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Occupation magazine - Weekly summary

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The Weekly summary: 23-29 January, 2005

By V. Buch
23-29 January, 2005

The Israeli newspapers have been full of upbeat titles, such as `PM sees `historic breakthrough` with
Palestinians` (Haaretz 28). One reads about the Window of Opportunity, Goodwill Gestures by the
Israeli government, and the like. Marks for `good behavior` were given to President Abbas; however
the relative quiet in the Gaza Strip has credited largely to Israeli pressure on the Palestinian Authority
`to curb terrorism.` On the other hand, according to a report on the Abbas-Hamas talks, conditions for
a cease-fire with Israel include `halting of all Israeli military operations in the territories, including
targeted killings, incursions into Palestinian areas, arrests and house demolitions.` (Haaretz Jan. 26)

As usual, little attention was given to what the Israeli government actually DID. On Jan. 26 Border Police
troops shot dead a Hamas activist and wounded two members of the Brigades in the West Bank city of
Qalqilyah. The incident came hours after Israeli officials hinted at a change in assassination policy,
stating that if quiet obtained on the Palestinian side, Israel would respond with quiet as well (Haaretz,
Jan. 26;
assassination as follows: An undercover army unit opened fire on a vehicle with 3 people: Maher Harab
`Olayan Esnaina, 24; Yahia Taleb Nazzal, 18; and Mohammed Khamis `Aamer, 18, wounding the three.
The vehicle collided with a tree in the area. Immediately, Israeli troops got out of their car and opened
fire again at the three young men and pulled them out of the vehicle. Then, an Israeli soldier fired at
Esnaina from point blank range, killing him.(

One has a sense of deja-vu. For example, one can recall the Road Map summer - that `quiet` summer,
punctured by underreported gun shots that killed Palestinians. When PM Sharon deemed the truce
obsolete, he put end to it with a string of targeted assassinations.

In addition to the familiar empty `declarations of good intentions`, we found out about non-virtual,
long planned scary intentions:
1. The Israeli government intends to confiscate Palestinian land and infrastructures in East Jerusalem;
or, more precisely, the assets that residents of the West Bank hold in East Jerusalem. And there are
already plans to build on the expropriated land. In other words, large scale robbery in broad daylight.
(Haaretz Jan 20 and 28).
2. Starting in July, East Jerusalem Palestinians will be denied freedom of movement into Ramallah
(Haaretz, Jan. 25).
3. The army requested permission from Attorney General Menachem Mazuz for permission to clear
completely a 300-meter-wide strip along the Gazan-Egyptian border. This would require the
demolition of hundreds of Palestinian houses in Rafah. (Haaretz, Jan. 26) That means thousands of new
4. The Israeli army is reviving the psychological warfare unit (Haaretz, Jan. 25).

As for `routine` occupation activity - it took place as usual. The `quiet` last week included military
raids in Bethlehem, Jenin, Hebron `Askar refugee camp, Nablus, Tulkarm, and the villages of Sa`ir,
Seilat al-Zaher, `Aaboud, Seilat al-Harthiya, al-Yamoun, Jaba`, Silwad, and Houssan (PCHR, WAFA).
Three Palestinian boys, who threw stones at the invaders, were wounded by gun shots. More than 40
people were arrested during house searches.

On Jan. 27, the army opened fire on a tent home of a Abu Shamas family in the Gaza Strip. This attack
claimed the life of a 3 year old girl Rahma Abu Shamas, who was eating breakfast (PCHR). The army
claimed, as usual, that the target was a rocket launching cell. According to Haaretz, `Palestinians
vehemently rejected the Israeli reports about the Qassam fire, claiming that rockets have never been
fired from that area.`

Also on Jan. 27, an unarmed Palestinian civilian Abdel Muati Dakar, 30, was shot dead at the Netzarim
Junction in Gaza. The man suffered from developmental disabilities. The Israeli army version was as
follows: `Dakar had approached an IDF outpost near the junction, thereby entering an area that is
barred to Palestinians. The soldiers found his behavior suspicious.` (Haaretz, Jan. 28) In the Gaza Strip,
that carries a death penalty. WAFA reports that Dakar bled to death after the army prevented a
Palestinian Ambulance from evacuating him.

n Rafah, two men sustained shrapnel wounds when Israeli tank fired a shell against Bloc (O) Refugee
Camp (WAFA, Jan. 28).

On Jan. 29, Ibrahim al-Shawaf was shot dead by Israeli soldiers in Khza`a area, south of Khan Younis in
the Gaza Strip (WAFA).

On Sunday evening, 23 January 2005, construction of a section of the Wall that separates the Ariel and
Tapuah settlements from and the villages of Salfit, Yasouf and Skaka, south of Nablus, was resumed.
Construction of this section of the wall stopped 4 months ago when local residents submitted a petition
to the Israeli High Court. Israel plans to construct this section of the wall 23 kilometers inside West
Bank territory. On Friday 28, three demonstrators were wounded in this area when the Israeli army
opened fire against a peaceful rally protesting the Wall construction. (PCHR, WAFA) Hundreds of
Palestinians and foreign activists participated in the rally.

This week, a string of settler attacks on Palestinians took place in the Nablus area and in Hebron (PCHR,

And finally: A title of Reuters article in Haaretz (Feb. 28), in connection with the 60th anniversary of the
liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz:

`World leaders speak out against evil of anti-Semitism.`

These world leaders did not emphasize, however the ever-present evil of supremacist ideologies, of
hate-monger politicians, of nationalist propaganda that designates a group of people as inherently
dangerous, and thus justifies killing and robbing of human beings. No wonder - quite a few of these
world leaders practice it themselves.

And nobody that I know mentioned that Palestinians are Semites.

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