against Israel's continued violation of human rights of the Palestinian people.

This measure of protest should be maintained until Israel ends the illegal occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the siege of Gaza and fully complies with international human rights law.


Nous demandons a l'UE de suspendre l'Accord d'Association UE - Israel jusqu'a ce qu Israel respecte des droits de l'homme et le droit international.

Israel est le plus grand importateur de marchandises e l'UE, et son deuxieme plus grand exportateur. En 2006 le total commercialise entre l'UE et Israel s'est eleve a 23.5 milliards d'euros. L'Accord d'Association UE - Israel forme la base juridique de cette relation donnant a Israel un cadre commercial preferentiel avec des pays de l'UE. L'article 2 de l'Accord mentionne que ces relations doivent etre basees sur le respect des droits de l'homme et des principes democratiques qui doivent guider la politique interne et internationale.

L'UE est donc obligee selon cet Article de suspendre l'accord d'association UE - Israel tant qu'Israel est en infraction vis a vis des droits de l'homme.

Les velos de la paix ont voyage dans territoires palestiniens occupes et ont ete temoin directs de nombreux abus des droits de l'homme par les autorites israeliennes, incluant :

** Perte de la liberte de circulation des Palestiniennes a cause de la mise en place de points de controle et de monticules de la terre aux endroits strategiques a l'interieur des territoires occupes, rendant le voyage entre les villages et les villes souvent impossibles et empechant le mouvement du commerce dans les territoires.

** Routes permises seulement aux Israeliens, interdites aux voitures palestiniennes et a leurs passagers rendant leur trajets bien plus long que necessaire, et souvent impossible.

** Demolition des maisons palestiniennes par les autorites israeliennes ayant pour resultat la perte dechirante de maisons familiales et de possessions, detruisant leur sensation de securite et d'appartenance.

** Vol des terre palestiniennes afin de construire le mur de separation ; une barriere consideree illegale par la Cour internationale de Justice, et qui a servi a limiter encore davantage la libre circulation, causant la mort du commerce, resultant en un taux de chomage eleve et des seuils de pauvrete extremes.

** Camps de refugie ou des familles attendent depuis soixante ans pour retourner a leurs maisons perdues ou pour recevoir une compensation.

** Le deracinement de millions d'oliviers, symbole de la vie palestinienne, pour faire la place a la colonisation continue israelienne sur les terres palestiniennes volees, bien que les colonies soient considerees illagales et meme si l'arret de cette activite est clairement definie dans la derniere initiative de paix a Annapolis.

** Innombrables actes d'agression israelienne envers les palestiniens, qui continuent quotidiennement, et demeurent incontestes sous pretexte de securite.

Nous reclamons une suspension immediate de l'Accord d'Association UE - Israel et de tous autres commerces entre Israel et les Etats membres de d'UE en protestation contre les violations continues des droits de l'homme des palestiniens par Israel.

Cette mesure de protestation devra etre maintenue jusqu'a ce qu'Israel mette fin a l'occupation illagale des territoires palestiniens occupes et au siege de Gaza et respecte entierement le droit international de droits de l'homme.

We the undersigned call for an immediate suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement and any further trade between Israel and EU Member States in protest against Israels continued violation of human rights of the Palestinian people.

The EU-Israel Association Agreement forms the legal basis for trade between the EU and Israel.

Article 2 of the Agreement states that these relations shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles which must guide internal and international policy.

The EU is therefore obligated under this Article to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement whilst Israel is in breach of human rights.

We, the Peace Cycle, have travelled to the Occupied Palestinian Territories and witnessed first hand the many abuses of human rights by the Israeli Authorities, including:

%uFFFD Loss of freedom of movement of the Palestinian people by the placement of checkpoints and earth mounds at strategic locations within the Occupied Territories, making travel between villages and towns often impossible and inhibiting the movement of trade across the territories.

%uFFFD Israeli-only roads that prohibit use by Palestinian cars and passengers thereby making their journeys far longer than necessary, and often impossible.

%uFFFD Demolition of Palestinian houses by the Israeli authorities resulting in the heartbreaking loss of family homes and possessions, and destroying their sense of security and belonging.

%uFFFD Theft of Palestinian land in order to build the separation wall; a barrier deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice, and which has served to further limit freedom of movement and cause loss of trade, resulting in high unemployment and extreme poverty levels.

%uFFFD Refugee camps where families have been waiting for sixty years to return to their lost homes or to have compensation addressed.

%uFFFD The uprooting of millions of olive trees, a symbol of Palestinian life, to make way for continuous Israeli settlement building on stolen Palestinian lands, despite the settlements having been deemed illegal and even though cessation of this activity is clearly defined in the latest peace initiative at Annapolis.

%uFFFD Countless more acts of Israeli aggression towards the Palestinian people, which continue daily, and remain unchallenged on the pretext of security.

What the Peace Cycle has witnessed illustrates the abuses of human rights that at different times over many years have been judged to be illegal by international courts across the world. Yet the EU does nothing visible to bring Israel to account. Whilst this abuse goes on, the EU-Israel Association Agreement has allowed trade with Israel to flourish, with the addition of the EU-Israel Action Plan in 2005-2008 that has allowed for even closer partnerships to develop.

We believe the EU has a duty to uphold International Human Rights Law, and therefore it should suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement, and this measure of protest should be maintained until Israel ends the illegal occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the siege of Gaza and fully complies with international human rights law.

The Peace Cycle will personally deliver this petition to the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday 31st March 2009.
Thank you for taking the time to read this petition.

signature goal: 25,000

14,391 signatures!

The Fifth Annual Israeli Apartheid Week March 1 - 8, 2009

The Fifth Annual Israeli Apartheid Week March 1 - 8, 2009

Mark your calendars - the 5th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week will take place across the globe from March 1-8, 2009!

First launched in Toronto in 2005, IAW has grown to become one of the most important global events in the Palestine solidarity calendar. Last year, more than 25 cities around the world participated in the week's activities, which also commemorated 60 years since the expulsion of the Palestinian people from their homes and land in 1947-1948. IAW 2008 was launched with a live broadcast from the South African township of Soweto by Palestinian leader and former member of the Israeli Knesset, Azmi Bishara.

This year, IAW occurs in the wake of Israel's barbaric assault against the people of Gaza. Lectures, films, and actions will make the point that these latest massacres further confirm the true nature of Israeli Apartheid. IAW 2009 will continue to build and strengthen the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement at a global level.

Gaza Digs Out

Kevin Frayer / AP
A family rests on the rubble of their home in Jebaliya.

Xinhua / Zuma

Israeli strikes damaged the dome and minaret of this mosque in southern Gaza Sity.

Anja Niedringhaus / AP

The cards on the desks in this classroom bear the names of children who were killed in the attacks.

Yannis Behrakis / Reuters

A man and two women walk through the village of Mughraqa.

A woman hangs clothes on the balcony of her bullet-ridden apartment building.
Xinhua / Landov

A woman hangs clothes on the balcony of her bullet-ridden apartment building.

Anja Niedringhaus / AP

Ansam Rahel, 10, sustained a head injury in the attacks.

Kevin Frayer / AP

Photographs lay among the debris inside the ruins of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Patrick Baz / AFP / Getty

Before the attacks, the residents of Gaza relied on smuggling tunnels reaching
into Egypt for many of their supplies. Now that the attacks have abated, rebuilding them has become a top priority.

Patrick Baz / AFP / Getty

A bulldozer removes rubble near a tunnel entrance at Rafah.

Kevin Frayer / AP
A masked member of Hamas surveys the rubble of a house in Jebaliyah.

Kevin Frayer / AP

A Palestinian man sits in the ruins of his house in the northern Gaza Strip.

Fatah and Hamas: Heading for a Showdown in Lebanon

Fatah and Hamas: Heading for a Showdown in Lebanon
By Andrew Lee Butters and Rami Aysha
Beirut Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009

Hamas militants in Beirut demonstrate against the Israeli incursion in Gaza on Jan.4
Nabil Mounzer / EPA / Corbis

Stacks of portraits of Mahmoud Abbas stand unused, gathering dust in the office of his Fatah movement in Beirut's Shatila Palestinian refugee camp. Posters of Abbas – President of the Palestinian Authority, leader of Fatah and chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) – would normally hang in offices and on street corners throughout Lebanon's 12 Palestinian refugee camps. But ever since Israel's incursion into Gaza earlier this year, Abbas has become politically radioactive to the approximately 400,000 refugees languishing in Lebanon, who were livid at his failure to act in defense of the beleaguered Gazans. "Abbas embarrassed us," says one Fatah official charged with delivering Abbas portraits in the camp. "Sometimes we force people to take the posters, but they never put them up." But Abbas may be about to lose a lot more than pride of place for his portrait in the seething refugee camps.

The stack of unused posters is but a symptom of the collapse of support for Fatah in Lebanon, home to the most politically active population of Palestinians outside the West Bank and Gaza. It was the movement's traditional support there that underscored Abbas' mandate, as chairman of the PLO, to negotiate on behalf of all Palestinians. But the failure of Abbas' negotiation strategy to deliver any meaningful change for the prospects of Lebanon's Palestinian refugees has led many — like their kin in the West Bank and Gaza — to transfer their support to Hamas and other radical Islamist groups. (See pictures of Lebanon in crisis.)

The refugees of Lebanon have always been more militant than their brethren inside the Palestinian territories. Most are descendants of those who fled Israeli forces in Galilee during the war of 1948; since then they have been prevented by Israel from returning to their homes. Having lived for six decades without citizenship or basic civil rights in the squalor and despair of refugee camps in a country that bars refugees from owning property and from entering some 70 professions, they have long provided a fertile recruiting environment for militant groups.

Even Abbas' more popular predecessor as Fatah leader, Yassir Arafat, struggled to sell the Oslo peace process to his supporters in Lebanon, where members of Fatah remained committed to armed struggle to "liberate Palestine" and still run guerrilla-training academies. These days, however, even that hard-line Fatah stance is no longer enough for most Palestinians here. High-ranking officials of Abbas' own party fear that he will trade away their right of return to what is now Israel. "Yassir Arafat went into negotiations with the olive branch in one hand and a weapon in the other hand," says one Beirut Fatah commander. "But all Mahmoud Abbas does is negotiate. He gets nothing, but he keeps negotiating. Palestinians believe in military operations because they want to go back to Palestine. They don't want to negotiate." (Read "After Israel's Election, Palestinians Weigh New Intifadeh.")

Hamas, meanwhile, is continuing to grow. The movement uses its financial backing from Iran and other countries to build clinics, kindergartens and social-services centers in every camp. Hamas supporters also get vouchers for medical care at hospitals run by Hizballah, the Lebanese anti-Israeli militant group that's also supported by Iran. And the refugees hear stories about leaders in the West Bank growing rich from embezzled international aid, while refugees see almost nothing in social services from the Palestinian Authority, which is controlled by Fatah. "Fatah isn't helping people," says the Beirut Fatah commander. "Hamas is taking advantage of this. They are entering deep, deep into the population."

Could Israelis Face War Crimes Charges Over Gaza?

By Tim McGirk
Jerusalem Friday, Jan. 23, 2009

A child's shoe in a classroom at the UN school that was hit by an Israeli strike on January 17, 2009.

Israel likes to believe that its Defense Force is the world's most "moral" army, and it insisted throughout the recent Gaza war that great care was always taken to avoid inflicting civilian casualties. It may surprise and rile many Israelis, then, that their government is trying to protect its citizens from war crimes charges that could be filed in foreign courts over the conduct of hostilities in Gaza. Fearful that Israeli commanders could be targeted for arrest while traveling abroad as private citizens on business or vacation, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Tuesday ordered the Israeli media to refrain from revealing the names of any military personnel who took part in the 22-day offensive. Officers involved in the operation who want to travel abroad are now required to first check in with the office of the Judge Advocate, which will determine if the soldier is on a foreign watch list that might lead to his arrest.

Israeli military experts insist that their forces are far more careful to avoid civilian casualties than, say, the U.S. military has been in Iraq and Afghanistan. Still, the high civilian casualty toll in Gaza has put the Israeli military's conduct of operations there under scrutiny, and one senior U.N. official has suggested Israel may have committed "crimes against humanity" in the course of its campaign against Hamas militants hiding among Gaza's civilian population. Palestinian medical sources claim that over 300 children and 100 women were among Gaza's 1,200 fatalities. And the United Nations, Amnesty International, the International Committee for the Red Cross (I.C.R.C.), Human Right Watch, as well as Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups have all been investigating allegations of conduct that violates the laws of war. (See pictures of Israel's ground offensive in Gaza)

Among the allegations being probed are claims that Israel targeted ambulances and medical crews, improperly used incendiary bombs such as white phosphorus in dense civilian areas (a claim also being internally investigated by the Israeli military), prevented the evacuation of wounded carrying white flags, and targeted schools, hospitals, supply convoys and a U.N. compound where over 1,000 civilians had taken shelter. Although Israel dropped thousands of leaflets and made phone calls to targeted buildings warning of impending bombardments, Palestinians argue that they had no safe places in which to take refuge amid Israel's fierce bombardment.

Legal experts doubt that Israelis could be hauled before the International Court of Justice in the Hague, because Israel, like the U.S., is not party to the treaty that created it, and also because the U.S. and European governments would likely prevent such a course of action. What worries authorities in Jerusalem is that many European countries are signatories to a Geneva Convention that allows their courts to arrest and prosecute individuals accused of committing war crimes in other countries. Such legal options, Israel fears, may be used to bring politically motivated charges against its citizens. The daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday that Israel's Foreign and Justice ministries have begun drawing up lists of law firms in different European countries that could be enlisted to defend Israelis in any future cases.

Another influential newspaper, the leftist Haaretz, even urged Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to set up an independent inquiry into accusations of war crimes by the Israeli military in Gaza. "Has the IDF (the Israeli Defense Forces) crossed the line according to international law?" the paper wrote. "Was there no other way aside from such widespread killing and destruction?" The editorial argued that Israel needed its own inquiry because "We cannot wait until the world has its say, and perhaps takes legal steps of its own."

Any international inquiry into Israel's wartime behavior might be more palatable to Israelis if it also probed alleged violations of the Geneva Convention by Hamas. Before and during the conflict, Hamas had fired shot rockets into Israeli towns; inside Gaza, according to the Israeli army, the militants had used civilians as "human shields," and had stored weapons in schools, hospitals and mosques — all illegal under Geneva.

But regardless of whether any legal action follows, the probes add to the pall of bitterness hanging over an operation whose ambiguous outcome has left many Israelis questioning just what was achieved by their war in Gaza.

Heartbreak in the Middle East

An Israeli armored personnel carriers move in a field near the border. On Tuesday, January 6, Israel began its fourth day of ground operations in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians search for bodies in a house destroyed by an Israeli missile strike. According to reports, nearly 600 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its 11-day offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

An Israeli woman walks under the damaged roof of a temporarily closed food market minutes it was hit by a rocket fired by from the Palestinian side of the border.

Medics wheel a Palestinian man wounded in an Israeli strike into Shifa hospital.

An Israeli soldier cries during the funeral for Staff Sergeant Nitai Stern, 21, at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery.

Jabaliya, Gaza
Relatives mourn a Palestinian killed in an Israeli strike on a United Nations school, where hundreds had sought sanctuary from the attacks. According to the UN, 30 people were killed in the attack.

Sderot, Israel
An Israeli soldier talks with women at the entrance to a bomb shelter in southern Israel.

Gaza City, Gaza
Smoke rises through the sunset on Tuesday. Inside Gaza City, electricity has been shut off and drinking water has become increasingly scarce.

Gaza Border
Israeli Army soldiers take cover as a mobile artillery piece fires towards targets in the southern Gaza Strip.

Jabaliya, Gaza
Palestinians survey the damage caused by an Israeli air strike near the United Nations school.

Sderot, Israel
An Orthodox Jew investigates the scene of a Palestinian rocket attack.

Rafah, Gaza
Palestinians gather in the rubble of a building following an Israeli air strike.

Gaza City, Gaza
A frantic relative of an injured Palestinian arrives at the Shifa hospital.

Jerusalem, Israel
Mourners gather for the funeral procession of Staff Sgt. Dvir Emanueloff, killed during the fighting in Gaza, at Mount Herzl military cemetery.

Palestinians in Lebanon: A Forgotten People

Palestinians in Lebanon: A Forgotten People

By Andrew Lee Butters / Beirut Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009

SHATTERED LIVES: Families live among ruins, with little hope of ever leaving
Photograph for TIME by Kate Brooks

he ancient hills of Lebanon hold little charm for Abdullah Sulhani and his family. Though they live just a bus ride away from some of the most pleasant countryside on the eastern Mediterranean, they don't dare go out for a picnic or family day trip. This is an exaggerated reading of the risks of living in Lebanon — a turbulent country no doubt, but one which, when not a war zone, is the vacation destination of choice for the Arab world. Sulhani, 85, is Palestinian, though, and his family lives in Shatila, an impoverished refugee camp on the edge of Beirut. Many Lebanese eat, drink and dance away memories of the violent past. But in the dank, swastika-graffitied alleyways of the camps, where four generations of Palestinians have come of age, there's little chance of forgetting. For most of the 220,000 Palestinians living in refugee camps in Lebanon, time has stopped.
More Related

* Fatah and Hamas: Heading for a Showdown in Lebanon
* The Link Between Lebanon and Gaza
* Beirut Finally Routs Bin Laden’s Allies

Sulhani fled his home in Galilee for Beirut in 1948 — the year Israel was founded. Since then, there have been six wars and dozens of violent upheavals in Lebanon, and more often than not Sulhani's family has been caught in the middle. Abdullah's 59-year-old daughter Ahlam is still picking shrapnel out of wounds she received from artillery fire in 1975. The family survived the infamous Shatila massacre of 1982 by sheer luck, fleeing from Lebanese militiamen almost as soon as the slaughter began. When they returned afterwards, most of their neighbors were dead, and there was a body in the living-room closet. One of Ahlam's brothers was later shot in the head by a sniper while washing his hands in their entryway. Their building has been destroyed five times. They keep rebuilding because there's nowhere else to go. (Read "Fatah and Hamas: Heading for a Showdown in Lebanon".)

The recent Israeli operation in Gaza refocused attention on the plight of the thousands of ordinary Palestinians caught between Islamic militant group Hamas and Israel's overwhelming military force. But the Palestinians living in the territories of Gaza and the West Bank aren't the only ones trapped. Like many Palestinians forced from their homes after Israel's birth, Sulhani still has his old house keys. Tax records from the British mandate of Palestine are stored carefully in a schoolgirl's plastic binder. But while a 1948 United Nations resolution calls for Palestinians' "right to return," all who have seriously thought about peace in the Middle East know that Israel will never accept the 4.6 million Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations in places such as Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank. Such a demographic tidal wave would sink the Jewish state.

That leaves families such as the Sulhanis caught between a past they can't escape and a future they struggle to shape, renting out the top floors of their building — which technically they don't even own. Like the rest of the 400,000-odd Palestinians in Lebanon, they cannot legally buy a house or apartment and remain barred from some 70 professions. Lebanon's fragile sectarian political system, balanced between Christians and Muslims, has been unable or unwilling to absorb so many Muslim refugees. So neither Sulhani, nor his children, nor his grandchildren, nor his great-grandchildren have Lebanese citizenship, despite the fact that all but the family patriarch were born on Lebanese soil. "My life in this country has been one heartbreak after another," says daughter Ahlam. "I have no good memories."

Jihadi Breeding Grounds
Younger generations have acquired traumas of their own. Nahr al-Bared was once the most pleasant Palestinian camp in Lebanon, located near the northern city of Tripoli where a cold mountain stream meets the sea, and surrounded by orange orchards and banana plantations. Now it is a miniature Stalingrad on the Mediterranean. An uprising in the summer of 2007 by an insurgent jihadist group, Fatah al-Islam, reduced Nahr al-Bared to rubble and made its 31,000 residents homeless. Though most Fatah al-Islam members were not Palestinians but foreign Arabs from places such as Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the lawlessness of the camps — which lie outside the authority of the Lebanese state — make them excellent incubators for extremist groups. And the concrete jungle of Nahr al-Bared was the perfect urban-warfare environment. Just 300 jihadis held their own against more than 11,000 Lebanese army troops for four months.

Return of the War Party

Return of the War Party

by Patrick J. Buchanan

"Real men go to Tehran!" brayed the neoconservatives, after the success of their propaganda campaign to have America march on Baghdad and into an unnecessary war that has forfeited all the fruits of our Cold War victory.

Now they are back, in pursuit of what has always been their great goal: an American war on Iran. It would be a mistake to believe they and their collaborators cannot succeed a second time. Consider:

On being chosen by Israel's President Shimon Peres to form the new regime, Likud's "Bibi" Netanyahu declared, "Iran is seeking to obtain a nuclear weapon and constitutes the gravest threat to our existence since the war of independence."

Echoing Netanyahu, headlines last week screamed of a startling new nuclear breakthrough by the mullahs. "Iran ready to build nuclear weapon, analysts say," said CNN. "Iran has enough uranium to make a bomb," said the Los Angeles Times. Armageddon appeared imminent.

Asked about Iran's nukes in his confirmation testimony, CIA Director Leon Panetta blurted, "From all the information I've seen, I think there is no question that they are seeking that capability."

Tuesday, Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a front spawned by the Israeli lobby AIPAC, was given the Iranian portfolio. AIPAC's top agenda item? A U.S. collision with Iran.

In the neocon Weekly Standard, Elliot Abrams of the Bush White House parrots Netanyahu, urging Obama to put any land-for-peace deals with the Palestinians on a back burner. Why?

"The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is now part of a broader struggle in the region over Iranian extremism and power. Israeli withdrawals now risk opening the door not only to Palestinian terrorists but to Iranian proxies."

The campaign to conflate Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria as a new axis of evil, a terrorist cartel led by Iranian mullahs hell-bent on building a nuclear bomb and using it on Israel and America, has begun. The full-page ads and syndicated columns calling on Obama to eradicate this mortal peril before it destroys us all cannot be far off.

But before we let ourselves be stampeded into another unnecessary war, let us review a few facts that seem to contradict the war propaganda.

First, last week's acknowledgement that Iran has enough enriched uranium for one atom bomb does not mean Iran is building an atom bomb.

To construct a nuclear device, the ton of low-enriched uranium at Natanz would have to be run through a second cascade of high-speed centrifuges to produce 55 pounds of highly enriched uranium (HUE).

There is no evidence Iran has either created the cascade of high-speed centrifuges necessary to produce HUE or that Iran has diverted any of the low-enriched uranium from Natanz. And the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors retain full access to Natanz.

And rather than accelerating production of low-enriched uranium, only 4,000 of the Natanz centrifuges are operating. Some 1,000 are idle. Why?

Dr. Mohamed El-Baradei, head of the IAEA, believes this is a signal that Tehran wishes to negotiate with the United States, but without yielding any of its rights to enrich uranium and operate nuclear power plants.

For, unlike Israel, Pakistan and India, none of which signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and all of which ran clandestine programs and built atom bombs, Iran signed the NPT and has abided by its Safeguards Agreement. What it refuses to accept are the broader demands of the U.N. Security Council because these go beyond the NPT and sanction Iran for doing what it has a legal right to do.

Moreover, Adm. Dennis Blair, who heads U.S. intelligence, has just restated the consensus of the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that Iran does not now possess and is not now pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

Bottom line: Neither the United States nor the IAEA has conclusive evidence that Iran either has the fissile material for a bomb or an active program to build a bomb. It has never tested a nuclear device and has never demonstrated a capacity to weaponize a nuclear device, if it had one.

Why, then, the hype, the hysteria, the clamor for "Action This Day!"? It is to divert America from her true national interests and stampede her into embracing as her own the alien agenda of a renascent War Party.

None of this is to suggest the Iranians are saintly souls seeking only peace and progress. Like South Korea, Japan and other nations with nuclear power plants, they may well want the ability to break out of the NPT, should it be necessary to deter, defend against or defeat enemies.

But that is no threat to us to justify war. For decades, we lived under the threat that hundreds of Russian warheads could rain down upon us in hours, ending our national existence. If deterrence worked with Stalin and Mao, it can work with an Iran that has not launched an offensive war against any nation within the memory of any living American.

Can we Americans say the same?


Why 88 Arab homes may get eviction notices

By Ilene R. Prusher Ilene R. Prusher – Thu Feb 26

JERUSALEM – Israel plans to demolish 88 homes in Silwan, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, to make way for a new archaeological park, adding new fuel the slow-burning dispute over Jerusalem.

A variety of neighborhood activists, Muslim leaders in Jerusalem, and even figures from the Palestinian Authority (PA) held a press conference Wednesday, saying that Israel was trying to minimize the Arab presence in this city claimed by both Palestinians and Jews as their capital. They say such a move amounts to ethnic cleansing.

"They have made a decision to clear out 88 houses, and with about three families living in each of these houses, we're looking at the eviction of about 1,500 people. But people in Silwan are clinging to their land and will not leave, despite the eviction orders," says Adnan Husseini, who is PA President Mahmoud Abbas's adviser on Jerusalem Affairs.

Israel's Jerusalem municipality, which has been mulling over this plan for four years, says that the homes were built without permits in an area not designated for residential use.

Though it remains unclear how quickly the municipality plans to proceed, the fact that their housing inspectors – escorted by border police – entered Silwan Sunday, surveying houses and photographing them, was enough evidence for locals that Israel is serious.

The new struggle over Silwan – and in particular a part of it called al-Bustan, or the Garden – comes at time so many other aspects of the conflict are in flux. Israel has yet to form a government following Feb. 10 elections, but a right-wing one, led by Likud leader Benajmin Netanyhau, is expected soon. Internal Palestinian politics are still in disarray, but Fatah and Hamas started reconciliation talks in Cairo Wednesday and Israel and Hamas are still far from a cease-fire deal.

It is as part of this backdrop, says analyst Mahdi Abdul Hadi, that Israel's move in Jerusalem is seen by Palestinians. "After Gaza, they realize they have the power to do whatever they want, and we won't be able to stop it, except for making statements and complaints," says Mr. Abdul Hadi, the head of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA.)

Silwan is considered an especially sensitive area because it lies just outside the Old City and is the Arab neighborhood closest to the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam. It has already been a contested site, as Israeli ultranationalist groups have moved Jewish settlers into the area in recent years.

Whether or not to raze what is now a residential area and turn it into a tourist site may be one of the first big political tests for Nir Barkat, who was elected mayor last November.

Mr. Barkat issued a statement Tuesday saying that no "new plans" were under way. Indeed, plans to clear out the houses to make way for an archaeological park were raised four years ago, but amid international criticism the last Jerusalem mayor shelved the plans and invited the residents to come up with their own plan for the future of the neighborhood. It was rejected last week by a city committee.

"Illegal construction is illegal construction, no matter where it is," Barkat said in the statement released by his office, declining to take direct calls from the media.

Barkat called the neighborhood Emek HaMelech, Hebrew for "Valley of the King." There is already an Israeli-run City of David site in Silwan, which houses both an archaeological center and settlers. The Jewish settlers say they are living on the land that was King David's Jerusalem of 3,000 years ago.

"The area of Emek HaMelech is one of the most important areas with regards to the history of Jerusalem, with holy sites important to Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. Because of its significant important to more than 3 billion people of faith around the world, it is also a tourist destination."

The issue began to surface again two weeks ago, when Yakir Segev, head of East Jerusalem affairs for the Jerusalem municipality, called a meeting of the owners of the Silwan houses in question. About 100 people came, says resident Fakhri Abu Diab, one among them. They were told they had a choice: Either you agree to leave in return for a house elsewhere, or face eviction by force.

"People got very upset by what they heard," says Mr. Abu Diab. "Our house has been our house since my grandfather's day, and my children were born there. You cannot replace that."

Khalil Tufakji, the leading cartographer of Palestinian Jerusalemite neighborhoods, says the planned move is part of an overall Israel concern to stop a losing demographic battle in Jerusalem. "Nir Barkat said in his election campaign for mayor, and said now, that the conflict for Jerusalem will be a demographic one."

Mr. Segev, of the Jerusalem municipality, says the issue was being blown out of proportion for political purposes, and that there was no unified plan to demolish the homes in the immediate future.

The demolition orders had indeed been issued by the municipality, he says, but each case would go to court and would be decided individually. "Destroying these 88 houses is not going to tilt the geographic balance," Segev says. "The Jordanians and even the Turks before them marked this place as a green area. It's not like the Israelis came and said so."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Declaration of the State of Palestine

Declaration of the State of Palestine

A declaration of a "State of Palestine" was approved on November 15, 1988, by the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The proclaimed "State of Palestine" is not an independent state, as it has never had sovereignty over any territory. Moreover, the declaration was ignored, and eventually rejected, by the State of Israel. Israel controls the territories since 1967 Six-Day War when it captured them from Egypt and Jordan.

Currently, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) envision the establishment of a State of Palestine to include all the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, living in peace with Israel under a democratically elected and transparent government. The PNA, however, does not claim sovereignty over any territory and therefore is not the government of the "State of Palestine" proclaimed in 1988.

The 1988 declaration was approved at a meeting in Algiers, by a vote of 253-46, with 10 abstentions. The declaration invoked the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) and UN General Assembly Resolution 181 in support of its claim to a "State of Palestine on our Palestinian territory with its capital Jerusalem". The proclaimed "State of Palestine" was recognized immediately by the Arab League, and about half the world's governments recognize it today. It maintains embassies in these countries (which are generally PLO delegations). The State of Palestine is not recognized by the United Nations, although the European Union, as well as most member states, maintain diplomatic ties with the Palestinian Authority, established under the Oslo Accords.

The declaration is generally interpreted to have recognized Israel within its pre-1967 boundaries, or was at least a major step on the path to recognition. Just as in Israel's declaration of establishment, it partly bases its claims on UN GA 181. By reference to "resolutions of Arab Summits" and "UN resolutions since 1947" (like SC 242) it implicitly and perhaps ambiguously restricted its immediate claims to the Palestinian territories and Jerusalem. It was accompanied by a political statement that explicitly mentioned SC 242 and other UN resolutions and called only for withdrawal from "Arab Jerusalem" and the other "Arab territories occupied." Yasser Arafat's statements in Geneva a month later were accepted by the United States as sufficient to remove the ambiguities it saw in the declaration and to fulfill the longheld conditions for open dialogue with the United States.

The Palestinian National Charter of 1964 stated "This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area."

Capital Jerusalem (proclaimed), Ramallah (currently)

Official languages: Arabic

Declaration of Independence: November 15, 1988

President: Mahmoud Abbas (2005-)

Prime Minister: Ismail Haniya (2006)

Palestinian National Authority

Palestinian National Authority
Interim governing body appointed July 1994 to take over the management of
Palestinian affairs from Israel in newly liberated Gaza Strip and Jericho. It is headed by Yasser Arafat, chairman of the PLO. The PNA has jurisdiction over the whole of the formerly occupied areas, except Israeli settlers and nationals, Israel retains responsibility for external defence and foreign affairs.
Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC)
The first elected Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) was initially conceptualized with the Declaration of Principles (DOP). The idea was further developed in the Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement (Oslo II) in which the structure, jurisdiction, functions, size, and responsibilities of the Council were determined.

The PLC, is to replace the Palestinian Authority upon it inauguration. As such, the Council is expected to act as the highest authority in the interim phase. The PLC is the body responsible for legislation and from it the majority (80% of the cabinet) of the Executive Authority is appointed.
Committees of the Council
The Council established eleven permanent committees at its second meeting on April 4, 1996. Under Title III of the Standing Rules, the committees review and propose amendments to legislation, report to the Council, receive constituent complaints, and study and review plans, programs, agreements, and treaties submitted to the Council by the Executive Authority. The committees discuss and report to the Council on any proposals referred by the Council or by the Speaker. The committees usually meet twice a week and may hold additional meetings at the call of the chairman, or by request of the Speaker or a majority of the members of the committee, with at least 24 hours notice. The committees meet in secret but can decide to hold public meetings. The quorum for a committee meeting is a majority of its members and decisions of the committees require a simple majority. Each committee has a chairman and a secretary elected from among its members. A committee may request, through the Speaker, that any relevant Minister or responsible person within the Palestinian National Authority give information or clarify any issue within the committee’s mandate. A committee may also ask the Speaker to request, through the President of the Authority, the attendance of any relevant Minister at a committee meeting.
The Palestinian national anthem, Biladi ("My Country"), is the national anthem of the State of Palestine, adopted in 1996 in accordance with Article 31 of its declaration of independence in 1988. It was written by Said Al Muzayin, and its music was composed by Egyptian maestro Ali Ismael, and it was known as the "Anthem of the Palestinian revolution".

Since 1936, Mawtini ("My homeland") was unofficially the anthem used by Palestinians, it was written by Ibrahim Towqan and composed by the Lebanese composer Mohammad Flaifel. This should not be confused with Biladi, the official anthem.
My country, my land, land of my ancestors

My country, my country, my country

My people, people of perpetuity

With my determination, my fire and the volcano of my revenge

With the longing in my blood for my land and my home

I have climbed the mountains and fought the wars

I have conquered the impossible, and crossed the frontiers

My country, my country, my country

My people, people of perpetuity

With the resolve of the winds and the fire of the guns

And the determination of my nation in the land of struggle

Palestine is my home, Palestine is my fire, Palestine is my revenge and the land of endurance

My country, my country, my country

My people, people of perpetuity

By the oath under the shade of the flag

By my land and nation, and the fire of pain

I will live as a fida'i*, I will remain a fida'i, I will end as a fida'i - until my country returns

My country, people of perpetuity.

fida'i = one who risks his life voluntarily; one who sacrifices himself; fedayeen
Main cities in Palestine
Khan Yunus
Gaza Strip
Gaza, (Arabic Ghazze), city and port near the Mediterranean Sea, about 32km north of the Egyptian border. This ancient city has given its name to the Gaza Strip, a territory that was occupied by Israeli forces from 1967 until 1994. The Gaza Strip covers about 378 sq km (about 146 sq mi) and extends northeast from the Sinai Peninsula along the Mediterranean for about 40 km (about 25 mi).

Gaza was an important city in the 15th century BC, when the Egyptian king Thutmose III made it a base for his army in a war with Syria. In biblical times Gaza was one of the five royal cities of the ancient Philistines.

In the 8th century BC it was conquered by the Assyrians; from the 3rd to the 1st century BC, Egyptian, Syrian, and Hebrew armies fought for its possession. During Roman occupation it was called Minoa.

In the 7th century AD it became a sacred Muslim city, but the Crusaders found it almost deserted in the 12th century. Gaza fell to the French general Napoleon Bonaparte during his Egyptian campaign.

In 1917, during World War I, the city was taken from Turkey by British forces under General Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby.

By the terms of the United Nations (UN) plan of 1947 providing for the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state, Gaza was to have been included in the Arab area. In 1948, during the war between Jewish the Arabs, Egyptian forces retained Gaza and the surrounding area, which came to be called the Gaza Strip. This territory came under the control of Egypt by the terms of the Arab Israeli armistice agreement of 1949. In the course of the war some 200,000 Palestinian refugees from the Palestinian occupied land by Israel settled in the strip, doubling the population. Although the city of Gaza has bazaars and markets and some light industry, and the Gaza Strip is an established citrus producing area, the economy cannot support the large population , which has been aided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East.
West Bank
West Bank, territory in southwestern Asia, in the Middle East, located west of the Jordan River, occupied by Israel since 1967. It covers an area of about 5879 sq km and supports a population of about 973,500. All of the people are Palestinian Arabs. There is some Jews who have settled in the area since 1967. The West Bank was part of the British League of Nations Palestine mandate from 1922 to 1948, after the first Arab Israeli war in 1948, Jordan took control of the region in 1949. In 1967 the area was seized by Israel during the Six Day War.

Under accords reached in the late 1970s between Egypt and Israel, the latter agreed to give the Palestinians of the West Bank more self rule, but subsequent negotiations failed to determine what the exact nature of government in the territory would be.

Beginning in December 1987, Intifada started in West Bank and Gaza Strip demanding Palestinian autonomy in Palestinian lands occupied by Israel. In November 1988 the PLO proclaimed a Palestinian state that included the West Bank and Gaza Strip based on UN resolution no 242 and other UN resolution related the Arab Israeli conflict.

After decades of violence between Arabs and Israeli in the West Bank, leaders of the PLO and Israel agreed to the signing of an historic peace treaty. On September 13, 1993, PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin met in the United States for the signing of the accord, which pledged to establish limited Palestinian self rule, beginning with the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho. In May 1994 Israeli troops left Jericho, and a Palestinian authority took control of the city.
Jerusalem (Arabic al-Quds) largest city in the West Bank, situated between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. Jerusalem is a holy city for the world's major religions: Islam, and Christianity. In 1948 Jerusalem was under Israel occupation (West Jerusalem), and Jordan controlled the other part of Jerusalem (East Jerusalem) including the Old City. In 1967 Israel occupied East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War, Since then, both west and east Jerusalem has been under Israeli occupation.

Points of Interest Jerusalem's Old City is divided into Muslim, Armenian, Christian and Jewish sections and is enclosed by walls with gates. The Christian section, in the northwest, contains the New Gate, shares the Jaffa Gate with the Armenian section on the southwest, and the Damascus Gate with the Muslim section on the north. The Muslim section, in the northeastern portion of the Old City, contains Herod's Gate, Saint Stephen's Gate, and the Golden Gate, east of which is located the Mount of Olives and the garden of Gethsemane.

The Jewish section, occupying the southeastern portion, contains the Zion Gate, south of which is Mount Zion was created in place of an Islamic area called Harat Al-Shurafa (or Harat al-Magarbah) after the Israeli occupation in 1967 (all the houses and the building in Harat al-Magarbah were deomlished by Israeli forces and new houses for Jeiwsh setllers were build). It also contains Dung Gate. Around the Old City is the New City, developed since the middle of the 19th century. The population of Jerusalem (1990 estimate) is 524,500.

The Old City is sacred to Christians as the site where Jesus Christ spent his last days on earth, and it is sacred to Muslims as the site of the ascent into heaven of the Prophet Muhammad. Notable structures include the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built over the 4th-century, the Muslim Dome of the Rock, built upon the site where Muhammad have ascended to heaven, the Mosque of Al Aqsa one of Islam's most sacred shrines; and the Citadel, a 14th-century structure on the site of Herod's fortress.
Hebron, city in the West Bank, near Jerusalem. Israel has occupied Hebron since 1967, when it captured the West Bank and other territories in the Six-Day War. Hebron is one of oldest communities in the world. Among the interesting features of Hebron are the narrow, winding streets, the flat-roofed stone houses, the bazaars, and the mosque of al-Haram al-Ebrahimi. The mosque is built on top of the cave that is believed to hold the tombs of Abraham and his family. In the top of this cave is al-Ebrahimi mosque.

Hebron's population is Arab Muslim, although Israelis have settled in the city since 1967. A large Israeli settlement called Qiryat Arba lies on the outskirts of Hebron. Hebron has a number of small scale industrial establishments that produce cotton goods, leather, water containers, glass bracelets, rings, lamps, and ceramics.

British troops occupied Hebron in December 1917, during World War I. Hebron was part of the British mandate for Palestine from 1923 until 1948. In
1949 Jordan controled Hebron and the rest of West Bank. In June 1967, following the Six-Day War between Israel and Arab countries, Israeli troops took control of the West Bank.

In February 1994 an Israeli settler massacred at least 29 Palestinians in al-Haram al-Ebrahimi mosque.

Population (estimated) 75,000.
Bethlehem (pop. 16,313) is the birthplace of Jesus Christ. It lies about 5 miles (8 kilometers) south of Jerusalem in a region of the Middle East called the West Bank.

The Arabic name is Bayta lahm, which means house of meat. Bethlehem is chiefly a religious shrine. It has many houses of worship and other religious institutions.

In 1917, during World War I, British forces led by General Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby took the town. It became under Jordan control in 1948 after the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948. Israel occupied the West Bank, including Bethlehem, during the Six-Day War of 1967. In 1995, Israel withdrew from Bethlehem and gave control to Palestinian based on self-rule agreement between PLO and Israel.
Gaza City
Principal city of the Gaza Strip. Gaza is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, north of the Sinai Peninsula and southwest of Jerusalem. A city of historical and religious importance, Gaza has been disputed since ancient times. Along with the rest of the Gaza Strip, Gaza came under Israeli occupation in 1967. In May 1994 the city became the headquarters of the new Palestinian Authority, which administers Palestinian areas in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Gaza is the economic center for a region in which citrus fruits and other crops are grown. The city contains some small industry, including textiles and food processing. A variety of wares are sold in Gaza's street bazaars, including carpets, pottery, wicker furniture, and cotton clothing; commercial development in the city is minimal. Gaza serves as a transportation hub for the Gaza Strip, and contains a small port that serves a local fishing fleet. Points of interest in Gaza include the Great Mosque and Al Jundi, or the Square of the Unknown Soldier, built by the Egyptian army.

Gaza's population is composed entirely of Muslim Palestinian Arabs. A massive influx of Palestinian refugees swelled Gaza's population after the 1948 Arab Israeli war. By 1967 the population had grown to about six times its 1948 size. The city's population has continued to increase since that time, and poverty, unemployment, and poor living conditions are widespread. Gaza has serious deficiencies in housing and infrastructure, and an inadequate sewage system has contributed to serious problems of hygiene and public health.

Strategically located on the Mediterranean coastal route, ancient Gaza was a prosperous trade center and a stop on the caravan route between Egypt and Syria. The city was occupied by Egypt around the 15th century BC. Philistines settled the area several hundred years later, and Gaza became one of their chief cities.

Gaza was captured by Arabs in the AD 600s. Believed to be the site where the Prophet Muhammad's great grandfather was buried, the city became an important Islamic center. In the 12th century Gaza was taken by Christian Crusaders, it returned to Muslim control in 1187. The city fell to the Ottomans in the 16th century and was taken by the British during World War I (1914 - 1918).

Following World War I, Gaza became part of the British mandate for Palestine. After the first Arab Israel war in 1948, Egypt took control over Gaza and its surrounding area. Israel occupied the city and the Gaza Strip during the 1967 Six Day War, and Gaza remained under Israeli administration for the next 27 years.

With the onset of the Palestinian uprising known as the intifada in 1987, Gaza became a center of political unrest and confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians, and economic conditions in the city worsened.

In September 1993 leaders of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed a peace agreement calling for Palestinian administration of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho, which was implemented in May 1994. Most of the Israeli forces left Gaza, leaving a new Palestinian Authority to administer and police the city, along with the rest of the Gaza Strip and Jericho. The Palestinian Authority, led by Yasser Arafat, chose Gaza as its first provincial headquarters. In September 1995 Israel and the PLO signed a second peace agreement extending the Palestinian Authority to some West Bank towns. The agreement also established an elected 88-member Palestinian Council, which held its inaugural session in Gaza in March 1996.
Excavations at ancient Jericho, identified as Tell al-Sultan, 10 km (6 mi) north of the Dead Sea, have revealed remains of the oldest city yet discovered by archaeologists. The earliest occupation of the site, dating from the 10th millennium BC, consists of remains of the NATUFIAN culture and includes what may have been a shrine. During the 8th millennium BC the site was greatly expanded under a culture known as the Aceramic, or Prepottery Neolithic, and a wall standing 5.2 m (17 ft) high was erected around the settlement. On the west side were found remains of a round tower that stood 7 m (23 ft) high and included an internal flight of steps.

Following a break the next city was populated by a culture known as the Prepottery Neolithic (7th - 6th millennium BC). Houses of this phase were rectangular and had beaten earth floors. That the two cultures represent different groups is shown by significant changes in both the architectural tradition and in the flint tools. Extraordinary finds of this period included plastered skulls with shells replacing the eyes. These skulls, found beneath the floors of houses.

In the ceramic stage of the Neolithic (6th-4th millennium BC) the dwellers lived in pits and produced a characteristic painted pottery.

Early Bronze Age occupation (3100-2100 BC) was extensive and consisted of large, well-built homes. Tombs were constructed for mass burials, and in one such grave about 100 skulls were counted. Following the destruction of the Early Bronze Age settlement, occupation was resumed by people who have been identified with the AMORITES. They did not build a permanent settlement and buried their dead in shaft tombs, the variety of whose grave deposits may indicate tribal differences.

During the Middle Bronze Age (c.1900-1550 BC) houses consisting of small irregularly shaped rooms were built. Mass burials were excavated in a cemetery off the mound in shaft graves. The remains of wooden beds on which the deceased lay as well as pottery vessels containing food and drink have been found next to several of the bodies. The city was destroyed, probably about the end of the Middle Bronze Age (1550BC).
Market town on the West Bank of the river Jordan, North of Jerusalem, the largest Palestinian town, after east Jerusalem, in Israeli occupation, population (1971) 64,000 The British field marshal Allenby's defeat of the Turks here 1918 completed the conquest of Palestine.
Ram Allah
Also spelled RAMALLAH, town, central Palestine, adjacent to the town of Al-Birah (east) and north of Jerusalem. Ram Allah has since the Six-Day War of 1967 been under Israeli occupation as part of the West Bank territory.

Situated on the crest of the Judaean Hills, at an elevation of 2,861 feet (872 m) above sea level, Ram Allah has fine summer breezes and has long been a popular Arab resort. The surrounding area is fertile, olives and viticulture are important. Birzeit University was founded at Ram Allah in 1924.

The demographic makeup of the town changed drastically between 1948 and 1967, formerly Ram Allah was predominantly Christian and twice as large as Al-Birah, a Muslim town. In 1967, Ram Allah's population was 12,134, only slightly more than half Christian, while Al-Birah, including a large refugee camp, was 13,037. Pop.

Palestinian terrorized by massacres Line

The Zionism Massacres against the Palestinian Nation
Palestinian terrorized by massacres
Place / VillageDateCrime made byNumber of Killed
Baldat al-Shaikh31.01.1947Jews Groups60
Mansurat al Khayt18.01.1948Jews GroupsNA
Sa'Sa'a Village14.02.1948Jews GroupsNA
Qisarya15.02.1948Jews GroupsNA
Wadi 'Ara27.02.1948Jews GroupsNA
Abu Kabeer Village31.03.1948HaganahNA
Dair Yasin10.04.1948Irgun254
Nasir ad Din, Khirbet12.04.1948Jews GroupsNA
Hawsha15.04.1948Jews GroupsNA
Al Wa'ra Al-Sawda18.04.1948Jews GroupsNA
Haifa21.04.1948Jews GroupsNA
Husayniyya21.04.1948Jews GroupsNA
Ayn az Zaytun02.05.1948Jews GroupsNA
Bayt Daras11.05.1948Jews GroupsNA
Burayr12.05.1948Jews GroupsNA
Khubbayza12.05.1948Jews GroupsNA
Abu Shusha14.05.1948Jofati Army50
Al Kibri21.05.1948Jews GroupsNA
Al Tantoura21.05.1948Jews GroupsNA
Qazaza09.07.1948Jews GroupsNA
Lydda10.07.1948Jews GroupsNA
El-Led11.07.1948Mohsa Dayan426
Al Tira16.07.1948Jews GroupsNA
Ijzim24.07.1948Jews GroupsNA
Beer Sheba21.10.1948Jews GroupsNA
Isdud28.10.1948Jews GroupsNA
Al Dawayima29.10.1948Jews GroupsNA
Jish29.10.1948Jews GroupsNA
Majd al Kurum29.10.1948Jews GroupsNA
Safsaf29.10.1948Jews GroupsNA
Sa'sa30.10.1948Jews GroupsNA
Saliha30.10.1948Jews GroupsNA
Arab al Samniyya30.10.1948Jews GroupsNA
Aylabon Village30.10.1948Israeli ArmyNA
Al-Ba'na / Dair Al-Asad31.10.1948Israeli ArmyNA
Al Khisas18.12.1948Jews GroupsNA
Qibya14.10.1953Israeli Army67
Qalqalya Village10.10.1956Israeli Army70
Kufr Qasim29.10.1956Israeli Army49
Khan Younes03.11.1956Israeli Army250
Khan Younes12.11.1956Israeli Army275
Sabra & Shatila Camps16.09.1982Isr. Army/Kata'ib3500
Oyon Qara20.05.1990Israeli Army7
Al-Aqsa Mosque08.10.1990Israeli Army23
Ebrahime Mosque25.02.1994Baruch Goldstein53
Qana18.04.1996Israeli Army109

The massacre of Baldat al-Shaikh - 31.01.1947
Following an argument which broke out between Palestinian workers and Jewish workers in the Haifa Petroleum Refinery, leading to the deaths of a number of Palestinians and wounding and killing approximately sixty Jews. The Zionest ganges planned to take revenge on behalf of fellow Jews who had been killed by attacking Baldat al-Shaikh and Hawasa where most of the workers live.

On the night of January 30-31, 1947, a mixed force composed of the First Battalion of Palmakh and the Carmelie brigade (estimated at approximately 150 to 200 terrorists) launched a raid against the two towns under the leadership of Hayim Afinuam. Taking the homes by surprise as their inhabitants slept, they pelted them with hand grenades, then went inside, firing their machine guns. The terrorist attack led to the deaths of approximately sixty citizens inside their homes, most of them women, elderly and children.

The attack lasted for an hour, after which the Zionists withdrew at 2:00 A.M. after attacking a large number of homes.

According to a report written by the leader of the terrorist operation," the attacking units slipped into the town and began working on the houses. And due to the fact that gunfire was directed inside the rooms, it was not possible to avoid injuring women and children."Line

The massacre of Deir Yasin - 09.04.1948

On the night of April 9, 1948, the Irgun Zvei Leumi surrounded the village of Deir Yasin, located on the outskirts of Jerusalem. After giving the sleeping residents a 15 minute warning to evacuated, Menachem Begin's terrorists attacked the village of 700 people, killing 254 mostly old men, women and children and wounding 300 others. Begin's terrorists tossed many of the bodies in the village well, and paraded 150 captured women and children through the Jewish sectors of Jerusalem.

The Haganah and the Jewish Agency, which publicly denounced the atrocity after the details had become public several days later, did all they could to prevent the Red Cross from investigating the attack. It wasn't until three days after the attack that the Zionist armies permitted Jacques de Reynier, chief representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Jerusalem, to visit the village by the surrounding Zionist armies.

Ironically, the Deir Yasin villagers had signed a non aggression pact with the leaders of the adjacent Jewish Quarter, Giv'at Shaul and had even refused military personnel from the Arab Liberation Army from using the village as a base.

Jacques de Reynier statement
Chief representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross

"On Saturday, April 10, in the afternoon, I received a telephone call from the Arabs begging me to go at once to Deir Yasin where the civilian population of the whole village has just been massacred.

"I learned that the Irgun extremists hold this sector, situated near Jerusalem. The Jewish Agency and the Haganah's General Headquarters say that they know nothing about this matter and furthermore it is impossible for anyone to penetrate an Irgun area.

"They advise me that I not become involved in this matter as my mission will run the risk of being permanently cut short if I go there. Not only can they not help me but they also refuse all responsibility for what will certainly happen to me. I answer that I intend to go there at once, that the notorious Jewish Agency exercises its authority over the territory in Jewish hands and that the agency is responsible for my freedom of action within the bounds of my mission.

"In fact, I do not know at all how to do it. Without Jewish support it is impossible to reach that village. After thinking I suddenly remember that a Jewish nurse from a hospital here had made me take her telephone number, saying with a strange look that if I ever were in a difficult situation I could call her. On a chance I call her late in the evening and tell her the situation. She tells me to be in a predetermined location the following day at 7 o'clock and to take in my car the person who will be there.

"The next day on the hour and in the location upon which we agreed, an individual in civilian clothes, but with pistols stuffed in his pockets, jumps into my car and tells me to drive without stopping. At my request, he agrees to show me the road to Deir Yasin, but he admits not being able to do to much more for me. We drive out of Jerusalem, leave the main road and the last regular army post and we turn in on a cross road. Very soon two soldiers stop us. They look alarming with machine guns in full view and larger cutlasses at the belt.

"I recognize the uniform of those I am looking for. I must leave the car and lend myself to bodily search. Then I understand that I am a prisoner. All seems lost when a very big fellow...jostles his friends, takes my hand...He understands neither English nor French, but in German we arrive at a perfect understanding. He tells me his joy at seeing an ICRC delegate, for having been a prisoner in a camp for Jews in Germany he owes his life to nothing else but our intervention and three reprieves. He says that I am more than a brother for him and that he will do anything I ask...We go to Deir Yasin.

"Having reached a ridge 500 meters from the village which we see below, we must wait a long time for permission to go ahead. The shooting from the Arab side starts every time somebody tries to cross the road and the Commander of the Irgun detachment does not seem willing to relieve me. Finally he arrives, young, distinguished, perfectly correct, but his eyes have a strange, cruel, cold look. I explain my mission to him which has nothing in common with that of a judge or arbiter. I want to help the wounded and bring back the dead.

"Moreover, the Jews have signed a pledge to respect the Geneva Convention and my mission is therefore an official one. This last statement provokes the anger of this officer who asks me to consider once and for all that here it is the Irgun who are in command and nobody else, not even the Jewish Agency with which they have nothing in common.

"My (guide) hearing the raised voices intervenes...Suddenly the officer tells me I can act as I see fit but on my own responsibility. He tells me the story of this village populated by about 400 Arabs, disarmed since always and living on good terms with the Jews who encircled them. According to him, the Irgun arrived 24 hours previously and ordered by loudspeaker the whole population to evacuate all the buildings and surrender. There is a 15 minute delay in the
execution of the command. Some of the unhappy people came forward and
would have been taken prisoners and then turned loose shortly afterwards toward the Arab lines. The rest did not obey the order and suffered the fate they deserved. But one must not exaggerate for there are only a few dead who would be buried as soon as the..clean up' of the village is over. If I find a bodies, I can take them with me, but there are certainly no wounded.

"This tale gives me cold chills. "I return to Jerusalem to find an ambulance and a truck that I had alerted through the Red Shield...I arrive with my convoy in the village and the Arab fire ceases. The (Jewish) troops are in campaign uniforms with helmets. All the young people and even the adolescents, men and women, are armed to their teeth: pistols, machine guns, grenades, and also big cutlasses, most of them still bloody, that they hold in their hands. A young girl with the eyes of a criminal, shows me hers still dripping. She carries it around like a trophy. This is the 'clean up' team which certainly has accomplished its job very conscientiously.

"I try to enter a building. About 10 soldiers surround me with machine guns aimed at me. An officer forbids me to move from the spot. They are going to bring the dead that are there, he says. I then get as furious as ever before in my life and tell these criminals what I think about the way they act, menacing them with the thunder I can muster, then I roughly push aside those who surround me and enter the building.

"The first room is dark, completely in disorder, and empty. In the second, I find among smashed furniture covers and all sorts of debris, some cold bodies. There they have been cleaned up by machine guns then by grenades. They have been finished by knives.

"It is the same thing in the next room, but just as I am leaving, I hear something like a sigh. I search everywhere, move some bodies and finally find a small foot which is still warm. It is a little 10 year old girl, very injured by grenade, but still alive. I want to take her with me but the officer forbids it and blocks the door. I push him aside and leave with my precious cargo protected by the brave (guide).

"The loaded ambulances leaves with orders to return as soon as possible. And because these troops have not dared to attack me directly, it is possible to continue.

"I give orders to load the bodies from this house on the truck. Then I go on to the neighboring house and go on. Everywhere I encounter the same terrible sight. I only find two persons still alive, two women, one of whom is an old grandmother, hidden behind the firewood where she kept immobile for at least 24 hours.

"There were 400 persons in the village. About 50 had fled, three are still alive, but the rest have been massacred on orders, for as I have noticed, this troop is admirably disciplined and acts only on command.

De Reynier continues that he returns to Jerusalem where he confronts the Jewish Agency and scolds them for not exercising control over the 150 armed men and women responsible for the massacre.

"I then go to see the Arabs. I say nothing about what I have seen, but only that after a first quick visit to the spot there seems to be several dead and I ask what I shall do or where to bring them...they ask me to see that a suitable burial be given them in a place which will be recognizable later on. I pledge to do so and on my return to Deir Yasin, I find the Irgun people in a very bad mood. They try to stop me from approaching the village and I understand when I see the number and above all the state of the bodies which have been lined up on the main street. I demand firmly that they proceed with the burial and insist on helping them. After some discussion, they begin actually to scoop out a big grave in a small garden. It is impossible to verify the identity of the dead, for they have no papers, but I wrote accurately their descriptions with approximate age.

"Two days later, the Irgun had disappeared from the spot and the Haganah had taken possession. We have discovered different places where the bodies have been piled up without either decency or respect in the open air.

"Back in my office I received two gentleman in civilian clothes, very well dressed who had waited for more than one hour. It is the commander of the Irgun detachment and his aide. They have prepared a text they ask me to sign. It is a statement according to which I have been received courteously by them, that I have obtained all the help needed to accomplish my mission and I thank them for the aide they gave me.

"As I hesitate, I begin to discuss the statement, and they tell me that if I care for my life I should sign immediately."

Calling the statement contrary to fact, de Reynier refuses to sign. Several days later in Tel Aviv, de Reynier says he approached by the same two men who ask the ICRC to assist some of their Irgun soldiers.

Eye Witness
Former Haganah officer, Col. Meir Pa'el, upon his retirement from the Israeli army in 1972, made the following public statement about DeirYasin that was published by Yediot Ahronot (April 4, 1972): "In theexchange that followed four [Irgun] men were killed and a dozen noon time the battle was over and the shooting hadceased. Although there was calm, the village had not yet surrendered.The Irgun and LEHI men came out of hiding and began to clean' the houses. They shot whoever they saw, women and children included, the commanders did not try to stop the massacre...I pleaded with the commander to order his men to cease fire, but to no avail. In themeantime, 25 Arabs had been loaded on a truck and driven through MahneYehuda and Zichron Yousef (like prisoners in a Roman. March of Triumph'). At the end of the drive, they were taken to the quarrybetween Deir Yasin and Giv'at Shaul, and murdered in cold blood ...The commanders also declined when asked to take their men and bury the 254 Arab bodies. This unpleasant task was performed by two Gadna units brought to the village from Jerusalem."

Zvi Ankori, who commanded the Haganah unit that occupied Deir Yasin after the massacre, gave this statement in 1982 about the massacre, published by Davar on April 9, 1982: "I went into 6 to 7 houses. I saw cut off genitalia and women's crushed stomaches. According to the shooting signs on the bodies, it was direct murder."

Dov Joseph, one time Governor of the Israel sector of Jerusalem and later Minister of Justice, called the Deir Yassin massacre "deliberate and unprovoked attack."

Arnold Toynbee described it as comparable to crimes committed against the Jews by Nazis.

Menachem Beigin said "The massacre was not only justified, but there would not have been a state of Israel without the victory at Deir Yassin." Unashamed of their deed and unaffected by world condemnation, the Zionist forces, using loud-speakers, roamed the streets of cities warning Arab inhabitants "The Jericho road is still open," they told Jerusalem Arabs "Fly from Jerusalem before you are killed, like those in Deir Yassin."Line

The massacre of Qibya - 14.10.1953

On the night of October 14-15, 1953, this village was the object of an Israeli attack which was carried out by units from the regular army and in which a variety of weapon types were used. On the evening of October 14, an Israeli military force estimated at about 600 soldiers moved toward the village. Upon arrival, it surrounded it and cordoned it off from all of the other Arab villages. The attack began with concentrated, indiscriminate artillery fire on the homes in the village. This continued until the main force reached the outskirts of the village. Meanwhile, other forces headed for nearby Arab towns such as Shuqba, Badrus and Na'lin in order to distract them and prevent any aid from reaching the people in Qibya. They also planted mines on various roads so as to isolate the village completely. As units of the Israeli army were attacking the village residents, units of military engineers were placing explosives around some
of the houses in the village and blowing them up with everyone in them. This attack continued until 4:00 A.M., October 15, 1953, at which time the Israeli forces withdrew to the bases from which they had begun.

This terrorist attack resulted in the destruction of 56 houses, the village mosque, the village school and the water tank . Moreover, 67 citizens lost their lives, both men and women, with many others wounded.

Terrorist Ariel Sharon, the commander of the "101" unit which undertook the terrorist aggression, stated that his leaders' orders had been clear with regard to how the residents of the village were to be dealt with. He says, "The orders were utterly clear: Qibya was to be an example to everyone."

The government of Israel claimed that the massacre was carried out by “civilian Jewish settlers”. But records showed that it was sanctioned by acting Prime Minister Moshe Sharrett, and was planned by Defence Minister Pin Has Lavon, the Chief of General Staff Mordacai Maklet, and Chief of Operations, General Moshe Dayan. On October 26, General Van Bennike testified before the UN Security Council. He gave irrefutable evidence that the attack on Qibya was undertaken by regular army units of Israel and not by irregulars as claimed by official Israeli sources.

The massacre of Kufr Qasim - 29.10.1956
Kufr Qasim Massacre

At 4:30 P.M., October 29, 1956, a sergeant from the border guard informed the mayor of Kufr Qasim Wadi Ahmad Sarsour, that a curfew would be imposed on the village, and asked him to inform village residents. Only 30 minutes before the new curfew time, the mayor tried to convince the officer that about 400 villagers whose work took them outside the village would not be able to able to receive the warning in time. The officer told him that his soldiers would take care of that. The villagers who were home complied. Meanwhile the officers posted themselves at the village gates. Before long the first batch of villagers back home on bicycles, came into sight unaware of the curfew. They were met by the soldiers who shot them at a close range. Others, unaware of the danger awaiting them, started to reach the village entrance. They were met with the same fate.

After this terrorist massacre was over, border guard policemen gathered together the corpses of the 49 victims, took them in a truck and threw them into a thicket located near the police station in the Israeli settlement in Ra's al-'Ayn, where the bodies were buried temporarily. However, two days later they decided to bury them in the village cemetery.

The massacre of Sabra and Shatila Camps - 16.09.1982

From the beginning of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the Israelis and their agents were working toward being able to end the Palestinian presence in Lebanon. This massacre was carried out by groups of Lebanese forces under the leadership of Eli Haqiba, head of the Kata'ib intelligence apparatus and with the approval of the Israeli Minister of Defense, Ariel Sharon.

A high-level meeting was held on Thursday morning, September 16, 1982 in which Israel was represented by General Amir Dawri, Supreme Commander of the Northern Forces. The job of carrying out the operation was assigned to Eli Haqiba.

The process of storming the camps began before sunset on Thursday, September 16, and continued for approximately 36 hours. The Israeli Army surrounded the camps, providing the Kata'ib with all the support, aid and facilities necessary for them to carry out the massacre. They also set off incandescent bombs in the air in order to turn night into day so that none of the Palestinians would be able to escape. And those who did flee - women, children and the elderly - were brought back inside the camps by Israeli soldiers to face their destiny.

At first they started killing people with knives so that they wouldn't make any noise. Then on Friday there were snipers in the Shatila camp killing anybody who crossed the street. On Friday afternoon, armed men began going into the houses and firing on men, women and children. Then they started blowing up the houses and turning them into piles of rubble.

At noon on Friday, the second day of the terrorist massacre, and with the approval of the Israeli Army, the Kata'ib forces began receiving more ammunition, while the forces which had been in the camps were replaced by other fighters.

On Saturday morning, September 18, 1982, the massacre had reached its peak, and thousands of Sabra and Shatila camp residents had been killed. Information about the massacre began to leak out after a number of children and women fled to the Gaza Hospital in the Shatila camp, where they told doctors what was happening.

The massacre continued until noon on Saturday, September 18, leaving between 3,000 and 3,500 Palestinian civilians dead, most of them women, children and elderly people.

The massacre of Al-Aqsa Mosque - 08.10.1990

Several days before the events of the massacre began, the "Temple Trustees" group distributed a statement to the media on the occasion of a religious festival of theirs which they call "the Throne Festival". In the statement the organization announced that it intended to stage a march to the Temple Mount (or so they call it). The statement called upon Jews to participate in this march since, according to the statement, it would involve the decisive act of placing the foundation stone for what is called "the Third Temple." In addition, the founder of the organization, Ghershoun Salmoun, announced that "the Arab-Islamic occupation of the temple area must come to an end, and the Jews must renew their profound ties to the sacred area." The march, in which 200,000 Jews took part, headed toward al-Aqsa Mosque in order for "the foundation stone" of the so-called "Third Temple" to be put in place.

On Monday, October 8, 1990 at 10:00 A.M., half-hour before the beginning of the massacre, Israeli occupation forces began placing military barriers along various roads leading to Jerusalem in order to prevent Palestinians from getting to the city. They also closed the doors of the mosque itself and forbid Jerusalem residents to go in. However, thousands had already gathered inside the mosque before this time in response to calls from the imam of the mosque and the Islamic movement to protect the mosque and to prevent the "Temple Trustees" from storming it.

When the Muslim worshippers began resisting the Israeli group to prevent them from placing the "foundation stone" for their so-called temple, Israeli occupation forces began carrying out the massacre, using all the weapons such as poison gas bombs, automatic weapons, military helicopters, etc. The soldiers and Jewish settlers where firing live ammunition in the form of a continuous spray of machine-gun fire. The result was that thousands of Palestinian worshippers of various ages found themselves in a mass death trap. Twenty-three Palestinians were killed, and 850 others were wounded to varying degrees. The Israeli soldiers began firing at 10:30 A.M. and stopped 35 minutes later.

The massacre of Ebrahimi Mosque - 25.02.1994

An Israeli settler wearing a military uniform, Baruch Goldstein, a well-known Kach leader and a physician from Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron, entered the Ebrahimi mosque and emptied two clips of a machinegun into Moslem worshippers during the dawn prayer. At least 48 were killed in the initial hooting (Name lised below), more were killed in incidents and protest demonstrations follow the massacre. More than 300 are injured. Some of them were critically injured.

It started last night at the time for the final evening prayer on Thursday February 1994, Jewish settlers and soldiers prevented Muslim worshippers from entering the sacred masque to perform the evening prayer under the pretext that this was the day of their "Boleme" feast. After some time, the occupation forces allowed them to go inside the mosque in groups. At 10:00 P.M. the Muslim worshippers were asked to leave the mosque, and occupation soldiers began beating many of them as they left.

On February 25th 1994 on the holy month of Ramadan, there were many people in the Ebrahimi Mosque to perform their prayers. Dr. Baruch Goldstein passed two army checkpoints from the northeastern gate of the mosque.

He execute his massacre when the more then 350 Muslim worshippers knelt on the floor during there pray with their backs towards him. Hiding behind one of the pillars in the mosque, he threw a hand grenade at the worshippers causing casualties, confusion. And in no time he fired on the worshippers with his rifle. A number of young men were able to get over to where the attacker was and to protect others in the mosque with their bodies. And within moments Goldstein had been brought to the ground by the young men. The shooting lasted for more then ten minutes.

The army didn't step in until the massacre was over. The soldiers, together with a number of Jewish settlers, opened fire on those who had gathered around Goldstein, and not one of them survived in a second massacre. Outside the mosque, the soldiers opened fire on the ambulance which had arrived at the mosque to treat the wounded.

List of the killed Palestinian in the massacre:-
1. Abdel Rahim Abu Sneineh
2. Abdul Haq Jabari
3. Ahmad Abdullah Abu Sneineh
4. Akram Kafisheh
5. Akram Joulani
6. Ala' Badr Abdul Jalil Taha Abu Sneineh
7. Amjad Abdallah Sandal
8. Arafat Musa Burkan
9. Arafat Mahmoud Bayid
10. Atiyeh Mohammad Salameh
11. Ayed Abu Hadid
12. Ayman Ayoub Qawasmi
13. Diab Karaki
14. Diab Muhtasab
15. Fawaz Zughair
16. Hamad Abu Nijmeh
17. Hatem Qader Fakhouri
18. Ismail Kafisheh
19. Iyad Karaki
20. Jamil Ayed Natsheh
21. Kamal Jamal Kafisheh
22. Khairi Aref Abu Hadid
23. Khaled Halaweh Abu Sneineh
24. Kifah Abdul Mu'az Marakeh
25. Marwan Abu Shareh
26. Marwan Mutluk Abu Nijmeh
27. Mohammed Sadeq Abu Zanoun
28. Nader Zahdi
29. Nimer Mohanmmad Nimer Mojahed
30. Nour Ibrahim Muhtasib
31. Raed Mohammed Natsheh
32. Raji Arafat Rajabi
33. Raji Gheith
34. Saber Katbeh
35. Salim Idris
36. Sufian Zahdeh
37. Suleiman Awad Jabari
38. Talal Dandis
39. Tareq Abu Sneineh
40. Tariq Abdeen
41. Wael Obeid Muhtasib
42. Walid Abu Hamdiyeh
43. Yasser Diab Kafisheh
44. Yazen Abdul Mu'ti Marakah
45. Yusef Hroub
46. Zeidan Jabber
47. Zein Gheith
48. Ziad Kafisheh
List of the killed Palestinian in related incidents and demonstrations:-
49. Badran, shot by army in front of Ahli hospital, Hebron
50. Mohammed Yusef Ghayatheh, shot by settler near Beit Jala hospital
51. Mohammad Danaf, 20, Sheikh Radwan, Rafah/Gaza
52. Fadl Kernawi, 16, Bureij refugee camp/Gaza
53. Mohammad Yusef Abed Abdu, 20, Bureij refugee camp/Gaza

The massacre of Qana - 18.04.1996

In an attempt to break the power of the Lebanese Hizbollah organization, Israeli forces undertook a military operation against south Lebanon. The Israeli forces bombed the shelter which was providing refuge to approximately five hundred Lebanese, most of whom were children, elderly and women who had been forced out of their homes by Israeli raids on their villages, and who had been unable to get to Beirut.

This bombing led to the deaths of 109 Lebanese civilians and seriously wounded 116 others. During the attack, Israeli forces used between 5 and 6 advanced bombs designed to explode above their target in order to cause the largest possible number of casualties.

International investigations confirmed that the Israeli forces had deliberately targeted the shelter.


The massacre of Jenine refugees camp - 12.04.2002

The Battle of Jenin took place in April 2002 in Jenin's Palestinian refugee camp as part of Operation Defensive Shield, a large-scale military operation conducted by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), the largest conducted in the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War. The battle attracted widespread international attention because journalists, particularly in the UK, reported that a massacre of Palestinians had taken place during the fighting, and that hundreds, or even thousands, of bodies had been secretly buried in mass graves by the IDF.

The United Nations (UN) report said that the number of Palestinians killed was at least 52, 22 of whom were civilians, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). 23 Israeli soldiers were killed. A section of the camp was destroyed during the fighting.

An UNRWA administrated refugee camp near Jenin was entered by Israeli forces in early April 2002, an operation the IDF described as intending "to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure operating out of the P.A.-controlled areas". Over the next few days a battle took place between the IDF and Palestinians. According to the IDF, Israel chose not to bomb the spots of resistance using aircraft as it entered, but rather to take hold of the city using infantry, although there appears to have been a limited use of helicopters.

After the April 9 ambush, the IDF changed tactics, presumably in order to continue the operation without risking more Israeli deaths, and began operating the heavily-armored IDF Caterpillar D9 bulldozers. Earlier, the IDF maintained that heavy bulldozers were mainly used to clear booby traps and open routes to armored fighting vehicles. After April 9, the bulldozers demolished each house that was allegedly used by the militants to attack Israeli soldiers, and other houses to widen alleyways or to secure locations for IDF troops. Some Palestinians claim that there were cases when the IDF bulldozed houses while there were people inside.

The introduction of the heavily armored bulldozers, which shrugged off explosives and RPGs alike, and the threat of being buried alive, caused the Palestinian militants to surrender. Later, IDF forces withdrew gradually from the refugee camp under international pressure.

After the conflict Israeli reports claim that 8-9% of the houses within the refugee camp were destroyed. This was largely within an area of intense fighting of approximately 100 m by 100 m according to the IDF. Most of the demolition occurred in the Hawashin neighborhood.

Immediately following the event, Israeli authorities prevented the international press from entering the refugee camp for two weeks, which potentially delayed the ability of the world community to assess the damage. Later inquiries by human rights groups and the UN commission did not find evidence of massacres by Israeli forces in Jenin.

The massacre of Qana 2 - 29.07.2006
29 July 2006
in 1996 at the U.N. Base in Qana Village, "Israel" kills more than 63 Lebanese refugees including 42 children at the same Village.

Just the day before on July 29th, "Israel" rejected a request by the U.N. for a three-day Cease-fire in Lebanon to deliver humanitarian supplies and allow civilians to leave the war zone.

Five days ago on July 25th, the "israeli" air force deliberately bombed a U.N. base at Khiam Village in South Lebanon killing four United Nations observers. The victims were Nationals of Austria, Canada, China and Finland. The U.N. failed to condemn "Israel" for the killings due to the U.S. pressure.

Seven days ago on July 23rd, the "israeli" Army targeted two Lebanese Red Cross Ambulances in Qana Village. Five of the LRC volunteers and three patients were wounded in the attack.

Again and as expected, the U.N. failed to condemn "Israel" for the Qana Massacre due to the U.S. pressure. The U.N. expressed its "shock" for this Crime against Humanity. It is the maximum that the U.N. can say or do after being hijacked by USA.

The Innocent Lebanese Civilians were killed at Qana by using MK-84 Laser Guided Bombs (LGB) with BSU-37/B (Bomb Stabilization Units). These Bombs are Precision-Guided Munition (PGM) and were manufactured by the U.S. Company Raytheon for the U.S. Navy and Air Force.

The MK-84 LGB, which weights 2000 lbs (907 kg) and has 948 lbs (430 kg) explosive power, features accuracy, reliability and cost-effectiveness previously unobtainable in conventional weapons.

The Innocent Refugees were chased from Home to Home, destroying each Home they hid in, until they reached the edge of Qana Village where they were targeted around 1 o'clock after mid-night. The MK-84 Bombs were dropped by US-Made F16s warplanes and Laser-guided by US-Made Apache helicopters that followed the Civilians.

Experts think that there was also some sort of a Poisonous Gas involved in the Massacre because many of the bodies did not have injuries and the Victims appeared to have suffered an Instant Death.

The second Qana Massacre was designed as one of many Scenarios for an Exit Strategy to show the World that "Israel" was not Defeated but had to Quit the War due to a Series of "Grave Errors". Note that the "israeli" Aggression on Lebanon in 1996 was halted after the first.

The massacre of Beit Hanoun - 08.11.2006
(1'st November - 8'th November 2006)

Beit Hanoun invasion 01.11.2006 - 07.11.2006
Since the capture of an Israeli soldier in a cross-border raid by Palestinian militants on 25 June, Israel launched a major military operation that has gone on for more than four months and led to the death of around 350 Palestinians many of them civilians. During that time, three Israelis soldiers have died.

In one of Israel's biggest raids into Gaza in recent months, troops carried out three air strikes and moved to encircle the town of Beit Hanoun. The town in northern Gaza Strip was at the centre of a major, ongoing Israeli military operation during the week, Israeli army says its aim is to prevent groups like Islamic Jihad firing missiles across the nearby border into southern Israel. The rocket attacks are simply retaliation for daily Israeli raids and killings in Gaza, and over in the occupied West Bank. The crudely made rockets often cause panic and minor injury, but they very rarely kill.

The town of Beit Hanoun has been under the very tight control of a large force of tanks and troops who have ordered the tens of thousands of local people to stay off the streets for all but very brief periods. The Israelis destroyed Beit Hanoun, they destroyed the infrastructure, cut the water pipes and the telephone lines. Hundreds of men have been rounded up and questioned, and some have been taken away to Israel. The entire town of Beit Hanoun remains under Israeli control and troops have ordered residents to stay indoors.

More than 60 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier were killed in a week-long operation.

A senior United Nations official, John Ging, has described the atmosphere in Beit Hanoun as one of "death, destruction and despair". It is almost impossible for journalists to get into the town, but the World Food Programme spokeswoman, Kirstie Campbell, was among United Nations aid workers allowed to bring in emergency rations and medicines, "The atmosphere was extremely stressful," she said. "The people were asking for a lot of things. They were asking for food, for milk, and they were very worried about relatives that have been detained." "You could really see that the people are suffering."

A young Palestinian woman has blown herself up in a bomb attack on Israeli troops in northern Gaza, injuring one soldier but also wounding a number of civilians. The bombing came in the northern town of Beit Hanoun. Palestinians regard the attack as an act of desperate resistance.

Earlier, a 17-year-old Palestinian boy was killed in an air strike on the northern town of Jabaliya. During the Jabaliya air strike, at least four people were hurt in the attack near a school. The Israeli military said its aircraft had attacked a group of militants retrieving a device used to fire a missile. But the Palestinians said the plane missed its target and, instead, struck close to a school.

At least two women died when an Israeli shell struck the home of Jamila Shanti, an MP from the ruling Palestinian party Hamas. Ms Shanti has been identified as the organiser of a women's protest on Friday to free militants sheltering in a mosque, that was fired on by Israeli troops killing two unarmed protesters.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniya have called the operation a "massacre" and urged the UN Security Council to convene to discuss the issue. Pope Benedict XVI said he was very worried about the situation in Gaza, and called on all sides to work to stop the bloodshed and to immediately resume direct and concrete negotiations. The European Union presidency, currently held by Finland, has issued a statement deploring "the growing number of civilian casualties the Israeli military operation has caused". The Red Cross has criticised the killing by Israeli force of paramedics. The International Red Cross also criticised Israel for the killing of two medical workers, saying that the paramedics and their vehicle were
clearly marked.

Gaza women killed in a Mosque siege 03.11.2006
On Friday 3'rd of November 2006, Two women have been killed as Israeli troops opened fire on a crowd of women gathered to help besieged gunmen flee a mosque in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza.

In the dramatic mosque rescue, Hamas radio issued an appeal to local women when a tense stand-off developed between Israeli forces surrounding the Mosque and up to 15 militants who had taken refuge inside. One of the women, Nahed Abou Harbiya, described what happened to the BBC Arabic Service "All the women headed to the mosque to get the Palestinian resistance men, but the Israeli occupation forces were firing heavily at us with their machine guns and also threw stun grenades at us. We entered the mosque and indeed we got all the resistance men out and put female attire on them so that the Israeli occupation forces wouldn't arrest them," she said.

Shots were fired as the women approached Israeli forces. As some of the women tried to pass the troops, further shots came and two women fell to the ground. At least 10 women and a Palestinian cameraman were injured. Hamas radio reported that all of the militants in the mosque escaped and were uninjured.

In other developments, an Israeli air strike on Gaza City killed four Hamas militants, with a local commander of Hamas military wing reportedly among the casualties. The Palestinian housing minister was arrested by Israeli troops in the West Bank town of Ramallah. An elderly Palestinian woman was killed in the West Bank town of Bethlehem during an Israeli army arrest raid. At least one Palestinian youth died during an Israeli operation in the West bank town of Nablus.

Israeli army leaves Beit Hanoun 07.11.2006
Israel's army says it has pulled out of the town of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, after a six-day operation targeting rocket-firing militants. Witnesses confirmed Israeli troops had left. The army says it has taken up positions in surrounding areas. Some 60 Palestinians, majority of civilians, were killed.

Many of Beit Hanoun's residents poured into the streets to inspect the damage inflicted on their town by Israeli forces. One resident described it as "the worst raid we have ever witnessed. The army brought destruction into every single street and nearly every single house, this is the tsunami of Beit Hanoun". Numerous buildings bore the scars of tank shells and one mosque was left with only its minaret standing.

The Israeli pull-out came as Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniya prepared to hold more discussions on the formation of a unity government. The talks are designed to ease the international embargo against the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority. The two men met late on Monday. Foreign donors, including the US and the European Union, have boycotted the Palestinian government over Hamas' refusal to recognise Israel or to renounce violence.

Beit Hanoun Massacre 08.11.2006
At least 18 Palestinians have been killed and 40 wounded by Israeli tank fire in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, Palestinian sources have said.

Palestinian officials said a barrage of tank shells hit civilian homes, and women and children were among the dead. Palestinian hospital officials said 13 of the dead belonged to the same family, and two of them were women and six were children. TV footage from Beit Hanoun showed the victims being taken to hospital in their sleeping clothes, some with terrible injuries. Sources counted about eight impacts. They confirmed that the shells appear to have landed roughly in a straight line, starting in the fields at the end of the street and hitting houses on either side of it.

"It is the saddest scene and images I have ever seen. We saw legs, we saw heads, we saw hands scattered in the street," 22-year-old eyewitness Attaf Hamad told Reuters news agency. "I saw people coming out of a house covered in blood. I started screaming to wake up the neighbours."

Israel has expressed regret for the civilian deaths and says it is investigating the incident. Palestinian leaders have called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting to force Israel to stop military raids. The Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniya, denounced the Israeli attack as an "awful massacre" and said talks on forming Palestinian unity government would be suspended. Palestinian leaders announced three days of national mourning throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz ordered the halt in artillery attacks and called for an urgent inquiry into the incident. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed regret over the killings and offered humanitarian assistance to the wounded.

The Israelis withdrew from the town on Tuesday 07.11.2006 following a major offensive centred in Beit Hanoun.

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