Israel Resource Review 30th July, 2001


Official Fatah Editorial: Continue the War

Official Fatah Editorial: Demand complete Israeli withdrawal - including Jerusalem, return of refugees, attack settlers, soldiers . . .

[IMRA Commentary: As Oslo supporters push a revisionist history to excuse Arafat for the failure of the Camp David and Taba Talks and Yossi Beilin celebrates the latest Palestinian-Israeli "joint declaration" (explaining that it doesn't matter what the Palestinian REALLY think/plan - just what they sign), Yasser Arafat's own official Fatah website leaves no question that the goals are far beyond what Beilin envisions: complete withdrawal from easern Jerusalem and the return of refugees to within Israel.

The editorial also approves attacks against settlers and soldiers AND attacks within the Green Line if Israel continues to attack.]

Rejection and Imposition

The Intifada broke out in September 2000, following the obnoxious visit of Sharon to al Aqsa mosque. The visit was seen as an Israeli attempt to impose surrender on the Palestinian people and their leadership. One should remember that the visit took place after the Camp David summit at which President Arafat rejected a proposal that the Israelis supposed would end the Arab Israeli conflict. The Intifada proved that Palestinian steadfastness and resolution would never wither away. The PNA and the National and Islamic Forces have managed to activate all the institutions of the civil society in the battle against the Israeli occupation.

At the beginning, the Intifada did not need a specific program in order to show the Palestinian rejection of the Israeli US attempts to impose Clinton' s proposals. The violations the proposals made against the international legality were listed in our December 31,2000 edition of our bulletin (the Fateh bulletin).

Following is a summary of these violations: Clinton's proposals

  1. Denied the Palestinian refugees the right to return to their properties in line with UN Resolution 194;
  2. Allowed Israel to Judaize and annex the Arab city of Jerusalem which was occupied in 1967. This contradicts UN Resolutions 242 252;
  3. Allowed Israel to annex occupied territories, and this violates UN Resolutions 242 and 338;
  4. Legitimized the presence of Israeli settlements. This violates UN Resolution 486, which considers these settlements illegal and an obstacle on the path to peace;
  5. Accepted Israel's plan to divide al Aqsa Mosque and approved of what Israel did to al Haram al Ibrahimi in Hebron. These acts threaten the Arab character of the Christian and Islamic holy sites.

The Intifada has gone beyond the idea of rejecting the Zionist proposals and it should now answer the questions that many people raise. These include: Where is the Intifada heading? What is the Intifada's program from the perspective of the National and Islamic Forces?

Some people believe that the Intifada has already proved that the Palestinian people will never succumb to the Israeli will, and this helps in improving our negotiating position. Therefore, further bloodshed in the confrontation with Israel will not lead anywhere. Another group of people, on the other hand, believe that we should seize the historic opportunity the Intifada has provided to achieve our strategic goal, the liberation of all historic Palestine by liquidating the Zionist entity at the military, political, economic and cultural levels. While the first group failed to value the determination of their people, the second underestimated the enemy that receives the full support of the US.

Since the beginning of the Intifada, the National and Islamic Forces have agreed on a number of principles that govern the Intifada's political discourse and attract the consensus of all factions. Each faction, however, is allowed to express its own strategic line separately or in cooperation with other factions.

The National and Islamic Forces have been carrying out joint activities that are usually announced in a central statement. These activities aim to unify the efforts of all factions. For this purpose, the Central Coordination Committee and the Higher Follow-up Committee have been established in the West Bank and Gaza respectively. There has been a general feeling that popular activities are decreasing. This is due to the absence of the organizational bases that govern the work of the popular forces in the institutions of both the PNA and the civil society such as trade unions, commerce and industry chambers, societies and clubs.

In their latest meetings, the National and Islamic Forces have differentiated between two types of working programs: the first one includes activities that are a mere reaction to the Zionist aggression against our people. The second includes activities aimed at the origin of the aggression, i.e. Israel's occupation and its settlement policy. The first type of activities consists of spontaneous popular gatherings in the proper time and place. However, the second type of activities that should have a direct influence on the occupation and settlers, requires the specification of a clear political line that motivates the people to play a basic role in the Intifada when they feel the tangible results of the confrontation.

In addition to having a clear political line, securing people's participation requires an organizational line that regulates the relationship of the National and Islamic Forces with the organized popular forces and the PNA institutions. This will help clarify the positions of all parties and in return bring us closer to achieving our goals. As to the military line, it needs the effective participation of the leaders and the competent cadre of all factions.

A clear political line of a working program should be based on the commitment of all factions to the following goals:

  1. The cessation of Sharon's escalating aggression that aims to impose the Zionist security perception;
  2. The removal of settlers and settlements;
  3. The withdrawal of Israeli forces from all occupied territories including East Jerusalem;
  4. The return of refugees to their homes;
  5. The actualization of national independence and the establishment of our sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Also, the international demand that Israel cease the construction of new settlements, puts an end to one of the basic tenants of the Zionist movement. However, this does not achieve our goal, i.e. the removal of all settlements from our land. Two things need to be done to achieve this goal. The PNA should continue to warn the world against this flagrant violation of agreements it has signed. Secondly, further coordination need to be made between the PNA and the National and Islamic Forces to find the proper ways of confronting the confiscation of our land.

A clear organizational structure should be worked out to illustrate relationships among the parties involved in the Intifada. Tanzim sites, popular committees, and resistance and self-defense committees should be linked to the areas committees. These in turn are linked to the regions committees that are linked to the Central Coordination Committee.

A larger participation in the Intifada activities will be secured when members from all factions seriously shoulder their responsibilities.

The organizational structure of the Intifada should complement that of the PNA. The different committees of supplies, civil defense, emergency, social solidarity, information and culture, and popular defense should coordinate with the ministries that offer similar services.

To run the affairs of the Intifada, specify its requirements and follow up its decisions, an independent organizational structure should be established. Such a structure could take the form of a small committee or a secretariat that deals with the Intifada not only at the local level but also through communicating with solidarity committees that have been formed through the Arab & Muslims world and in other countries. An Intifada secretariat will also carry out information campaigns to remove all the distortions that Zionist organizations have been spreading against us.

As to the working program of the military resistance, we should be careful not to give the Intifada a military character. Militarization serves the Israeli ends, since it takes away the popular character of the Intifada and allows the Israelis to depict themselves as victims rather than aggressors.

The Israeli army and settlers constitute legitimate targets because their presence violates the UN resolutions. Hitting such targets will have its effects on the Israelis who should realize the high price they have to pay for occupying another people and settling in their land. The Palestinians, after all, should be able to deter Israel from using its F16 fighter jets. In fact, if Israel continues to attack targets in the PNA-controlled areas, it will be permissible to hit targets inside Israel proper. Under pressure, the Israeli society should eventually call for the withdrawal of their army and the dismantling of their settlements.

While the Intifada is approaching its second year, it is necessary to maintain its achievements at the top which are national unity, the complementing roles of the PNA and the National and Islamic Forces, and the revival of the Palestinian resistance spirit. However, creativity remains essential for opining up new horizons for the Intifada.

Revolution until victory.

Issued on July 28, 2001 and available at:

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President Arafat Received the Letter of Credentials of the new German Ambassador
And the German Ambassador Lauded PLO Ambitions

GAZA - July 28 - WAFA (Official Palestine News Agency) - President Yasser Arafat received in His Headquarters in Gaza this morning, the credential letter of Mr. Andreas Reinieke, the new German representative to the PNA.


"I want to tell you that I am very happy and grateful to meet you as the new representative of the German government to the Palestinian Authority and to all the Palestinian people". The President said.

"The Foreign Minister Joshka Fischer who you know very well and he knows you very well has specifically asks me to convey his best wishes and personal warm wishes for yourself and for the people of Palestine", said Mr. Reinieke.

" I am very happy to be here in this beautiful country, this is the country where Palestinian people live since many centuries, your fathers, your grandfathers, your grand father have already seen the beautiful seaside, the beautiful shore, they have planted olive trees in the beautiful country and you have made a difficult decision to share this lovely land with other people. I know this is a difficult task, I know you have a very difficult task, I wish you for fulfillment of dream of your people to live one day in your own liable, free democratic state and in peace and mutual respect with all of your neighbors", he added.

"You have a big task beside it is difficult, but it is difficult task you have chosen and a lot of problems, and a lot of obstacles behind you, and of course before you.

I assure you Mr. President with a good hand and Leadership that you have achieved this aim for benefit of your country" Mr. Reinieke concluded.

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Arafat Negotiates with Hamas
Ronny Shaked
Senior Arabic Affairs Correspondent, Yediot Aharonot

Will Have to Compromise With Hamas
Yedioth Ahronoth (p. B9) by Roni Shaked -- Gaza, unlike the West Bank, is a powder-keg for Arafat too. Hamas has been flourishing, especially in the past few months, thanks to the socio-economic distress there, and has begun to pose a threat to Arafat. The activities of welfare organizations and the help of Islamic charity funds has made them an alternative to the PA. Thus, for example, Hamas summer camps --an entire month with two meals a day, lessons in English, computers, and weapons training, along with tradition and religion -- cost only ten shekels in Gaza. Gaza is not homogenous. Despite the cooperation between the various organizations since the beginning of the Intifada, there are still many pockets, like Rafah, where Arafat has no control. The opposition organizations feel stronger there, with wider public support, and do not always fulfill agreements and understandings. After the Dolphinarium attack, Arafat held many meetings with Hamas and managed to convince them to coordinate their military actions with him. But in the past three weeks, Hamas, along with operatives of the new 'Popular Resistance' organization, has started firing mortars from Gaza into Israeli territory.

The PA reaction: Ghazi Jabali and soldiers from Moussa Arafat's (the Rais's cousin) Military Intelligence erected roadblocks in order to arrest the operatives of Hamas and the Popular Resistance. The result: gun battles at one of the roadblocks and the wounding of three members of the Popular Resistance. The atmosphere began heating up. On Monday there were marches and a protest in Gaza against Arafat's security coordination with Israel. Protesters marched on the Burij police station and tried to take it over. Palestinian police officers succeeded in repelling them. The protesters changed direction, marched to the house of Moussa Arafat, fired at his car and his house, and engaged in gun battles with his bodyguards and reinforcements from the PA security organizations. Only after midnight, when the security organizations cut off the flow of electricity to Gaza, did the shooting stop.

Arafat, who was in the Persian Gulf at the time, received reports of the loss of control and immediately returned to Gaza to deal with the problem. This incident can indeed teach us much about the fragility of the internal stability of Gaza. Arafat can use his armed forces against Hamas, but his problem is that today most of the public supports Hamas and its policy of terror attacks. An opinion poll conducted this week in the territories revealed that 95% of the population of Gaza supports military actions against settlers and soldiers in the territories, and 65% supports terror actions inside Israel.

Therefore, Arafat has no choice but to resolve his conflict with Hamas. He must compromise in order to preserve national unity and avoid an internal crisis. And compromise with Hamas has clear significance: a green light for escalating the struggle against Israel.

This article ran in Yediot Aharonot, July 27th, 2001

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Arafat's New Army
Ronny Shaked
Senior Arabic Affairs Correspondent, Yediot Aharonot

On Tuesday, a few hours after Yuri Gushtzin was murdered and his body dumped near the slaughterhouse in Ramallah, the "el-Aksa Martyrs Brigades," the military arm of Fatah, took responsibility for the murder.

The announcement was no different from dozens of press releases published in recent months with the signature of the organization, taking responsibility for shooting attacks, bombs, mortar fire and other murderous actions. Since the beginning of the Intifada the el-Aksa Martyrs Brigades have played a vital role in leading the armed struggle against Israel. On the West Bank, in the Gaza Strip and inside the Green Line, some 6,000 terror attacks were carried out in this period, the decisive majority of them by the el-Aksa Martyrs Brigades.

The name of the commander of the organization, which has established itself as the central military wing of the Fatah movement, is Haj Abu Ahmad. Israel's intelligence arms have no picture of Haj Abu Ahmad, nor do they have any other identifying details. There are those who say that he is hiding in Nablus, while others say that he is abroad, pulling the strings of terror from there. Hussam Khadr, one of the leaders of the Tanzim in the Balata refugee camp, says that Abu Ahmad is nothing more than an invention of Israeli Intelligence.

The mystery that surrounds the identity of the commander Abu Ahmad, reveals much about the organization's operational methods. Maximum secrecy, compartmentalization of underground cells, operations in small groups, cruel acts of terror, and the most significant point: unconditional and unquestioning loyalty to Yasser Arafat. For them, he is the source of authority for carrying out acts of terror.

For Arafat, the el-Aksa Martyrs Brigades are a central tool in controlling the height of the flames of the Intifada. They don't need to receive an explicit directive from him in order to decrease or escalate the level of terror attacks. They know how to translate the Rais's body language, his expressions, his tone and the meaning of his words, into the rhythm of bursts of Kalachnikov fire.

Dahlan and Tirawi Sign Up

A few days after the outbreak of the Intifada, when developments already pointed at long-term fighting, Arafat needed an extra-governmental military wing not identified with the Palestinian Authority institution, which would be loyal to his policies, obey his orders, receive wide support on the Palestinian street and, most importantly, would be strong enough to fight against the settlers and IDF soldiers. The goal of the establishment of this organization was to consolidate all of the Fatah fighters under the new framework in order to improve the fighting capability of the Palestinians in the armed struggle against Israel.

The military core group of Fatah, the movement headed by Arafat, answered all of these criteria. The process of building the el-Aksa Martyrs Brigades took several months. In an attempt to give the new body a measure of operational momentum, and thus also turn up the level of the Intifada a few notches, Arafat allowed his security organizations -- Mohammed Dahlan, commander of the Palestinian GSS in Gaza, and Tawfiq Tirawi, commander of General Intelligence in the West Bank -- to join the fighting under the umbrella of the el-Aksa Martyrs Brigades.

The organization was established in stages, not in one fell swoop. The first shot was fired in Nablus, on October 12, 2000, during a military parade attended by several hundred Fatah members armed with a wide range of weapons: pistols, rifles, sub-machine guns, and hand grenades. In a ceremony held at the end of the parade, the establishment of the "armed militias" was announced. Three or four days later, announcements were already being released, signed by the el-Aksa Martyrs Brigades. After Nablus came Ramallah, Gaza, Khan Yunis, Hebron, Bethlehem and other cities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Fighting cells were also established in towns under Israeli security control. The process of establishing a firm base for the organization took several months. Today, the organization already includes most of Fatah's fighting activists.

The Language of the Rifle

In September of 1993, after the historic handshake between Arafat and Rabin on the White House lawn in Washington, Fatah announced a halt to its armed actions against Israel. Contrary to Israeli expectations, Arafat did not turn Fatah into a political party, instead building the movement as a popular organization with military characteristics in order to provide him with a lever to bring out the masses for confrontations with Israel, and also to use in armed struggle when the time came. So it was, for example, during the Tunnel Riots of September 1996, the Nakba Day riots of May 2000 and, of course, in the el-Aksa Intifada.

In contradiction to the agreements, which required Arafat to confiscate illegal weapons, he did not disarm Fatah. On the contrary, he provided it with weapons and ammunition from PA warehouses, and PA officers trained cadres of fighters from among Fatah youth.

Military power was kept decentralized, in separate groups on a local level, mainly in the refugee camps. Arafat did not fight against them, and forgave them when they attacked the PA or when they acted like street hoodlums.

Immediately after the establishment of the PA, many groups of veteran Fatah fighters were posted to the intelligence organizations commanded by Rajoub, Dahlan, or Tirawi, but their loyalty was and still is to the mother movement, Fatah.

When the Intifada broke out, it was easy to establish the el-Aksa Martyrs Brigades on this base. And since the outbreak of fighting, Fatah has renewed, widened and broadened the base of its military wing. The call was easily answered: these are fighters who wanted to show their abilities and military power, fighters who are loyal to Fatah ideology, and who believe that the peace process has failed. [ . . . ]

A week ago the el-Aksa Martyrs Brigades released a pamphlet detailing the ideology that guides them: "The ten hungry years of the peace process proved that the Zionist occupation that disturbs the heart of the Palestinian homeland understands nothing but the language of rifles and fire and the language of revolution and the bullets of the revolutionary fighters. Jerusalem is Arab and Muslim land and not one grain of its soil can be given up. The return of the refugees to their homes is the heart of the problem and its foundation, and any concession on their rights is considered treachery. Unity is the main gate to the liberation of Palestine." [ . . . ]

According to Israeli assessments, the el-Aksa Martyrs Brigades include several hundred active fighters; of those only a few dozen are in the operational cells which are carrying out the shooting attacks and planting bombs. The upkeep of such units requires a large amount of money for salaries, vehicles, the purchase of weapons and ammunition, and operational costs such as apartment rentals. The organization is believed to be funded by the Palestinian Authority in the framework of the budget allocated to Fatah.

The military wing of Fatah is at the height of a process of growth and stabilization. This is an organized system that coordinates actions between various sectors and transfers weapons from place to place. Thus, for example, on July 2nd, terrorists of the el-Aksa Martyrs Brigades carried out five attacks in various parts of the West Bank at almost the same time, and the organization's headquarters took responsibility for the attacks in one press release. The attacks were as follows: the murder of Yair Har-Sinai at the settlement of Susya in the southern Hebron Hills, the murder of Rabbi Aharon Abidayan in Baka el-Sharkiya, shooting at an IDF position at the settlement of Beit El, the wounding of a settler at the settlement of Bracha near Nablus, and the ambush of an IDF force in the southern part of the village of Hawra near Nablus.

The el-Aksa Martyrs Brigades are also the base of a political force which is growing in importance and developing its own agenda. The Brigades receive wide support in the Palestinian public, almost a consensus. They represent those who led the Oslo process and now oppose it, like the vast majority of the Palestinian population. Whoever is crowned commander of the organization will have a strong power base for future political action.

This article ran in Yediot Aharonot, July 27th, 2001

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Joint Statement of Israeli Peace Now and PLO


We, the undersigned Israelis and Palestinians, are meeting in the most difficult of circumstances for both our peoples. We come together to call for an end to bloodshed, an end to occupation, an urgent return to negotiations and the realization of peace between our peoples. We refuse to comply with the ongoing deterioration in our situation, with the growing list of victims, the suffering and the real possibility that we may all be drowned in a sea of mutual hostility.

We hereby raise our voices and implore all people of goodwill to return to sanity, to re-discover compassion, humanity, and critical judgment and to reject the unbearable ease of the descent into fear, hatred, and calls for revenge.

In spite of everything we still believe in the humanity of the other side, that we have a partner for peace and that a negotiated solution to the conflict between our peoples is possible. Mistakes have been made on all sides, the trading of accusations and pointing of fingers is not a policy and is no substitute for serious engagement.

The impression that exists in both communities that 'time is on our side' is illusory. The passage of time benefits only those who do not believe in peace. The longer we wait, the more innocent blood will be spilt, the greater will be the suffering and hope will be further eroded. We must move urgently to re-build our partnership, to end the de-humanization of the other, and to revive the option of a just peace that holds out promise for our respective futures.

The way forward lies in international legitimacy and the implementation of UNSCR 242 and 338 leading to a 2-State solution based on the 1967 borders, Israel and Palestine living side-by-side, with their respective capitals in Jerusalem. Solutions can be found to all outstanding issues that should be fair and just to both sides and should not undermine the sovereignty of the Palestinian and Israeli states as determined by their respective citizens, and embodying the aspirations to statehood of both peoples, Jewish and Palestinian. This solution should build on the progress made between November 1999 and January 2001.

The immediate need is for the full and accurate implementation of the Recommendations of the Mitchell Committee, including: the cessation of violence, a total freeze on settlement activity, the implementation of outstanding agreements and a return to negotiations. This process needs to be monitored by an objective third party.

We see it as our duty to work together and each of us in their own communities, to put a halt to the deterioration in our relations, to rebuild trust, belief and the hope for peace.

Palestinian signatories: Yasser Abed Rabbo, Minister of Culture and Information; Hisham Abdul-Razek, Minister of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs; Nabil Amr, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs; Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, PLC Member, Secretary-General of the Palestinian Initiative for Global Dialogue and Democracy ; Hakam Balawi, PLC Member; Dr. Sari Nuseibeh, President, Al-Quds University; Dr. Gabi Baramki, Bir Zeit University; Hafez al-Barghouti, Editor, al-Hayat al-Jadida Daily; Dr. Nazmi al-Ju'beh, Director-General, Riwaq; Dr. Salim Tamari, Director, Institute for Jerusalem Studies; Suleiman Mansour, Director, Al-Wasiti Art Center; Dr. Mahadi Abdul-Hadi, director PASSIA; George Ibrahim, Director, Al-Qasaba Theater; Sufian Abu-Zaideh, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Civil Affairs; Jamal Zaqout, Director-General, Ministry of Civil Affairs; Sama'an Khoury, Director-General, Palestine Media Center; Dr. Samir Abdallah, Director, Pal-Trade; Samir Hulieleh, Manager, Nassar Investment Co.; As'ad al-As'ad, Writer; Abdul-Rahman Awad, Writer; Samir Rantisi, Media Advisor to the Minister of Culture and Information; Nisreen Haj-Ahmad, Lawyer; Rami Shehaded, Lawyer; Ghaith Al-Omari, Lawyer

Israeli signatories: Dr. Janet Aviad, Peace Now; Chaim Oron, former Minister, Meretz; Prof. Arie Arnon, Peace Now; Yossi Beilin, former Minister, Labor; Prof. Menachem Brienker, Hebrew University; Prof. Galia Golan, Peace Now; David Grossman, author; Dr. Yossi Dahan; Prof. Moshe Halberthal, Hebrew University; AB Yehoshua, author; Prof. Yirmyahu Yovel, Hebrew University; Prof. Dan Yaacobson, Tel Aviv University; Prof. Ephi Ya'ar, Steinmatz Institute for Peace; Daniel Levy, ECF; Ronit Matalon, author; Prof. Avishai Margalit, Hebrew University; S. Yizhar, author; Prof. Sami Samuha, Haifa University; Amos Oz, author; Ron Pundak, ECF, Peres Peace Center; Yair Tsaban, Former Minister, Meretz; Dr. Nissim Calderon; Prof. Ephraim Kleinman; Dr. Menachem Klein, Bar Ilan University; Dr. Aviad Kleinberg; Adv. Tzali Reshef, Peace Now; Prof. Yuli Tamir, former Minister, Labor

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What is Happening on the Temple Mount - Tisha B'av 5761?
Nadav Shragai

Members of the "Committee to Prevent Archaeological Destruction on the Temple Mount" include A. B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz and S. Yizhar, former justices Meir Shamgar and Miriam Ben-Porat, as well as many archaeologists.

The committee constantly passes on reports about a continuing destruction of antiquities on the mount. Some of the reports have been confirmed, police have denied others, and some that police denied in the past have been proved true subsequently.

The politicians - neither in the days of the Barak administration nor in the current one, have taken no steps to halt waqf construction activity. Most of this is done without permission and all of it without archaeological supervision.

Antiquities Authority archaeologists were first kept away from the Temple Mount in September 1996 after the opening of the northern entrance to the Hasmonean Tunnel by the Netanyahu government. For a few months in 1999,the Barak government managed to get some supervision by the Antiquities Authority back onto the mount, but that was halted in October 2000 when the Intifada broke out.

Since last Rosh Hashana, the Temple Mount has been closed to both Antiquities Authority people and indeed to anyone who is not Muslim, except for the Israeli police, which continue to patrol the area at various levels of intensity. It is not clear if the police are conducting ongoing systematic surveillance of the underground construction work by the waqf and the Israeli Islamic Movement. The only significant difference that came following the election of the Sharon government is that the decision to prevent Muslims from bringing additional construction material onto the mount is generally being enforced.

The opposition to Israel's policy of ignoring what is happening on the mount with regard to the destruction of antiquities comes from both within the establishment and from outside it. Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein, who in the past called the activity on the mount "a kick at the history of the Jewish people," sent some vociferous letters to former prime minister Ehud Barak and has made his views known to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

The Antiquities Authority occasionally protests about the construction work. The former director general of the authority, Amir Drori, called the work in the Solomon's Stables area "an archaeological crime." But the positions taken by both Rubinstein and Drori have been rejected time and again.

The main worry at the political level is of a confrontation between the security forces and thousands of Muslims, which would spread to far beyond the Temple Mount - to Jerusalem, the territories and possibly to other Arab states. But there are those in both the police and Shin Bet who are skeptical of those concerns.

Various petitions to the High Court, both by the public committee and the various veteran Temple Mount organizations, have been rejected. The court has made clear that the issue is the responsibility of the politicians and it has no intention of intervening. The court usually refrains from getting into the details of the controversy between the police and the Temple Mount organizations.

For the past two years no journalists have been allowed on the mount except for those whom the waqf approves as sympathetic to the waqf's cause. Visits to the mount are nearly impossible and photography is strictly forbidden.

This article ran in HaAretz on July 29, 2001

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Will US Military Observers Return in Body Bags?
David Bedein

During US Secretary of State Colin Powell's June 28th visit to Israel, Powell announced that the US would dispatch military "observers" to oversee implementation of US-brokered accords between Israel and the PLO. On July 27th, two days before the Tisha B'Av fast that marks the conquest and destruction of Jerusalem, the new US ambassador, a Jewish American,. Daniel Kurtzer, was reported to be in the final stages of preparing the final draft for the deployment of US troops in Israel.

These US troops would patrol Jerusalem and Judea, also known as the west bank, all defined by the US as "occupied" by Israel.

Since US state department policy makers have determined that Jews have no sovereignty in Jerusalem or the west bank, US observers would be expected to show little respect for the concerns of Jews who live in these areas.

All this follows confirmed reports that the US has been training the security forces of the PLO, even at a time when the PLO has declared war on the state and people of Israel, soldiers and civilians alike, especially in Jerusalem and Judea.

US troops, even in the form of "observers", would be an invading army, following in the footsteps of the British, who were awarded a mandate over Palestine by the League of Nations in the 1920's and expelled by the new Jewish state during its War of Independence. 1945-1948

To the surprise of many, the US does recognize any part of Jerusalem as part of Israel, west or east. Any birth certificate, passport or legal document issued by the US Consul in Jerusalem reads "Jerusalem", with no designated nation state mentioned.

The US state department maintains the policy that it adopted in 1948, which is that the Jerusalem -Bethlehem region must become an international city, when it was slated to be administered by the US under a UN trusteeship

Indeed, UN negotiator Count Folk Bernadotte was shot to death by Israeli Jews in September, 1948 in Jerusalem, he was in the final stages of negotiating that American plan to transfer '"greater Jerusalem" to a US trusteeship. The US had already selected a Mayor for Jerusalem, a Quaker prelate from Philadelphia.

The Swedes have never forgiven Israelis for killing Bernadotte.

Luck would have it that Bernadotte was not a US diplomat.

The US never abandoned the plan that Bernadotte was negotiating for Jerusalem when he was killed.

While Jewish religious law forbids Jews to raise a hand against an Israeli soldier, Jewish religious law would not forbid a Jew from resisting a soldier from a foreign army in Jerusalem or Judea.

Jewish Americans, amongst others, would be in for quite a shock if US troops fall at the hands of Israeli resistance fighters.

It is not too late for US public opinion to reconsider the idea of dispatching US military "observers" to Israel.

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