NPK-info - Nederlands Palestina Komitee / www.palestina-komitee.nl

Bijgaand twee oproepen
* Vrijdag 31 augustus van 14:00 - 15:00 uur.
   Picketline voor de Israelische ambassade te Den Haag.
   Wellicht komt hierover nog nadere informatie.

* Israel Assassinates Secretary General of the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), LAW, August 27, 2001
* Israel's unrelenting war, Edward W. Said, August 27,2001
* Life under Israeli occupation, Amira Hass, Sunday, 26 August

Maandag 3-9 komt de Tweede Kamer terug van haar zomerreces.
Zou de zomer in het MO een bespreekpunt worden?

NPK/WL, 28-8-2001

Bericht van NPK d.d. 27-8-2001
Naar aanleiding van de "liquidatie" van dr Abu Ali Mustafa, hedenochtend in

Solidariteit met de slachtoffers van Israelisch staatsterrorisme
Met grote verontwaardiging nemen wij kennis van de zoveelste* bloedige
moordaanslag door Israel op Palestijnse leiders of activisten, ditmaal dr
Ali Mustafa, directeur-generaal van alle Palestijnse ziekenhuizen op de
bezette Westelijke Jordaanoever, PFLP-leider. Terwijl Israel zich
voortdurend rechtvaardigt met argumenten als "hiermee hebben we een
terreuraanslag in voorbereiding kunnen voorkomen" of "deze liquidatie volgt
op een aantal uitgevoerde terreurdaden waarvoor de gedode persoon de
verantwoordelijkheid droeg" komen deze moordaanslagen in feite neer op
standrechtelijke executies zonder dat enig bewijs geleverd wordt van de
beweerde beschuldigingen. De Israelische bezetter kan zich echter niet op
deze gemakkelijke wijze hiervan afmaken.
Door genoemde handelwijze, opererend met behulp van doodseskaders, verlaagt
de staat zich tot het niveau van een schurkenstaat.
En dan hebben we het nog niet eens gehad over de sowieso onschuldigen die
geregeld bij de Israelische aanslagen vanuit gevechtshelicopters of door
raketvuur van F-16's omkomen. Wij betuigen onze deelneming aan de
nabestaanden van de slachtoffers.

Vrijdag 31 augustus van 14:00 - 15:00 uur picketline voor de Israelische
Buitenhof, Den Haag

(organisatie: NPK, IS, Palestijnse Vereniging)

zegt het voort
kom ook!
Kees Wagtendonk

Namens NPK,
Wim Lankamp,
Kees Wagtendonk

Tel. 015 25 72 984 of 06 289 16 795
of    020 64 11 372

BADIL Resource Center
For immediate release, 28-8-2001 (E/44/2001)



Beit Jala, Palestine, 28 August 2001, 09:30:
Yesterday's extra-judicial killing, authorized by Israel's "small
security kitchen" composed of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Defense
Minister Benyamin Eliezer, of Palestinian leader Abu Ali Mustafa was
immediately followed by Palestinian protests and violent
confrontations with the Israeli occupation forces all over the 1967
occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Among others, shooting was renewed
yesterday in the early evening hours between Palestinian forces in
the West Bank town of Beit Jala (Bethlehem) and Israeli army forces
stationed in the Israeli settlement of Gilo next to Jerusalem,
resulting in the slight injury of an Israeli settler. Consequently,
Israeli Prime Minister Sharon felt called upon to fulfill his
promise, made several weeks ago, that "one more shot on Gilo, and
Israeli will enter the PA controlled town of Beit Jala."

At around 01:00 this morning, Israeli tanks and ground forces moved
into Beit Jala, coming from the northwestern hill tops. The Israeli
movement was confronted with the resistance of Palestinian security
forces and residents of the area. One Palestinian security officer,
Muhammad Sammour (25) from the Gaza Strip, was reported killed and
several persons injured, among them a journalist of the Voice of
Palestine radio. As for now (Tuesday, 09:00 a.m.), the Israeli
invasion has come to a stand-still, with Israeli tanks stationed in
the upper part of the center of Beit Jala in the area of the Orthodox
Club. Israeli armed forces control the whole north-western section of
the town adjacent to the Gilo settlement and have imposed a curfew on
the residents.

Israeli media report that the army has taken control of five
Palestinian homes from which fire was allegedly opened on the Gilo
settlement. A decision is yet to be taken by the Israeli security
cabinet about the possible demolition of these homes, and about
whether the current invasion will be permanent or temporary.
According to reports of Palestinian residents of the adjacent Aida
refugee camp, Israeli armed forces have also occupied a building on
the north-western border of the camp. The inhabitants, a family of 20
persons, have been locked into one room, while Israeli soldiers use
the rest of the house as a base serving to back-up the Israeli forces
present in the center of Beit Jala. Shooting continues, and according
to Palestinian sources, the Israeli attack against Aida refugee camp
is intensifying and Israeli forces have reached the UNRWA school in
the camp.

BADIL Resource Center calls for massive protests against the Israeli
policies of de-legitimizing the Palestinian leadership and popular
resistance, extra-judicial killings, and the re-invasion of
Palestinian controlled territories in the occupied West Bank and Gaza
Strip. We are in urgent need of world-wide and strong solidarity to
stop the current escalation of Israeli violence against the
Palestinian people.
In particular, we call upon the participants at the World Conference
Against Racism in Durban to take all possible action in order to set
the foundations of a world-wide solidarity movement that can isolate
the racist and colonialist positions and policies of Israel and its
main supporter, the United States, by combining the forces of Arab
and international solidarity with the Palestinian people and the
worldwide movement against globalization. Only sustained solidarity
can put an end to occupation, colonialism, and racism in Palestine
and re-establish justice and peace in our region.

BADIL Resource Center aims to provide a resource pool of alternative,
critical and progressive information and analysis on the
question of Palestinian refugees in our quest to achieve a just and lasting
solution for exiled Palestinians based on the right
 of return.
PO Box 728, Bethlehem, Palestine; tel/fax. 02-2747346; email:
info@badil.org; website: www.badil.org

Israel Assassinates Secretary General of the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
August 27, 2001

This morning in Ramallah the Israeli army assassinated PFLP Secretary
General Mustafa Zabri (62), known as Abu Ali Mustafa. At about 11.15 a.m.,
two missiles fired from US manufactured Apache helicopters of the Israeli
Air Force (IAF) hit his home and office. The latter was located on the third
floor of an apartment block in a residential area, behind the Ramallah
Governor's office. Abu Ali Mustafa was killed instantly; his body was torn
apart. Four people working in the building as well as a resident were

According to information gathered by LAW, several IAF Apache helicopters had
been hovering over the West Bank village of Kober, 15 kms northwest of
Ramallah, since 9.45 in the morning. After firing the missiles which killed
Abu Ali Mustafa, at about 11.15 a.m., the combat helicopters left the area.

The Israeli authorities acknowledged responsibility for the assassination
and said the PFLP had been responsible for a number of attacks on Israelis.
However, whatever the allegations against the PFLP, extrajudicial
executions, where the suspect is "sentenced" to death in a secret process,
without any opportunity to defend himself or to appeal the verdict, are
absolutely prohibited by international law.

While the United States have repeatedly condemned the Israeli assassination
policy, no conclusions have been drawn from the fact that US weapons are
being used to pursue this policy and thus commit grave violations of
international humanitarian law. So far US manufactured Apache helicopters
have been used by the Israeli army in 10 attacks, causing the death of 12
Palestinian activists and 13 bystanders including two children.

LAW strongly condemns the Israeli policy of extrajudicial executions, which
since the beginning of the current Intifada has claimed the lives of at
least 28 Palestinian activists and 17 bystanders including two children,
while others have been injured. As the case of Abu Ali Mustafa shows, Israel
is assassinating senior Palestinian political leaders with the aim of
suppressing the current Intifada. Extrajudicial executions against
Palestinians did however not start with the Al Aqsa Intifada. Undercover
units of the Israeli army also carried out extrajudicial executions during
the first Intifada as well as during the period of the Oslo Process.

LAW calls on the international community to pressurize Israel to comply with
international law. Extrajudicial executions are a fundamental violation of
international human rights and humanitarian law. Extrajudicial executions
constitute wilful killings and are as such a grave breach of the Fourth
Geneva Convention. Grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention amount to
war crimes and are subject to universal jurisdiction.

LAW publications and press releases since 1994 are available on our website
at http://www.lawsociety.org

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the
Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving human
rights through legal advocacy.
LAW is affiliate to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ),
Fédération Internationale des Ligues de Droits de l'Homme (FIDH), World
Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and Member of the Euro- Mediterranean
Human Rights Network

F r e e d o m * Linking Palestinians & Their Friends

Israel's unrelenting war

By Edward W. Said

Source: Dawn: August 27,2001

In the United States, where Israel has its main political base and from
it has received over 92 billion dollars in aid since 1967, the terrible
cost of the recent Jerusalem restaurant bombing and Haifa disaster settles
quickly into a familiar explanatory framework.

The framework is: Arafat hasn't done enough to control his terrorists;
Islamic extremists are to be found everywhere, bringing harm on "us" and our
strongest allies, driven by sheer human hatred; Israel must defend its
security. A thoughtful individual might add: these people have been fighting
tiresomely for thousands of years anyway; the violence must be stopped;
been too much suffering on both sides, although the way Palestinians send
children into battle is another sign of how much Israel has to put up with.

And so, exasperated but still restrained, Israel invades unfortified and
undefended Jenin with bulldozers and tanks, destroys the Palestine
police buildings plus several others, and then sends out its propagandists
say that it has sent a message to Yasir Arafat to curb his terrorists. In
meantime, he and his coterie are begging for American protection, doubtless
forgetting that Israel is the one with US protection and that all he will
for the 6000th time, is an injunction to stop the violence.

The fact is that in America, Israel has pretty much won the propaganda war,
America is where it's about to put up several more million dollars into a
public relations campaign (using stars like Zubin Mehta, Yitzhak Pearlman,
Amos Oz) to further improve its image. But consider what Israel's
war against the undefended, basically unarmed, stateless and poorly led
Palestinian people has already achieved. The disparity in power is so vast
it makes you cry.

Equipped with the latest in American-built (and freely given) air power,
helicopter gunships, uncountable tanks and missiles, and a superb navy as
as a state of the art intelligence service, Israel is a nuclear power
abusing a
people without any armour or artillery, no air force (its one pathetic
in Gaza is controlled by Israel) or navy or army, none of the institutions
of a
modern state.

The appallingly unbroken history of Israel's 34-year-old military occupation
(the second longest in modern history) of illegally conquered Palestinian
has been obliterated from public memory nearly everywhere, as has been the
destruction of Palestinian society in 1948 and the expulsion of 68 per cent
its native people, of whom 4.5 million remain refugees today.

Behind the reams of newspeak, the stark outlines of Israel's decades-long
pressure on a people whose main sin is that they happened to be there, in
Israel's way, is staggeringly perceptible in its inhuman sadism. The cruel
confinement of 1.3 million people jammed like so many human sardines into
Gaza strip, plus the nearly 2 million Palestinian residents of the West Bank
has no parallel in the annals of apartheid or colonialism.

F-16 jets were never used to bomb South African homelands. They are against
Palestinian towns and villages. All entrances and exits to the territories
controlled by Israel (Gaza is completely surrounded by a barbed wire fence),
which also controls the entire water supply.

Divided into about 63 non-contiguous cantons, completely encircled and
by Israeli troops, punctuated by 140 settlements (many of them built under
Barak's premiership) with their own road network banned to "non-Jews," as
are referred to along with such unflattering epithets like thieves, snakes,
cockroaches, grasshoppers, Palestinians under occupation have now been
to 60 per cent unemployment and a poverty rate of 50 per cent (half the
of Gaza and the West Bank live on less than two dollars a day). They can
neither travel from one place to the next; they must endure long lines at
Israeli checkpoints which detain and humiliate the elderly, the sick, the
student, and the cleric for hours on end; 150,000 of their olive and citrus
trees have been punitively uprooted; 2000 of their houses demolished; acres
their land either destroyed or expropriated for military settlement

Since the Aqsa intifada began late last September, 609 Palestinians have
killed (four times more than Israeli fatalities), 15,000 wounded, a dozen
more than on the other side. Regular Israeli army assassins have picked off
alleged terrorists at will, most of the time killing innocents like so many

A fortnight ago, fourteen Palestinians were murdered openly by Israeli
using helicopter gunships and missiles. They were thus "prevented" from
Israelis, although at least two children and five innocents were also
to say nothing of many wounded civilians and several destroyed buildings
were part of the somehow acceptable collateral damage. Nameless and
Israel's daily Palestinian victims barely rate a mention on America's news
programmes, even though - for reasons that I simply cannot understand -
is still hoping that the Americans will rescue him and his crumbling regime.

Nor is this all. Israel's plan is not just to hold land and fill it with
dreadful, murderous armed settlers who, defended by the army, wreak havoc on
Palestinian orchards, schoolchildren and homes; it is, as the American
researcher Sara Roy has named it, to de-develop Palestinian society, to make
life impossible so that they will leave, or give up somehow, or do something
crazy like blow themselves up. Since 1967, leaders have been jailed and
deported by the Israeli occupation regime, small businesses and farms made
unviable by confiscation and sheer destruction, students prevented from
studying, universities closed (in the middle 1980s Palestinian universities
the West Bank were closed for four years).

No Palestinian farmer or business can export to any Arab country directly;
their products must pass through Israel. Taxes are paid to Israel. Even
the Oslo peace process began in 1993, the occupation was simply re-packaged,
only 18 per cent of the land given to the corrupt Vichy-like Authority of
Arafat, whose mandate seems to have been only to police and tax his people
Israel's sake.

After eight fruitless immiserating years of the Oslo negotiations
by an American team of former Israeli lobby staffers like Martin Indyk and
Dennis Ross, Israel was still in control, the occupation packaged more
efficiently, the phrase "peace process" given a consecrated halo that
more abuses, more settlements, more imprisonments, more Palestinian
to go on than before. Including a "judaized" East Jerusalem, with Orient
occupied and its contents looted or carted off (there are invaluable
land deeds, maps, that in a repetition of what it did when it stole PLO
archives from Beirut in 1982, Israel has simply stolen) Israel has implanted
less than 400,000 settlers on Palestinian land. To call them vigilantes and
hoodlums is not an exaggeration.

It is worth recalling that after Ariel Sharon's gratuitously arrogant visit
Jerusalem's Haram al Sharif on September 28, with 1,000 soldiers and guards
supplied by Prime Minister Barak, Israel was condemned for this action by a
unanimous Security Council resolution a couple of weeks later. Then, as even
the merest child could have predicted, the anti-colonial rebellion broke
with eight killed Palestinians its first victims. Sharon was swept to power
essentially to "subdue" the Palestinians, teach them a lesson, get rid of

His record as an Arab killer goes back thirty years before the Sabra and
Shatila massacres that his forces supervised in 1982, and for which he has
been indicted in a Belgian court. Still, Arafat wants to negotiate with him
come perhaps to a cozy arrangement with him so as to safeguard the very
Authority that Sharon is systematically dismantling, destroying, razing to

But he isn't a fool either. With every Palestinian act of resistance, his
forces ratchet up the pressure a notch higher, tightening the siege more,
taking more land, making a habit of more and deeper incursions into
towns like Jenin and Ramallah, cutting off more supplies, openly
Palestinian leaders, making life more intolerable, redefining the terms of
government's actions, that it once made "generous concessions" while
"defending" itself, that it "prevents" terrorism, that it "secures" areas,
it "re-establishes" control, and so on. Meanwhile, he and his minions attack
and dehumanize Arafat, even saying that he is the "arch-terrorist" (although
literally can't move without Israeli permission), and that "we" have no war
with the Palestinian people. What a boon for that people!

With such "restraint," why should a massive invasion, carefully bruited
to terrorize the Palestinians even more sadistically, be necessary? Israel
knows that it can retake their buildings at will (witness the wholesale
of Jerusalem's Orient House, plus nine other buildings, offices, libraries,
archives there and in Abu Dis), just as it has all but eliminated the
Palestinians as a people.

This is the real story of Israel's pretended "victimization," constructed
such premeditated care and evil intent for months now. Language has been
sundered from reality. Pity not the inept, clumsy, pathetic Arab governments
who can and will do nothing to stop Israel: pity the people who bear the
in their flesh and emaciated bodies of their children some of whom believe
martyrdom is the only way out for them. And Israel, stuck in a futureless
campaign, flailing about mercilessly? As James Cousins, the Irish poet and
critic said in 1925, the colonizer is in the grip of "false and selfish
preoccupations that stand in the way of its attention to the natural
of its own national genius and pull[ed] from the path of open rectitude into
the twisted byways of dishonest thought, speech, and action, in the
defence of a false position."

All colonizers have gone that way, learning or stopping at nothing, until at
last, as Israel turned tail from its 22-year occupation of Lebanon, they
the territory, leaving behind an exhausted and crippled people. If this was
supposed to fulfil Jewish aspirations, why did it require so many new
from another people who had nothing to do with Jewish exile and persecution
the first place?

With Arafat in command, there is no hope. What is the man doing, grotesquely
fetching up in the Vatican and Lagos and other miscellaneous places,
without dignity or even intelligence for imaginary observers, Arab aid,
international support, instead of staying with his people, trying to aid
with medical supplies, morale boosting measures and real
leadership? -Copyright
Edward W. Said, 2001



    Jewish journalist Amira Hass doesn't merely report on the
    experiences of Palestinians on the West Bank - she shares
    their lives. Robert Fisk meets a determined and unflinching
    witness to oppression.

[The Independent - UK - Sunday, 26 August]:
Whenever Amira Hass tries to explain her vocation as a journalist, she
recalls a seminal moment in her mother's life. Hannah Hass was being marched
from a cattle train to the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen on a summer's
day in 1944. "She and the other women had been 10 days in the train from
Yugoslavia. They were sick and some were dying. Then my mother saw these
German women looking at the prisoners, just looking. This image became very
formative in my upbringing, this despicable 'looking from the side'. It's as
if I was there and saw it myself." Amira Hass stares at you through
wire-framed glasses as she speaks, anxious to make sure you have understood
the importance of the Jewish Holocaust in her life.

In her evocative book Drinking the Sea at Gaza, Hass eloquently explains why
she, an Israeli journalist, went to live in Yasser Arafat's tiny,
garbage-strewn statelet. "In the end," she wrote, "my desire to live in Gaza
stemmed neither from adventurism nor from insanity, but from that dread of
being a bystander, from my need to understand, down to the last detail, a
world that is, to the best of my political and historical comprehension, a
profoundly Israeli creation. To me, Gaza embodies the entire saga of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict; it represents the central contradiction of the
state of Israel - democracy for some, dispossession for others; it is our
exposed nerve."

Now living in the West Bank town of Ramallah - with the Palestinians whom
many of her people regard as "terrorists", listening to the Palestinian
curses heaped upon "the Jews" for their confiscations and dispossessions and
murder squads and settlements - Amira Hass is among the bravest of
reporters, her daily column in Ha'aretz ablaze with indignation at the way
her own country, Israel, is mistreating and killing the Palestinians. Only
when you meet her, however, do you realise the intensity - the passion - of
her work. "There is a misconception that journalists can be objective," she
tells me, the same sharp glance to ensure my comprehension. "Palestinians
tell me I'm objective. I think this is important because I'm an Israeli. But
being fair and being objective are not the same thing. What journalism is
really about - it's to monitor power and the centres of power."

Each day, Amira Hass writes an essay about despair, a chronological
narrative she maintains when talking about her own life and about her
parents: her mother, a Sarajevo Jew who joined Tito's partisans and was
forced to surrender to the Nazis when they threatened to kill every woman in
the Montenegrin town of Cetinje; her father Avraham who spent four years in
the Transnistria ghetto, escaping a plague of typhus only to lose his toes
to frostbite.

The story of the secular Jews Hannah and Avraham is essential to an
understanding of Amira. "My parents came here to Israel naively. They were
offered a house in Jerusalem. But they refused it. They said: 'We cannot
take the house of other refugees.' They meant Palestinians. So you see, it's
not such a big deal that I write what I do - it's not a big deal that I live
among Palestinians." Hass became a journalist by default. She had survived
on odd jobs - she once worked as a cleaner - and travelled to Holland. "I
sensed there the absence of Jewish existence. And this told me many things,
especially about my attitude to Israel, how not to be a Zionist. This is my
place, Israel, the language, the people, the culture, the colours..."

Hass dropped out of the Hebrew University where she was researching the
history of the Nazis and the attitude of the European left to the Holocaust.
"I was stuck. The first intifada broke out and I didn't want to sit in
academia while all this was happening. I used wasta - you know that Arabic
word? - to get a copy-editing job on the Ha'aretz news desk in '89." Wasta
means "pull" or "influence". Ha'aretz is a liberal, free-thinking paper, the
nearest Israel has to The Independent. When the Romanian revolution broke
out, Hass pleaded to be sent to cover the story - she had many contacts from
a visit to Bucharest in 1977 - and much to her surprise, Ha'aretz agreed,
even though she'd been with the paper only three months.

"When I'd gone to Romania before, I felt I had this philosophical
responsibility to taste life under this socialist regime," she says. "It was
a thousand times worse than I imagined. There was this terrible pressure -
life under Israeli occupation is not as bad as life in Ceausescu's Romania.
It was unbelievable suffocation. So I covered the revolution for two weeks
and then went back to the paper. Ha'aretz didn't know if I could write - I
knew I could. But I also knew never to look for what all the other
journalists are looking for."

In 1990, with her parents' support, she joined a group called Workers'
Hotline, which assisted Palestinians who were cheated by their Israeli
employers. "During the Gulf War, I reached Gaza under curfew - I'd gone to
give Palestinians their cheques from Israeli employers. That's when my
romance with Gaza started. No Israeli journalist knew or covered Gaza. My
editor was very sympathetic. When in 1993 the 'peace process' broke out" -
Hass requests the inverted commas round the phrase - "Ha'aretz suggested I
cover Gaza. One of the editors said: 'We don't want you to live in Gaza.'
And I knew at once that I wanted to live there."

>From the start, Hass recalls, there was "something very warm about the
Palestinian attitude - there was a lot of humour in these harsh conditions."
When I suggest that this might be something she had recognised in Jews, Hass
immediately agrees. "Of course. I'm an east European Jew and the life of the
shtetl is inbuilt in me. And I guess I found in Gaza a shtetl. I remember
finding refugees from Jabalya camp, sitting on a beach. I asked them what
they were doing. And one said he was 'waiting to be 40 years old' - so he'd
be old enough to get a permit to work in Israel. This was a very Jewish

But Hass found no humour in the Israeli policy of "closure", of besieging
Palestinian towns and throttling their economy and people. "I spotted as
early as 1991 that the policy of 'closure' was a very clever step by the
Israeli occupation system, a kind of pre-emptive strike," she says. "The way
it debilitates any kind of Palestinian action and reaction is amazing.
'Closure' was also a goal: a demographic separation which means that Jews
have the right to move about the space of Mandatory Palestine. The 'closure'
policy brought this to a real perfection."

Hass found herself fascinated with the difference between Palestinian image
and reality. "Their towns were being portrayed in the Israeli press as a
'nest of hornets'. But I really wanted to taste what it means to live under
occupation - what it is like to live under curfew, to live in fear of a
soldier. I wanted to know what it was like to be an Israeli under Israeli
occupation." She has used that word "taste" again, just as she did about
Romania under dictatorship. She says she was still thinking about her
mother's trip to Belsen. "It was this idea of not intervening, not changing
anything. And luckily, this combined in me with journalism." Hass is
possessed of the idea that change can come only through social movements
and their interaction with the press - an odd notion that seems a little

But there is nothing vague about her vocation. "Israel is obviously the
centre of power which dictates Palestinian life," she says. "As an Israeli,
my task as a journalist is to monitor power. I'm called 'a correspondent on
Palestinian affairs', but it's more true to say that I'm an expert in
Israeli occupation." Israeli reaction, she says, is very violent towards
her. "I get messages saying I must have been a kapo [a Jewish camp overseer
for the Nazis] in my first incarnation. Then I'll get an e-mail saying:
'Bravo, you have written a great article - Heil Hitler!' Someone told me
they hoped I suffered breast cancer. 'Until we expel all Palestinians, there
will be no peace,' some of them say. I can't reply to them - there are
thousands of these messages."

But many Israelis tell Amira Hass to keep writing. "People misled themselves
into believing that Oslo was a peace process - so they became very angry
with the Palestinians. Part of their anger is directed at me. Israelis do
not go to the occupied territories. They do not see with their own eyes.
They don't see a Palestinian village with a settler on its land and a
village that has no water and needs government permission even to plant a
tree, let alone build a new school. People don't understand how the
dispersal of Jewish settlements dictates Israeli control over Palestinian

As her mother lay dying this spring, Amira feared that she would be trapped
by the Israeli siege of Ramallah - where she now lives - and spent hours
commuting the few miles to Jerusalem. Now she is alone. The woman who taught
her to despise those who were "looking from the side" died two months ago.

From: Rapprochement Centre - George N R
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2001 8:53 AM


Last night the Israeli military again used heavy war artillery to
terrorize Palestinian civilians as helicopters hovered over Beit Jala,
Bethlehem and Beit Sahour and military tanks fired at civilian
neighborhoods in these towns.  Israeli soldiers rolled their tanks into
Beit Jala last night, occupying civilian homes and Israeli soldiers and
tanks have occupied the Aida Refugee camp.

International civilians are stepping in as human shields and will put
themselves in between Israeli tanks and the Palestinian civilian areas
that the tanks are aiming at.  Additionally these internationals will be
spending the next nights in Beit Jala until the occupation forces leave
the city and cease their shelling and shooting of Palestinian civilians.

The International Solidarity Movement continues to call on the United
Nations and the international community to provide Palestinians with
protection from the brutal aggression of the Israeli occupation forces.
We call on our respective governments to take immediate action to force
Israel to comply with international and human rights laws.

For more information or if you would like to join us, please call:
Heidi: 972(0)52-290-173
Neta: 972(0)52-481-261
PCR 972 2 2772018

Press release attached

Tuesday, August 28, 2001
For Immediate Release

Israeli Occupation Forces Extend Control Over Beit Jala & Beit Sahour
International Human Shields to Step In

International Human Shields based in Palestinian territories and serving
to protect Palestinian civilians from the brutal Israeli Occupation
Forces simply by their presence in targeted areas of Israeli aggression
are taking action this afternoon in Beit Jala to work to remove soldiers
from the homes of Palestinian civilians.  Additionally these Human
Shields will spend the next nights in Beit Jala until the occupation
forces leave the city, and cease their ongoing shelling and shooting of
Palestinian civilians.

Israeli Occupation Forces stormed into Beit Jala and Beit Sahour with
tanks, soldiers and Apache helicopters under the cover of darkness and
reoccupied areas of the town and houses of innocent civilians.  This,
combined with the political assassination of Abu Ali Mustapha yesterday
represents a significant escalation of the conflict by the Israeli
government, and another move towards Prime Minister Sharon's endgame in
which all Palestinian lands are occupied and Palestinians are forced to
leave their homes or face the wrath of the Israeli military - one of the
most sophisticated and deadly armed forces in the world.

And what are the Palestinians to do?  If they do nothing, they face
ethnic cleansing, condemned by the world in places like Kosovo, Bosnia
and Rwanda, but accepted with silence in Palestine.  If they resist with
nonviolent means through demonstrations and protests, they face the
wrath and force of the Israeli army, border police, and special security
forces that use rubber bullets, sound grenades and live ammunition.  If
they use force - as glorified by Western countries with respect to their
own histories in fighting occupation, resistance to despots and
liberation - with their limited weapons and complete tactical and
military disadvantage, then they are condemned for being "true to
themselves" as if they only know violence, and face advanced military
technologies, such as Apache helicopters, F-15 and F-16 fighter jets and
the most advanced tanks in the world.

The so-called "conflict" here is actually a war - prosecuted by arguably
the most capable military machines and militarized societies in the
world (Israel), against an occupied civilian population that has been
condemned throughout the world as aggressors, when in fact it is the
victim of repeated and ongoing brutality, force and occupation for over
thirty years.

The International Human Shields, through their own efforts and in
putting themselves at grave personal risk, will bring these self-evident
truths to light through their efforts in stopping the aggression of the
Israeli Occupation Forces.  No country, no government has the right to
terrorize a civilian population, and it is the responsibility of all
good men and women to stand up and say, "NO!" to these illegal and
immoral actions by the Israeli government.

For more information, please contact Heidi: 972(0) 52-290-173 or Neta:
972(0) 52-481-261


George N. Rishmawi
Projects' Coordinator
The Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement Between People
Star Street No. 64  P.O.Box 24
Beit Sahour - Palestine
www.rapprochement.org  Telefax: +972-2-2772018





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