Israel Resource Review 13th July, 2001


PLO War Plans Under Way
Rony Shaked
Correspondent, Yediot Aharonot

In Nablus, Jenin, and Gaza,they are preparing for war.

Officials in the Palestinian Authority fear that an Israeli invasion of PA territory will happen in a matter of days.

Their assumption is that Israel is waiting for an opportunity, like a large-scale terror attack similar to the one at the Dolphinarium, in order to recapture Palestinian territory and destroy the PA.

Commanders of Fatah and Hamas, and Palestinian army commanders as well, have already begun military preparations to frustrate an incursion of Israeli forces into PA territory. In Nablus, for example, they have begun manufacturing weapons, including mortars, and a warehouse for ammunition and weapons has been established.

According to Palestinian sources, Al-Najah University, considered a Hamas stronghold and an institution that has produced 16 suicide bombers so far, was closed after the attack at the Dolphinarium because of fear of occupation or bombardment, and only this week was it reopened. The sources also report that in Nablus, central figures in the city, including Hamas men, have been placed under heavy guard, and that the operational offices of the security organizations have been evacuated, along with civilian offices.

The main points of the operational plan in case of an Israeli invasion of PA territory were published in special Fatah and Hamas releases which were recently given to civilian leaders and commanders of the organizations, calling on them to be ready for combat.

The introduction to Fatah's plan reads as follows: "The coming days are fateful, and we must be at a level of peak readiness in light of the possibility of an invasion by the Zionist enemy into some of the lands of the liberated homeland, in the framework of the criminal "Field of Thorns" [IDF code name] plan . . . The role of the fighters will be not just to stop the Israeli forces, but also to teach the enemy a different lesson than that of the children of the stones, bigger than that of the children of the RPG."

The instructions that appear in the plan include the necessary preparations for the struggle and the rules of behavior and engagement against the Israeli army. The instructions reveal that the Palestinians are preparing for a prolonged conflict, based on the assumption that the Israeli forces will stay in Palestinian territory for a long period of time. Alongside details of the rules of combat, the plan also includes instructions on civilian matters such as medical care and food supplies. In any case, according to the directives, all activities must be carried out in full coordination with the branches of the Palestinian Authority.

Selections from the pamphlet released this week:

Operational instructions:

1. Members of Fatah and Hamas are requested to prepare "thousands of firebombs, of the 'Molotov cocktail' and 'napalm' variety with the help of experts." Hamas instructs its people to "amass hand-grenades and firebombs and hide gas balloons and belts of explosives on roads and quality targets." Hamas also directs its explosives experts to instruct the organization's activists in the preparation of bombs, and calls on its people to prepare belts of explosives that will be given, when needed, "to any fighter prepared to die a martyr's death among the enemy's people."

2. Preparations for blocking roads includes creating "roadblocks and obstacles by placing car wrecks, boulders, and containers on the sides of roads where tanks are expected to pass," so that they can quickly be placed on the road when the Israeli invasion begins.

Instructions for combat:

1. Ammunition should be used sparingly. Using light weapons against tanks and APCs is forbidden; these should be attacked only with firebombs. The use of light weapons will be to attack foot patrols.

2. Strategic points should be manned by fighters and "by anyone who wants to die a martyr's death in order to block the advance of the occupation army."

3. An additional clause in the instructions for combat relates to planting bombs on the sides of roads.

Intelligence and security:

1. Teams of lookouts will for formed to spot movements of the Israeli army in areas where attacks are anticipated. The lookouts will report to headquarters while being wary of rumors and basing reports on eyewitnesses alone. All information should be checked with several sources, and only then should the roads be closed. [ . . . ]

The article appeared on July 13, in Yediot Aharonot

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PLO Security Chief Mohammad Dahlan Interviewed:
"Most of the People in Israel Want War"
Oded Granot
Correspondent, Maariv

Just a few weeks after Ma'ariv published my colleague Ben Caspit's exclusive story about Arafat's instructions to kill settlers, the Arabic translation of the story was placed on the desk of Mohammed Dahlan, commander of the Preventive Security Service in the Gaza Strip. And he, how could he not, got angry.

"I don't even want to respond to that. It is not connected to me. If you, at the newspaper, think that Arafat reprimanded me for trying to arrest Abdullah Shami, whereas at the time I was with Arafat in Portugal, then write whatever you want. Anyway you write only what Sharon wants you to write."

Question: And yet, I am asking whether Arafat gave instructions to kill settlers?

"Kill? There is no such thing. Only in your dreams. The chairman's instructions about the cease-fire are very clear and have not changed."

Question: But it is enough for people among you to understand from Arafat that it is permissible to attack settlers.

"They do not have to understand anything at all. Our people do not need instructions from the chairman. As soon as they see the GSS and IDF killing and abducting people, they don't care about the chairman's instructions. They want to take revenge."

Question: But you have to admit that the settlers have become your main target.

"Whoever wants to take revenge does not distinguish between a settler and a non-settler, and I am no longer trying to persuade the settlers or the people in Israel. For six years I tried to convince you and it didn't help. Now the entire people in Israel wants war. You want war? All right then. What can we do, then?"

Question: Do you really believe that all the people in Israel want war?

"Most of the people in Israel. Maybe they don't want a world war, but they treat the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority as an enemy."

Question: Is it perhaps because most of the Palestinian people view the Israelis as enemies?

"I don't think so. Every day I see that the people here want to do business with Israel and ask for exit permits."

Question: Then there is a contradiction in what you are saying. On the one hand you are saying the Palestinians want to take revenge and on the other hand they want to do business with Israel.

"Some of them. But at this time, most of the people here have the impression that the IDF wants to destroy the Palestinian people, and they react accordingly."

Question: Why did you boycott some of the security coordination meetings?

"When the chairman instructs me to attend, I go. But these meetings are not important. We can sit [and talk] like that for two years. Up until now that Israeli government simply does not want to end the violence because it does not want to address the real issues. If Sharon wanted, as soon as he lifted the closure, opened the Allenby Bridge and the airport at Rafah, people would have a reason to stop the violence.

"But if we continue to be locked up in the huge prison called the Gaza Strip, then there is no difference as far as we're concerned whether we live or die. What is the difference between living in Gaza now or dying in the Intifada? It is the same thing."

Question: I have one simple question to put to you. Why can seven days not go by without any violence and without the firing of one shot, so that we can move on to the next stage?

"There cannot be even one [such] day. It is like giving a small child the opportunity to prevent any agreement between us. After nine months of violence, many people here have lost brothers or sons. We are interested in stopping the violence, and we also have the ability to do so, but it is also connected to your behavior, when you kill and abduct people from Area

You tell me, how can I go to the Palestinian people and tell them that we have made progress towards peace, when this week alone 17 homes were demolished in Rafah and more houses in Shuafat."

Question: But this week there was also a suicide bomber who came to Afula. Had he blown himself up, everything would have fallen apart.

"As far as I am concerned, don't let anyone enter Israel. But you think that what the IDF is doing in Gaza and the West Bank prevents a suicide bomber from getting to Tel Aviv? 99% of the suicide operations took place during the closure. The closure is only intended as punishment for the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people."

Question: I will ask again, why can the fire and attacks not be stopped for seven days?

"You explain to me how this can be done."

Question: You have 40,000 armed soldiers and policemen.

"Tell me how that is done on the ground, operationally speaking, when I cannot even get to Rafah with my officers. And furthermore, when you continue to kill, why would it be in my best interest to take action?"

Question: In 1996 you knew how to completely stop the attacks.

"That is true. Because then the whole world was helping us. I could move freely. And I also had a political interest there. What is your Sharon giving us now? He is giving us a closure."

Question: If the quiet would be maintained for seven days, Israel would begin lifting the closure.

"Is Sharon capable of giving us seven days of quiet without killing us? Can he ensure that the settlers do not kill and do not abduct?"

Question: He can.

"That is not true. Not a single day goes by without someone being killed or wounded on our side."

Question: Your deputy, Rashid Abu Shabak, is distributing weapons and mortars to everyone.

"When were mortars fired?"

Question: Just two days ago, into an Israeli community.

"We pledged to stop with the mortars and we are continuing with that. We succeeded in decreasing the firing, and we will stop it entirely. But you continue to demolish homes. What do you want of us?"

Question: Islamic Jihad and Hamas continue to perpetrate attacks in Israel. Do you understand that another attack like the Dolphinarium will cause everything to fall apart?

"We will make every effort so that such an attack does not recur. Believe me, we don't want the Israeli people to pay the price the Palestinian people are paying because of the IDF attacks. I hope that nothing happens in Tel Aviv, but the situation is a difficult one.

"I assure you that if tomorrow morning the Palestinian people wake up and find that after nine months, the IDF has pulled back its APCs, opened the roads and the airport and is allowing people to travel from Nablus to Ramallah, do you know what will happen? That will be a positive shock, and it will not harm your security. The IDF can do that. Otherwise, even Sharon and Arafat will not be able to pull this wagon out of the mud."

This article appeared in Maariv on July 13, 2001

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The Associated Press Reveals the Lie of a Palestinian Doctor.
Relatives of Woman Who Gave Birth at Israeli Checkpoint Say They Were Not Held Up by IDF Troops
AP wire of July 12, 2001

Israeli soldiers did not bar a Palestinian woman in labor from passing an Israeli checkpoint, her relatives said Thursday, refuting initial claims by two Palestinian doctors.

The baby boy was born in a taxi at the checkpoint Tuesday, and was dead on arrival at a nearby Palestinian clinic, the family said. A doctor said the boy suffocated because the family members assisting in the birth did not know how to keep his airway open.

The Israeli army had said in an initial response that the doctors' claims were unfounded, but that it was investigating the case. The army reiterated Thursday that soldiers did not bar the woman from passing the checkpoint.

The events began Tuesday afternoon at a remote Bedouin encampment in the hills of the northern West Bank. Firial Dais, a resident of the encampment, went into labor and her father-in-law, Ali, went to the nearest highway, about 10 minutes away, to flag down a taxi.

Ali Dais, speaking to The Associated Press on Thursday, said it took him about 30 minutes to find a taxi. He said he, his wife and daughter-in-law got into the taxi and drove toward the village of Tubas which has a medical clinic.

En route, they came upon an Israeli army checkpoint, which was closed, to Palestinian traffic at the time. Dais, 50, said he did not alert soldiers at the checkpoint to the fact that his daughter-in-law was in labor, and when pressed, had no explanation.

Dais also said he did not remember how many cars, if any, were waiting at the checkpoint, adding that he was flustered by the situation.

The taxi had been waiting for about 15 minutes at the checkpoint when the woman gave birth, said Dais, who was herding his flock of sheep Thursday close to the village of Bardala, several kilometers (miles) from his encampment.

After the birth, the taxi driver walked up to the soldiers and explained the situation to them. They (the soldiers) asked whether it was a boy or a girl. They allowed us to pass, and we did, Dais said. The shepherd said that by the time they reached the Tubas clinic, the boy was dead.

The director of the clinic, Dr. Abdel Hassan Daraghmeh, told the AP on Wednesday that the taxi had been held up at the roadblock for an hour.

Asked to explain the discrepancy, Dr. Daraghmeh said Thursday that it was the driver, not the woman's relatives, who informed him there had been a considerable delay at the checkpoint.

The family's physician, Dr. Ghassan Hamdan, said initially that he delivered the baby at the checkpoint after soldiers prevented the mother from traveling to a hospital. But he later said he was not present for the birth and only heard of the case second-hand.

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