Israel Resource Review 10th August, 2005


Contents:

Do US Pressures Determine Israeli Policy?


The United States Department of State has made it clear to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. It wants the Jews out of the Katif district of Gaza by August 15th, with no excuses.

The Chief Rabbi of Haifa, Rabbi She'ar-Yashuv Cohen, came to Jerusalem and pleaded with Sharon to reconsider his plan to retreat from Gush Katif, which involves Israel's obliteration of the 21 Jewish communities there, including 325 thriving Jewish farms and 86 synagogues and Jewish study centers.

Sharon's answer to Rabbi Cohen: "This is what the US is demanding that I do and I must do it."

It does not matter that half of the 9,000 Jews who live in Gush Katif have nowhere to go, with their relocation plans still left up in the air.

It does not matter that the Israeli government cannot offer more than two containers to each family to help them remove their possessions.

It does not seem to matter that the experts in Israel's security establishment are warning that the result of Israel's hasty retreat will be the creation of a new Islamic terror base.

Sharon is now making it clear that he is under pressure from the US government and that is that.

Yet, one of the common assumptions over the past two years is that the Sharon government's plan to expel Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria, and unilaterally hand the area over to an independent Palestinian entity, had been an entirely autonomous Israeli decision.

It can now be determined that the US government was behind it all along.

In meetings with concerned American citizens, Danny Ayalon, Israeli ambassador to the US, clearly stated that Sharon's Disengagement Plan is part of an overall Israeli-American agreement.

In late June, Ayalon met with representatives of the Orthodox Union, one of the largest contingents of American Orthodox Jews, and told them clearly that "Prime Minister Sharon is left with no choice. He is doing exactly what the US expects him to do."

In an interview with the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, published on June 22nd, 2005, Ayalon reversed earlier Israeli government statements, saying that Israel does not expect the Palestinian Authority (PA) to dismantle terrorist infrastructure until after the planned expulsion. He mentioned that ending terrorism and anti-Israel incitement had been conditions Israel had demanded from the PA before carrying out the plan; however, Ayalon indicated that the agreement with the US was more important than an agreement with the PA.

The Israeli ambassador said, "Disengagement has to be viewed in the context of Israel-United States relations . . . . This pullout did not follow an agreement with the Palestinians, but it followed something which is much more important, an agreement with the United States. Disengagement is something that creates a common agenda between us and the United States."

This week's sudden announcement of the resignation of Israeli Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, then, was aimed at the US State Department more than at the Israeli public.

In the final interview given by Netanyahu before his resignation, to the Jerusalem Post on August 5th, 2005, he indicated that the current policy pursued by the government of Israel should be perceived as a threat to the security interests of the US and of all Western countries, since it creates a terror base in Gaza, and since the Palestinian Authority has incorporated the Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations instead of dismantling them.

Yet, the position of the US State Department remains undaunted: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon must dismantle and withdraw any and all Israeli presence from every Jewish community in the Katif district of Gaza by mid-August.

Sources in the Palestinian Authority and the US government confirm that the US now urges that Palestinian armed forces be immediately moved into these Jewish communities in mid-August, as Israel forcibly removes Israeli Jewish citizens who have lived there for more than thirty years. That could mean that the Palestinian Authority armed forces will be allowed to pursue and punish any Jews who cling to their property as the Israeli army is retreating.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also demands that Israel find a way to assure Palestinian Arabs some kind of safe passage that will enable Palestinian Arab residents of Gaza to traverse Israel in order to reach their compatriots in the other parts of the Palestinian Arab self-ruled areas in Judea and Samaria. Rice is also demanding that Israel allow additional arms and ammunition to flow to the Palestinian Authority, ignoring the fact that the arms and ammunition supplied to the PA between 1993 and 2000 were turned against Israeli citizens since the fall of 2000, with a human toll of 1,073 people murdered in cold blood by armed Arab terrorists. When special US presidential envoy General William Ward was asked two weeks ago by the US Foreign Relations Committee if the US could account for the weapons that it had supplied to the Palestinian Authority in the mid-nineties, Ward's answer was in the negative.

Rice seems to not know or care that the PA and its ruling Fatah organization remain at war with the state of Israel, with one purpose in mind: the liberation of Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

When Israeli Minister of Defense Sha'ul Mofaz objected to Rice's demand for a safe passage for Palestinian Arab residents from Gaza to the West Bank, sources at the Ministry of Defense confirmed to the media that a screaming match occurred, with the US Secretary of State clarifying that she will not accept "no" for an answer in this regard.

Another recently resigned Israeli government minister, Natan Sharansky, confirms that the initial motivating factor for Sharon's acceptance of the Road Map {Note the correction - previously was written "Sharon's acceptance of the Disengagement Plan - ed.} was the pressure that he was under from the American government and other democracies abroad.

Sharansky wonders why it is that the world's democracies, led by the United States of America, are so keen to witness the creation of a new anti-democratic, anti-Western and anti-American Islamic state in the Middle East.

Questions to the American Embassy in Tel Aviv as to why the US State Department would push Sharon in this direction have remain unanswered.

Israeli government officials do report that they are inundated with calls and e-mails from thousands of American Jews and Christians who question the judgment of Israel's prime minister in regard to the inherent dangers of his disengagement policy.

The time has come to ask the question: will US citizens challenge the pressures that the US State Department brings to bear on Israel in this regard?

Yet the question remains: If the US State Department relents in its pressure on the government of Israel, would Israel reconsider its plans for a hasty retreat from its Jewish communities in the Katif district of Gaza?

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Potential Humanitarian Disaster in the Katif District of Gaza
Moshe and Rachel Saperstein
Neve Dekalim, Katif, Israel


On August 15, 2005, the date set for the expulsion of Jews from the Katif District of Gaza, the Government of Israel will be closing down the only medical clinic in Katif:

Doctors, nurses and medical supplies will no longer be available.

The Prime Ministers Office has already informed the media that they will be shutting down:

  1. Water supply;
  2. Electricity;
  3. Land and cellular telephones
  4. Computer access.

In short, a total shutdown of every basic humanitarian and communication facilities.

The City Council of Gush Katif has informed its citizens to stockpile water (whereby it should be noted that with no refrigerators functioning with an average temperature of about 37 the water can only be kept for about two days), diapers, baby formula, canned goods and candles.

There has been an influx of about 10.000 “ guests”, including babies, into Gush Katif, who have joined the 9.500 local residents in their continuing battle against the destruction of Gush Katif and the creation of a terrorist state next to Israel.

A humanitarian disaster is about to happen if the government of Israel does not reconsider this fateful decision.

The state of Israel has always been the first and rightly so to send aid after an international disaster. Now the people of Gush Katif are calling upon the international community to come to their rescue.

We will need:

  1. doctors and nurses;
  2. medical supplies;
  3. bottled water;
  4. generators;
  5. food supplies;
  6. baby formula and diapers.

We cannot appeal to the Supreme Court of Israel as they have declared that the expulsion of Jews from Gaza and 4 settlements in Samaria is in breach with the civil rights of its residents but acceptable in view of the fact that the disengagement is legal.

We think that the man made disaster created by the government of Israel by causing humanitarian suffering on a part of its population is in breach with the fundamental rights of international law.

We have instructed lawyers to study the possibility of bringing with the highest urgency possible a case against the State of Israel before the International Court of Justice or any other appropriate forum to have the State of Israel provide its own population with the necessary humanitarian help, or at least allow others to let this aid get through to the Jews of Gaza.

Individuals and organizations in and outside Israel who want to join us in this humanitarian cause with financial or other help can let us know.

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Israeli Police Beat Up Katif Spokeswoman at Check Point
by David Bedein


On Tuesday, August 9th, at 5:30 p.m., Katif Council Spokeswoman Debbi Rosen was returning to her home in Neve Dekalim from prayers at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, when she was stopped at the Kissufim junction.

Debbi was asked for her Israel identification card, which she showed the police at the junction.

Debbi was then asked by the police to show them the ID of her young daughter who was travelling with her.

Debbi laughed and said that she is too young to have an ID card.

The police then dragged Debbi from her car, pushed her to the ground and beat her in all parts of her body.

This report is from an eyewitness account.

Follow up - [Lt. Col. involved] Police beat Katif Spokeswoman Debbi Rosen

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 10 August 2005

IMRA reached Debbi Rosen, who provides public relations service to Gush Katif, this morning.

Yesterday she was talking on her cellular phone with a spokesman in the Israeli Consulate in New York as she was driving and reached Kissufim Junction. She showed her ID card and the IDF Lt. Colonel who was there claimed that she was deliberately talking on her phone. She told him who she was talking with and offered to give him the phone to hear for himself.

He then asked for the ID card of her 17 year old daughter who was with her in the car. Her daughter did not have her card with her but Debbi showed the attachment to her ID car showing the details of her daughter.

The Lt. General told her that her daughter had to come with her own ID card.

Debbi turned around but then came back and asked the Lt. Colonel for his name.

He refused and Debbi said she would not move her car until he identified himself.

The police with him said that they would bring a tow truck and tow her away if she didn't move.

She pulled her car over to the side and took out her new Nikon D70 camera and started photographing the Lt. Colonel and the police told her to stop photographing and said that they would get the Lt. Colonel's name for her and she said that she wanted to get the details directly from him - as she had given him her details.

The police threw her camera to the ground and started pushing her. When she put up her hand a policeman announced that she was "attacking a policeman" and threw her to the ground, put a knee on her and twisted her arm.

As a result of her wounds, Debbi was evacuated, at her request, by ambulance to Soroka Hospital. She was released that evening.

The doctor's release report details, among other things: bruises and abrasions on the shoulders, swelling and limited mobility of one wrist and marks that indicate violence on the other hand

Debbi is filing charges against the two policemen involved in the attack (she has their names) with the police and also intends to sue them in civil court.

It is not clear if the Police will cover the judgment against the police for their actions.

According to Page 35 of the brochure prepared by the Israel Police for police participating in the disengagement:

"If you acted within the framework of fulfilling your job and in accordance with the instructions and guidelines, you qualify for legal assistance also against civil suits. You will be defended by the Advocacy or the Police.

In principle, the Police will give you help, including the payment of compensation, also if it is found that there was negligence, so long as this is not an instance of behavior that constitutes a radical deviation from the carrying out of your role. It should be emphasized that each instance will be examined on its own."

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
Website: imra.org.il

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Abbas:
Israeli Withdrawal Should not Be Linked to Disarming Factions
(WAFA-PLO news agency)


[With thanks to imra.org.il for locating this site]

english.wafa.ps/cphotonews.asp?num=762

GAZA, August 9, 2005, - President Mahmoud Abbas stressed on Tuesday that the Israeli withdrawal should not be linked to any other issue.

In a speech before Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in Gaza, the President pointed out that US President George Bush had affirmed, in last June, on the linkage of the fate of the West Bank with that of Gaza Strip, and the Israeli withdrawal is going to be to September 28 positions as a transitional stage, refusing in the same time any changes of 1949 borders, not to say 1967 borders, unless there is an agreement between the two sides.

Abbas has welcomed the Israeli unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip''s colonies and four others from the north West Bank.

The President also said that the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) will withdraw on August 15 and the withdrawal will last for 5 weeks, adding that Israel has approved the start of building Gaza Seaport, in addition to an agreement on the save passage between GS and WB.

As for regenerating the airport, the President revealed that the airport needs international and regional agreements with Egypt, Israel and Jordan and others.

Referring to the Legislative elections, the President said "I will issue, after I endorsed the law of legislative elections, a decree to set a date for the elections that to be in January".

He concluded his speech by saying that there is only one Authority and one weapon and there should be an end to security chaos.

"When the land gets free of occupation forces, holding arms should be ended", Abbas said.

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Deep Concern Over Sharon Aide Weisglass Saying 60,000 Jews Will Be Uprooted From Judea & Samaria
Contradicting Israeli Ambassador Ayalon
ZOA Release


New York - The ZOA has expressed deep concern that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's top aide, Dov Weisglass, said last week that "Israel could eventually expect that at least 180,000 of the current 240,000 settlers would be able to stay in the West Bank with U.S. approval" (Reuters, August 4, 2005), indicating that as many as 60,000 will be forcibly uprooted from their homes, schools, synagogues, farms and businesses. Weisglass was giving his vision of a future in which Israel would retain several of the larger settlement blocs in Judea Samaria from which Jewish residents would not be removed.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "We are deeply concerned that, even before the forced removal of 10,000 Jews from Gaza and Northern Samaria, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's senior aide is saying that Sharon is preparing for the day when six times as many - 60,000 Jews - will share the same fate. Is it wise to be announcing yet another gigantic concession before the Palestinian Authority has disarmed and dismantled the terror groups, ended incitement, closed bomb factories, arrested terrorists and stopped smuggling arms from the Sinai?

"Are we to understand that the Israeli government intends to removes tens of thousands of Jews from their homes no matter what the Palestinians do or do not do? Are we to understand that another much larger unilateral withdrawal/expulsion is being planned? Are the Jews of Betel, Hebron, Kiryat-arba, Kedumim, Shilo, Eli, and other communities on the wrong side of the security fence are also in danger of being forcibly removed from their homes.

"The ZOA calls upon Prime Minister Sharon to clarify his intentions and to state clearly his policy. The Weisglass statement completely contradicts the statement that Danny Ayalon, Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., made to the ZOA Mission to Washington in June. Ayalon said, "there would be no uprooting of Jews anywhere in Judea, Samaria or eastern Jerusalem after the Gaza uprooting. This is the last removal of Jews from the land of Israel." Weisglass' statement is also puzzling in light of the fact that Prime Minister Sharon told a group of Jewish leaders at the Blair House in Washington two months ago that there will not be a single additional concession made by Israel until the Palestinian Authority fulfills each and every one of its Road Map obligations. Whom are we to believe - Dov Weisglass, or Ambassador Ayalon."

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Abbas:
Meeting with Hamas Leaders "Positive"
(IPC+WAFA)-[Official PA website]


[The rationale used by Israel and the West to ask for weapons for Abbas is to help him in his supposed war against Hamas. The following news release represents one of many indications that Abbas is determined to coopt Hamas and not fight the Hamas. -DB]

www.ipc.gov.ps/ipc_new/english/details.asp?name=6678

GAZA, Palestine, August 10, 2005 - President Mahmoud Abbas met yesterday evening with a delegate of senior leaders of Hamas Movement in his presidential premises. He later described the meeting as "cordial" and "positive".

The official spokesman of the presidency Nabil Abu-Rudenh dubbed the meeting as positive, where an atmosphere of cordiality prevailed. Through the meeting, they touched upon the planned Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the West Bank.

They also, discussed the issue of the coming legislative elections along with some other issues that are of no little account as for the Palestinians. The meeting, as Abu-Rudenah alluded, falls under the dialogue principle with all factions.

Mr. Sameer Al-Masharawy, a member of the Mobilization and recruitment Office (of Fatah Movement), and Ismail Hania one of the political leaders of Hamas movement held a joint press conference late evening.

Al-Masharawy said "we all realize the importance of the national unity, not least, in this critical situation, and both of Fatah and Hamas movements agree on the necessity of finding bases that govern the national relations and enhance the national unity.

He also referred that this meeting which came in the wake of the deplorable events, reinforced the dialogue theory. And he added that all the differences on the political arena are legal and normal, and comes as a result of the political multiplicity, but should be resolved within the rule which guarantees them in the proper course.

Al-Masharawy stressed that it was agreed upon forming specialized committees that will start on the coming Saturday within the framework of the mutual conversation between the Palestinian factions, particularly Hamas movement, in order to put the agreed upon rules into effect, not least, those connected with the municipality and the legislative elections, and the National Committee for Deliberations.

Mr. Hania said on his part that, the meeting approached a lot of pivotal issues that are of great concern to the Palestinians, specially the issue of the Israeli withdrawal which came about as an upshot of the Palestinian endurance and resistance.

Mr. Hania said also, "we have a real desire to achieve a national unity and organization, in particular while entering this stage of liberating a small precious part of our Palestinian land"

And he added, "We discussed a lot of dossiers, including the election dossier with its two divisions." Alluding, that his Movement (Hamas) cleared its attitude in which held fast on its desire to start the election within the current year (2005), but President Abass stated that the election will take place in January_2006.

He also, referred that his movement (Hamas) presented conservations according this issue, and stressed at the same time the principle of taking part in the elections.

Furthermore, he made clear that they touched upon the withdrawal issue, where they agreed upon forming National Observation Committee, to overlook the process of setting the rules which guarantee the proper manner of the withdrawal.

He stated also, that they discussed the Cairo agreements, and focused on the case of freeing the prisoners, on the ground that it was one stipulation of the truce, that was conferred to the Palestinian factions.

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