NPK-info 23-04-2001- Nederlands Palestina Komitee / www.xs4all.nl/~npk

Parlementair Nieuws
Donderdag 26 april praat de Kamer-Commissie voor Buitenlandse Zaken met
minister Van Aartsen over het Midden-Oosten [zie bij www.parlement.nl] .
Adressen van commissieleden hieronder voor wie hen een boodschap wil
meegeven [o.a. helpen Van Aartsen te herinneren aan zijn uitspraak "geen
zonder gerechtigheid"].

Berichten hieronder
* Palestinian journalists issue international call for protection
* Palestinians Launch AlNakbah Commemoration's Campaign, 15-5-2001
* UN body condemns Israel on occupied Palestinian territories, Europe urged
to act, 20-4-2001
* Sharon redefines excessive force, Al-Ahram Weekly On-line, 19 - 25 April
* Is the wanton destruction of these homes a tragedy or a war crime wrecked
by tanks?, Robert Fisk
* As Jewish Settlements in West Bank Expand, Palestinians Try to Hold Ground

* BADIL [www.badil.org] maakt het maartnummer van het kwartaalblad AL-MAJDAL
in pdf-format beschikbaar.
* Robert Fisk:
* National Lawyers Guild Delegation Report/Occupied Palestine,Gaza and
Delegation Report [88 pages] http://www.nlg.org/
* Volg Al-Awda http://al-awda.org
* Coalition of Women for a Just Peace:

NPK/WL, 23-4-2001
Kamer-Commissie voor Buitenlandse Zaken
Voorzitter: M.deBoer@tk.parlement.nl
Fracties hebben meerdere leden, hier per fractie een lid:
F.Weisglas@tk.parlement.nl ; M.Verhagen@tk.parlement.nl ;
J.Hoekema@tk.parlement.nl ; M.Vos@tk.parlement.nl ;
E.van.Middelkoop@tk.parlement.nl ; B.J.vanderVlies@tk.parlement.nl ;
Koenders@tk.parlement.nl ; hvbommel@sp.nl

Palestinian journalists issue international call for protection

Source: Palestine Media Center- PMC

Palestinian journalists gathered today Sunday 4\22\2001 at the Palestine
Media Center-PMC in Ramallah to protest increasing Israeli attacks against
journalists and T.V crews in the Palestinian territories. They raised a
placard that read "They shoot at Journalists too."

The gathering came in the wake of the Israeli army's shooting and wounding
on Friday 4\20\2001 of Laila Odeh, correspondent of the Abu Dhabi
Satellite TV.

Minister of Culture and Information Yasser Abed Rabbo addressed the
gathering and expressed the PNA's solidarity with Palestinian and
international journalists who are trying to convey to the world the truth
of Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people." He called on "Israeli
journalists to have a live conscience and quit their publications of
official Israeli lies and fabrications." He noted that only an exceptional
handful of Israeli journalists stick to the facts and reveal the truth of
Israeli army practices.

At the end of the meeting a statement issued called on international
associations in defense of rights of journalists to immediately intervene
to bring an end to the targeting of journalists by the Israeli army.

Palestinians Launch AlNakbah Commemoration's Campaign

Date: Sunday April 22, 2001
Palestine Media Center

The Palestinian National Committee for the commemoration of Al Nakbah held a
meeting yesterday at the Palestine Media Center to discuss the plan of
action to be carried out on the 53rd anniversary on May 15.
Minister of Information and Culture Mr. Yasser Abed Rabbo stressed the
importance of launching a national campaign to commemorate AlNakbah this
year, while Israel continues its aggression on the Palestinian people since
the outbreak of this Intifada.
The committee called on all Palestinian organizations and individuals living
in Palestine and abroad to participate in the planned march of a million
people to condenm the Israeli violations.
Furthermore, a media and cultural campaigns will be launched as well,
organized by Palestinian organizations, parties, schools, higher education
institutes, municiplities, unions, refugee camps and non-governmental
organizations. Economic and social activities will be included in the

UN body condemns Israel on occupied Palestinian territories,
Europe urged to act, 4/20/2001

The top United Nations rights body on Wednesday condemned the
"disproportionate and indiscriminate" use of force by Israel in the occupied
Palestinian territories.

In one of four resolutions adopted on rights violations in the occupied Arab
territories, the Commission on Human Rights urged Israel to make every
effort to ensure that its security forces observed international standards
regarding the use of force.

By a vote of 28 in favor to two opposed (Guatemala and the United States)
with 22 abstentions, the Commission "strongly deplored" the practice of
extra-judicial killings carried out by Israeli forces, expressed its concern
at the large number of persons who have been detained during recent months,
and condemned the use of torture against Palestinians during interrogations.

In another text, adopted by a vote of 29 in favor with the same two
countries opposed and 21 abstentions, the Commission called on Israel to
stop imposing
its laws and jurisdiction over Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan.
Israel should "desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity
cards on the Syrian citizens" and halt its repressive measures against them,
the Commission stressed.

The third resolution -- adopted by a vote of 50 in favor to one opposed
(United States) with one abstention (Costa Rica) -- urges Israel to cease
its policy of expanding settlements in the occupied territories, including
Jerusalem. The fourth text (33-1-19) calls on Israel to refrain from holding
Lebanese citizens in its prisons as hostages for bargaining purposes and to
release them immediately.

In other action today, the Commission passed a "motion of no-action" by a
vote of 23-17-12 on a United States-sponsored resolution on the situation of
human rights in China -- thereby blocking a vote on the text.

The Commission, which is holding its 57th session, heard a report by the
Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders,
Hina Jilani, who said that the degree of violence used to silence voices
speaking out in defense of human rights was increasing daily. "I am deeply
concerned by the variety of repressive trends, measures and practices used
to threaten the freedom of action of human rights defenders," Ms. Jilani
She added that the failure of States to offer effective guarantees against
the violation of rights had given a more critical dimension to the issue of
human security.

Meantime, a statement by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN)
said that "the UN Human Rights Commission adopted a resolution on the
question of human rights violations in the Occupied Territories*, which
expressed grave concern at the gross violations of human rights and
international humanitarian law, including closures, expropriation of
Palestinian homes, torture, and Israeli settlement activities and strongly
condemned the disproportionate and indiscriminate recourse to force."

"All EU states abstained from voting in favour of the resolution, thus
disregarding the Palestinian population's urgent need for international
protection including a halt to collective punishment that so far has caused
one million Palestinians to live under the poverty line."

The statement added "The EU statesā lack of support for the resolution is
undermining the ongoing work for the development of the human rights
dimension of the Barcelona Process, as it is contrary to the Barcelona
Declaration's commitment to act in accordance with international human
rights principles and obligations under international law and to "support
realisation of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace settlement in the
Middle East based on the relevant United Nations Security Council

"The EMHRN urges the EU to apply article 2 of the Association Agreement
between the EU and Israel and in the Interim Agreement between the EU and
the PLO, which calls for the respect for human rights, and take immediate,
effective and comprehensive measures to ensure the protection and peace for
the Palestinian and Israeli people."

Al-Ahram Weekly On-line
19 - 25 April 2001

Sharon redefines excessive force

Under the rubric of stopping "violence and terror," the Sharon government
has stepped up Israel's nearly seven-month-old war against Palestinians.
Khaled Amayreh reports from Jerusalem

The latest escalation of Israeli violence has taken the excessive use of
firepower to new heights. Blanket bombardments of Palestinian
neighbourhoods and refugee camps, as well as wholesale demolition of
residential homes, are now being carried out. On 16 and 17 April, the
occupation forces launched a new spate of attacks on Palestinian civilian
and police targets throughout the Gaza Strip, using tanks, warships and
helicopter gunships.

Moreover, for the fourth time in a few days, Israeli soldiers made an
incursion into Palestinian-controlled territory, namely the Beit Lahya and
Beit Hanoon suburbs of Gaza City, destroying several buildings allegedly
used by Palestinian Authority (PA) security personnel. The incursion and
the bombardment, said the Israeli army, were in response to the firing of a
few mortar shells on a Jewish settlement east of Gaza.

The primitively made shells have caused no casualties among settlers and
virtually no damage to property, which suggests that the Israeli army is
only seeking pretexts to strike at Palestinians.

Palestinian sources described the bombardment as the fiercest and most
far-reaching since the outbreak of the Intifada. Hospital sources spoke of
at least one Palestinian killed, another critically wounded, and as many as
30 others injured, many suffering from serious burns.

In the meantime, the Israeli army again divided the Gaza Strip into four
small enclaves, cutting them off from each other and virtually isolating
them from the outside world. Roads were closed with concrete slabs and huge
mounds of earth, guarded by Israeli soldiers, a continuation of the recent
draconian measures against Palestinian civilians which have brought strong
international criticism.

The re-adoption of the siege policy against Palestinians, which was never
completely abandoned, reflects some confusion on the part of the Sharon
government. Sharon and his many spokesmen, including no less a figure than
Nobel laureate Shimon Peres, have repeatedly said that Israel was not
interested in hurting innocent Palestinians. But the latest and mostly
indiscriminate bombardment of Palestinian towns and the wholesale
destruction of Palestinian civilians' homes starkly contradict official
Israeli statements.

"They are targeting every baby, every child, every man and woman. Their
real aim is to decimate and exterminate the Palestinian people in order to
achieve the fulfilment of Zionism," said PA official Ahmed Abdel-Rahman.

"He who is not assassinated is killed by random bombardment. This is a Nazi
government. It thinks like the Nazis and it acts like the Nazis," said
Islamic Jihad leader Abdullah Al-Shami, whose organisation lost two members
this week to Israeli death squads.

Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip in the course of the past fortnight give
credence to these statements [*].

In the West Bank, the often random and indiscriminate bombardment and
strafing of Palestinian towns and villages continued, with the Israeli army
using more firepower and more lethal types of munitions, including standard
artillery shells similar to those used in Lebanon against Hizbullah.

In Hebron, for example, Israeli troops have been carrying out virtually
daily bombardments of neighbourhoods, especially the Abu Sneinah quarter
overlooking the small settler enclave in the centre of Hebron. The Israelis
deployed Merkava tanks in the city centre last month, allegedly to protect
the 300 messianic settlers living in the heart of the city who aspire to
get rid by all possible means of all Palestinians from what they call
"Eretz Yisrael," or Greater Israel.

The result has been devastating. Numerous buildings and homes, the
construction of which consumed the lifetime savings of many Palestinians,
have been reduced to rubble.

The destruction in Hebron and elsewhere in the West Bank, however, pales in
comparison to the Israeli-perpetrated "massacre of homes" taking place in
Khan Younis and Rafah in the Gaza Strip.

So far, over 80 residential homes have been destroyed by Israeli army
bulldozers escorted by tanks on the ground and helicopter gunships hovering
above, all to make sure that mission "Enjoyable Song," as the Israelis
called it, is carried out without a hitch. On 12 April more than 30 homes
were destroyed in the middle of the night, rendering homeless 400
Palestinians. All of them are either refugees or descendants of refugees
from what is now the Israeli town of Beer Sheva, 40 miles northeast of Gaza.

The same wanton brutality was repeated at the Rafah refugee camp two days
later, when 16 more homes and 12 businesses were razed to the ground as
part of Ariel Sharon's "get tough policy" towards the Intifada. Once again,
terror-stricken children and women were seen retrieving whatever they could
from the rubble. The scene, said one foreign journalist, transcended
reality and defied all linguistic description.

Peter Hansen, commissioner of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency
(UNRWA) condemned the wholesale demolition, calling it "brutal and harsh."
The deliberate destruction of civilian homes is more than that, however. It
is a war crime according to international law, the fourth Geneva Convention
and all human rights standards.

To explain the recent escalation, a Sharon spokesman said simply, "This is
it. The Palestinians ought to understand that there is a new government in
Israel." Israel's exaggerated repression of Palestinians seems aimed at
achieving two interconnected goals. The first is to push the Palestinians
to the edge of exhaustion and despair in order to force them to end the
Intifada without any conditions and without achieving any political gains.

The other long-term goal is to force the Palestinian leadership to come to
terms with Sharon's vision of an open-ended interim agreement in the West
Bank, whereby Israel annexes up to 58 per cent of the occupied territories,
while the Palestinians would be allowed to have a "state" on the remaining
42 per cent.

However, it seems utterly unlikely that Sharon will succeed in achieving
either goal, given the Palestinian commitment, on both the official and the
popular levels, to continuing the Intifada and rejecting anything less than
full Israeli withdrawal to the 4 June 1967 lines and the return of
Palestinian refugees to their former towns and villages in what is now

Israeli repression will, therefore, continue, as will Palestinian
resistance to it, but with the ever-growing prospect of the bloody showdown
evolving into a full-fledged regional war. Perhaps this is Sharon's true

[*] Het spreekt voor zich dat "Nazi-vergelijkingen" voor rekening van de
geciteerde spreker dan wel de auteur zijn.


by Robert Fisk

The Independent (London) April 16, 2001, Monday

IN THE filth and powdered cement of what the Israelis had left of his
home yesterday, 81-year-old Mohamed Shaer found his Palestine passport
but sought in vain for the only photograph of his wife, Mansoura. She
died just three years ago, and Mohamed, in white beard and white robe,
smiled when he conceded it was probably for the best that she had not
lived to see this day; the home she had shared with him and their two
sons, Ibrahim and Mohamed, and their own 17 children, ground into the
mud by an Israeli bulldozer that came through the border fence,
spitting fire from a machine- gun on the roof while two tanks sent
salvoes of shells into the nearest buildings.

On one of the holiest days in the Middle East, how does one write
about this wanton Israeli destruction of homes in Gaza? How to
describe the 15 shacks - home to about a hundred Palestinian civilians
- that now lie in a great tangle of wooden beams, crushed television
sets, concrete breeze blocks, driving licences, video tapes,
delicately embroidered women's clothes, socks and pulverised tables
and shopping receipts and bread, all washed through with sewage? Not
to mention the 35 wounded, the boy with his leg chopped off by an
Israeli shell, the teenager with shrapnel nudging at his shoulder bone
and no feeling in his left hand, flapping it uselessly towards me from
his hospital bed. Is this a tragedy or a war crime, this deliberate
attack on the homes of civilians?

As usual, amid the pathetic heaps of family detritus, there stood not
far off that familiar feature of all Middle Eastern stories: the
Department of Double Standards. A smaller, even more dilapidated
structure - the Department of Truth - was also not far away; of which
more later.

It had, in any case, been a bad Easter weekend. The only fatal
casualty - save for a Palestinian called Mohamed Nasser who apparently
blew himself up in Gaza with his own bomb - was a young Israeli
soldier killed in his tank close to the UN's "blue line" demarcation
frontier with Lebanon. The first big lie of the weekend, however, came
from the Israeli army, which blandly announced that the destruction of
the Palestinian homes in Rafah was no more than "engineering activity"
and that in any case the houses that their tanks and bulldozers turned
into rubble were unoccupied. This was totally untrue as the Israelis,
who inhabit a massive block-house above the shacks, knew very well.
When the first tanks burst through the dividing wall before dusk on
Saturday - firing anti-armour missiles into the nearest apartment
blocks even though a small market was open 300 metres away - hundreds
of men, women and children ran screaming into the neighbouring

The Israelis claimed they had previously come under attack from the
area by men using gunfire and home-made mortars. Either way, by dawn
yesterday, the Western media were hard at work belittling the event.
Israel, Reuters announced, was "flexing its military muscles" in both
Lebanon and Rafah; it managed to put the 35 Palestinian wounded in the
eighth paragraph of its report, referring to the Israeli Prime
Minister, Ariel Sharon - in the usual let's-forget-Sabra-and -Chatila
manner - as "Israel's leading hawk". According to Reuters, an earlier
pipe-bomb attack in Jerusalem that wounded an elderly Israeli man
struck at "the soft underbelly of vulnerability that has always rested
beneath the Israeli state's hard shell of security".

No such sympathy was shown by Reuters for the Palestinians of Rafah
who seemed to have a rather softer underbelly and no security at all.
Jalal Zohri saw the tanks coming from his first-floor apartment block.
"It had been very calm and people were shopping in the little market
over the road," he recalled. "Then there was a tremendous noise and a
tank burst through a gap in the wall between us and the Egyptian
frontier. It started shooting rockets and everyone was screaming. I
saw a woman below me grab her daughter from a sofa in the yard just as
a wall collapsed on the sofa. Bullets started hitting my own walls and
cutting through the blinds and with everyone else I ran for my life."

Several of the now-homeless Palestinians agree that within minutes of
the Israelis entering the slums - part of the Palestinian-controlled
Area A and thus a clear violation of the Oslo agreement - members of
the Palestinian Tanzim militia arrived to fire Kalashnikov rifles at
the Israelis on the bulldozers. "But they couldn't drive the Israelis
out," Mr Zohri said. Then it became a battle, with Israeli tank -fired
missiles smashing into the walls of the houses opposite the military
post." Sabah Zaanoun saw her eldest son, Ahmed, run towards the sound
of the gunfire. "He wanted to see what was happening - all boys do
that," she said as she sat by her son's hospital bed in Khan Younis
yesterday afternoon.

The boy flapped his hand in my direction as I spoke to his mother. He
can no longer use his fingers. "He's had an operation to remove a
bullet that went through his shoulder," Sabah Zaanoun said. "Part of
the bullet flew out of his back but the rest got lodged inside him.
There's also a piece of shrapnel that's against his bone in his left
shoulder and he says it's so painful that he feels as if his body is
on fire." Not far away, a 16-year old lay unconscious; part of his leg
was blown off by a tank shell. All of this, according to the Israelis
- like the vandalism and destruction of more than 30 homes in Khan
Younis last week - was in the name of "security". But now to the
Department of Truth.

Had the Palestinians been firing from the slums at the Israelis in
previous days? Several people, in the muck of what had once been their
homes, said they had. "The Tanzim would come here from time to time
and they would fire a few shots at the Israeli block-house and the
Israelis would respond with rockets," one said.

It was certainly another breach of the Oslo agreement; Palestinians
are not supposed to try to kill Israeli troops from Area A, any more
than Israeli troops are supposed to enter Area A on a spree of wanton
destruction. It was, as so often is the case, an Israeli writer who
was able to salvage some of the honour of journalism amid the rubbish
peddled by Western reporters here.

"Why ... is the demolishing of dozens of civilian homes not an act of
terror?" Gideon Levy asked in Ha'aretz . "Perhaps ... the firing of
mortars by Palestinians is an act of self-defence against the
occupation that has no end, and against the Jewish settlements beyond
the 1967 borders that are just growing larger and larger before their
exhausted eyes."

The Washington Post
April 16, 2001, Monday, Final Edition

HEADLINE: A Recharged Tug of War for Land; As Jewish Settlements in
West Bank Expand, Palestinians Try to Hold Ground

BYLINE: Daniel Williams, Washington Post Foreign Service


Armed Jewish settlers occupied Atta Jaber's little two-story house on
Dec. 8. They moved out his furniture and flew an Israeli flag over the
house. Two days later, Israeli soldiers expelled the settlers. But the
soldiers then occupied the house for a month. They eventually left,
but Jaber has not returned, because the soldiers built fires inside
the house to stay warm, damaging the walls, and the basement was

Jaber's house, built on a rocky hillside near this tense and violent
West Bank town, should be safe from encroachment; it sits well beyond
the bounds of the nearest Jewish settlement, Givat Harsina, where
unoccupied housing awaits new arrivals. But it has become another of
many small battlegrounds in a widespread and continuing struggle
between Israelis and Palestinians over real estate in the occupied
lands of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Israeli government says it is committed to constructing homes for
Israeli settlers to provide for "natural growth" within about 120
existing settlements in the lands captured in 1967. But natural growth
is in the eye of the beholder. Up and down the West Bank, the two
sides are engaged in wars of positioning, in which the settlers try to
grab territory and the Palestinians try to protect it by planting
trees and vineyards, building houses and complaining.

Long a source of controversy and tension, the settlement conflict
reemerged into international view earlier this month after Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon's government announced plans to construct 700
new homes in two West Bank settlements and to market property to
contain another 5,000. The United States issued the latest in a long
and varied string of pronouncements, calling the proposal for 700
houses "provocative" and "inflaming an already volatile situation."

Palestinian negotiators repeatedly have cited settlements -- the
established ones that house almost 200,000 Israelis [*] and the plans for
new ones -- as a contribution to the breakdown in peace talks. The
Palestinians rejected the dimensions of existing settlements that
Israel insisted on maintaining under a proposed agreement. They said
land confiscations, road-building for settlers and construction of new
housing were prime causes of the Palestinian uprising underway since
September in the West Bank and Gaza.

Despite this, Palestinians and settlers alike say they expect new
Jewish settlements to go ahead.

"I don't plan on anything," said Jaber, as he sat outside the shell of
his house. "This settlement building has never stopped."

"We don't agree with the concept of limiting ourselves to natural
growth," remarked Elyakim Haetzni, a settlement leader at Kiryat Arba,
which lies next to Givat Harsina. "Settlements are a grass-roots
phenomenon. No government can withstand the pressure, because inside
each Jew, there is a small settlement movement. It's the essence of

Sharon is an unabashed settlement promoter. Throughout his government
career he has pressed for expansion. He rejects proposals made by his
predecessor, Ehud Barak, to withdraw from up to 70 settlements as part
of defunct peace offerings.

"I don't see any reason to evacuate any settlements," Sharon said in
an interview published last week in the Haaretz newspaper. "So long as
there is no peace, we will stay sitting there. If after some time, God
willing, there will be peace, there will certainly be no reason to
prevent them from staying there. . . . They guard both the birthplace
of the Jewish people and also grant us essential strategic depth to
protect our existence."

Successive U.S. administrations have frequently changed the way they
express their views on settlements.

The Bush administration's declaration qualifying the latest plans as a
provocation is a tougher line than one held by the Clinton
administration, whose State Department at one point declared
settlements "a matter of tensions and complication." Bush's language
harks back to wording used by the Reagan administration, which called
settlements "ill-advised" and "unnecessarily provocative."

Ronald Reagan, in turn, had softened the policies held by presidents
Jimmy Carter, Gerald R. Ford and Richard M. Nixon, whose governments
termed the settlements illegal under provisions of the Geneva
Convention forbidding a country to transfer "parts of its own civilian
population into the territory it occupies."

In contrast to the shifting U.S. stances, human rights groups have
taken an unbending position that the settlements are illegal under the
Geneva and 1907 Hague conventions.

"Israel's policy of encouraging, financing, establishing and expanding
Israeli settlements . . . runs contrary to two main principles of
international humanitarian law: the prohibition on transfer of
civilians from the occupying power's territory into the occupied
territory and the prohibition on creating permanent changes in the
occupied territory that are not for the benefit of the occupied
population," wrote the New York-based Human Rights Watch in a report
released Wednesday.

But no one has tried to actually prevent Israel from expanding
settlements, leaving Palestinians like Jaber to struggle with Israeli

Jaber began building his house a year ago, on land he says his family
has long owned. The Israeli army had knocked down two previous houses
he tried to construct, on grounds that he lacked permits. This time,
he says, he got the permit.

"I was building because I thought with peace talks going on, we could
live here without problem," Jaber said.

Haetzni said that although Jaber could stay, Israeli authorities have
promised the settlers land around the Jaber house, and they were
awaiting a demarcation of boundaries before making any further moves.
"It's no problem," said Haetzni. "We will be given land."

Haetzni said international law does not apply to Israeli settlements
in Gaza and the West Bank because "we don't consider this foreign

A few miles north, midway between Hebron and Bethlehem, residents of
the Allon Shvut settlement have burst through a fence around their
community of 580 families and set up mobile homes for another 25
families. Over the years, settlers have used this tactic on disputed
land to force the government's hand in supplying infrastructure and
granting permits to build permanent buildings.

For residents of Allon Shvut, natural growth does not mean filling the
plots already designated in the settlement. It means connecting the
empty -- or Palestinian-inhabited -- space between Allon Shvut and the
half-dozen other communities that make up a cluster of settlements,
called the Etzion bloc, sprawling across the ridges leading to the
edge of Bethlehem.

"We must have room for manufacturing, high-tech industry, a way to
attract young families," said David Perl, a settlement official. "This
is not a provocation. It's good for Arabs. They are employed building
the settlements."

Next door, on a little hilltop, Ibrahim Atalla looks on Allon Shvut's
activism with trepidation. The elderly head of a small clan has
already lost acreage to the settlement and is trying to hang on to
vineyards that surround his family homestead of old stone and
tin-roofed houses.

Two weeks ago, Israeli military authorities ordered him to destroy a
cowshed and an outbuilding for lack of building permits. His buildings
sit between the Allon Shvut and Neve Daniel settlements, and for 30
years he has been fighting court orders demanding he move.

Fifteen years ago, he tried to build a minaret on his small mosque,
but the Israeli military overseers in the West Bank barred him from
continuing. The truncated minaret rises about 12 feet off the ground.
Last year, settlers raided a driveway he was paving up to his house,
and dug it up.

"I have not a moment of security here. They want me to leave. They
offer me money. They keep me from adding rooms to my house. Anything I
do is being watched," he said.

Israeli inspectors now have their eyes on a concrete outcropping built
at the front door of Atalla's house, meant to protect it from wind,
Atalla said. "They want me to tear this down, too," he said.

The Palestinians have tried to fight land confiscation in military
courts set up at an army base near the West Bank town of Ramallah.
They produce land documents, witnesses to their longtime usage and
arguments about the rights of communal ownership under the Ottoman
system that regulated land use here for 400 years.

But that system of ownership often left room for interpretation and
Israel has designated about half the West Bank as "state lands,"
giving occupation authorities the right to dispose of it as they see

In recent years, Palestinians have fastened on Israeli legal
provisions that make it difficult to confiscate cultivated land.
Palestinian relief organizations have tried to fund the construction
of terraces to make marginal land useful, to rehabilitate irrigation
channels and plant hardy olive trees on hillsides.

Not far from Atalla's farm, residents of the village of Nahallin have
tried to construct terraces on outlying hills on three sides of their
landholdings, which have been reduced by half over the years to make
way for Israeli settlements.

Settlers retaliated by fencing off one tier of terraces to the south
of Nahallin. Near Neve Daniel to the east, settlers dismantled part of
a hundred-acre tract of terraces and torched a bulldozer used by the
farmers to clear land and collect stones for building windbreaks.

The Nahallin villagers have stopped work because of the uprising, but
they vow to resume. "This is just an intermission. If we turn our
backs, the land will be gone," said Fuad Abu Saef, an agricultural
expert from Hebron University.

[*] Er zijn bijna 400.000 kolonisten, Oost-Jeruzalem's plm 200.000
kolonisten worden vergeten.


The Israeli Foreign Ministry vs. The Electronic Intifada

The Electronic Intifada presents a new factsheet: Deconstructing the
Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs' The Current Situation in Israel -
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (Last Updated April 2001)


The Electronic Intifada responds to the FAQ:

1.  Who is responsible for the outbreak of violence?
2.  Why is this violence occurring?
3.  Are violence and peace talks compatible?
4.  Is the IDF using excessive force in its response to the violence?
5.  Why are there more Palestinian casualties than Israeli casualties?
6.  Why are Palestinian children being wounded in the conflict?
7.  What has happened to Jewish and Muslim holy sites?
8.  What is Israel's position regarding the Palestinian claim of a
'right of return'?
9.  What is Israel's position with regard to the Jewish settlements
in the territories?
10. What is Israel's position on a unilateral declaration of a
Palestinian state?
11. What is the situation in Israel today?
12. How does Israel regard the severing of relations by Morocco,
Tunisia and Oman?
13. What is Israel doing about attacks on Gilo and other Jerusalem
14. How are the Palestinians faring economically?
15. And what about cyber-terrorism?
16. What about the outbreak of anti-Semitism worldwide?

Access the FAQ at:


Total number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
since Sept 29th  is 429 injuries 13,192 injuries. Figures inclusive
to midnight, Palestinian Time, on 20 April 2001. Source: Palestinian
Red Crescent Society. The PRCS website -- at
http://www.palestinercs.org/ -- has a variety of statistics available.

HDIP Martyrs factsheet: http://www.hdip.org/reports/Martyrs_statistics.htm
Includes Palestinians killed: age, cause, injury location,
perpetrators, and circumstances.

HDIP Intifada factsheet:
Includes Palestinians killed, injured and permanently disabled;
attacks on medical personnel, hospitals and journalists; ammunition
used; closures, curfews and detention; property damage; education and
economy; reports, resolutions and violations of international law.

Links to these daily updated factsheets can always be found in the
right hand column of our homepage at

The Electronic Intifada

Arjan El Fassed



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