Israel Resource Review 23rd November, 2000


Official PBC Radio News
The Voice of Palestine

November 23, 2000

Summary and Analysis

The Voice of Palestine generally downplayed the bus bombing yesterday in Hadera, preferring to use items about Palestinian martyrs for the lead for its news shows and summaries.

Morning Commentary -- Youssef al-Kazzaz

"First of all, the Occupation Prime Minister Ehud Barak takes full responsibility for opening fire on the car containing the martyrs Jamal Abdel-Razik, Awni Ismail Dheir, Sami Nasser Abu-Leben and Na'il Shidah al-Lidawi on the open road in front of the settlement of Moraj (sic: Morag) near Rafah, where the crime, where the massacre took place.

And Ehud Barak takes direct responsibility for this massacre."

As for the coverage of the bombing yesterday (first report at 7 p.m., 90 minutes after attack, led the news), there was no Palestinian condemnation of the attack. The bus bombing-which involved the killing of two and the wounding of more than 40-was immediately dropped from the number-one spot in the headline line-up to number five or six in all subsequent broadcasts.

Instead VOP led its shows with news of shooting incidents in al-Bireh (not reporting that Palestinian orces had opened fire on settlement of Pesagot) and deaths of martyrs.

Palestinian commentary shows about the "massacre" referred to the deaths of four armed Tanzim operatives who tried to crash an Israeli army checkpoint in Gaza. Their deaths were portrayed as the deaths of innocent travelers on an open road.

VOP broadcasts now regularly refer to Israeli leaders as war criminals, and refer to Israel's government as "the war government." But PA officials speaking on VOP also make snide references to Israeli "peace camp," poking fun of "Peace Now" and also making fun of "a Jewish peace."

Interview with Freih Abu Medein, Palestinian Authority Justice Minister (7:30 a.m., November 23)

Question: How do you read the Israeli crimes and you are the minister of justice? Is justice with Israel? (i.e. "Is Israel in the right"?)

Answer: For 50 years we have been seeking justice. The fact is all these shellings and shootings they are a death sentence for the (peace) process. And not just the shellings. This was a death sentence carried out on the road against the four brothers who were martyred near Rafah (note: armed Tanzim members killed near Israeli settlement of Morag). So this is not just a shelling but a death sentence carried out against the (peace) process.

This Israeli thrashing about, well, I'll tell you, the Palestinian people are able to push forward tens of martyrs, but the question is not so much how we see it but how the world sees it -- the Arab, the Muslim and others -- how they read the message, how they see this historic peace between us and Israel. What occupies their attention most is the war. And we know that Israel has a Western orientation-built by England, France and subsequently built by the United States of America.

Fundamentally Western thinking is how to protect Israel. from international condemnation especially in the (UN) Security Council, from the whole world for the war crimes that are piling up. Our demand for international protection is a just demand. And then the United States gets up and overcomes with its veto, with the threat of its veto. We need international observers. This great crime and travesty. We are being pushed around every day in Hebron where there was the Hebron massacre, where Goldstein murdered 29 Palestinians and wounded tens. Just ask your correspondent what goes on in Hebron.

These are all war crimes. What's going on today is something we warned about, and President Arafat warned about it. We had information. The destruction of the markets and what General Mofaz is doing. We knew four months ahead of time.

We, the Palestinian people, we have bravery, we have right and we have might. And what we're seeing now gradually is the imposition of 'a Jewish peace' (Arabic: salaam yahudi) and not a Palestinian-Israeli peace. Israel or the Jews, and I do not want to characterize (unclear mumbling).The matter of the Jewish element (origin) today is overcoming the Jewish spirit who wants peace. It is a dialogue of fire (i.e. shooting) or a dialogue of shelling or of killing or of destroying Palestinian infrastructure. They are taking our trees because someone fired from them on the settlements. The picture of the Palestinian mother, sister, wife one sees at a funerals of the martyrs is the tears in their eyes over the trees. They are crying for their trees and not for their martyrs. That is the surprising picture. It is not a question of justice. It is a question of steadfastness. It has become a question of steadfastness.

We have to face the issue of settlements. That is the heart of peace. That is the issue of land and water. There is no future for the Palestinian people without land and water.

Question: And what of the Israeli reaction with shelling and violence?

Answer: Palestinian blood does not concern Israel. Israel wants to live by one means alone and that is the means of power, with the sword in its hand. That is the choice it has made. If you saw the shelling of Gaza, you saw the finest American technology at work. This reveals, and I warn them, reveals to the Palestinian people that the alternatives are not traditional but with non-traditional technologies. And these technologies do not just belong to Israel but also to Muslims and Arabs who also possess them, and we Palestinians will possess them for use for victory and peace. And a bomb can go in any direction. And they (Israel) will not have any future. That is the Israeli ghetto that we have succeeded to start to close because of the Arab nation that stretches to Mauritania. That is our big success in getting the withdrawal of the Egyptian ambassador and the non-sending of the Jordanian ambassador. Really we have to close Israel inside a ghetto. She (Israel) does not feel like part of the region but wants to control the region. It wants to be a chosen bridge from Europe to the East, benefiting from the choices of the East while being a foreign body (in the region).

It isn't a question of justice in the Palestinian cause but a question of balance of power, which is lacking today, and finding what is acceptable in international legitimacy. But the United States is calling the shots. And it is The United States is the real enemy, the first and the most direct with its capital, its weapons in blood and protection. I don't want to say more than that."

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HaAretz: Israeli Government Beginning to Classify Israeli Arab Population As a Security Threat
Mazal Mualem
Correspondent, HaAretz Daily Newspaper, Tel Aviv

In a new assessment of threats to the security of towns and villages, conducted in the wake of October's clashes between security forces and Israeli Arabs, the Defense and Public Security ministries have compiled a list of 45 "especially sensitive" communities located within Israel's Green Line borders.

This means that Israeli Arabs are now regarded as a threat to the peace and welfare of towns and settlements within Israel, security sources explain.

Communities on the list will receive special assistance to boost security measures. This is the first time that several Galilee area communities have been included on a list of this sort. Flaws in their security preparations were exposed by October's events, the sources say. In the Galilee's Misgav area, these communities include: Lotem, Eschar, Mitzpe Aviv, Eshbal, Tal-El, Avtalion, Hararit, Ma'aleh Tzviyah, Yuvalim and Moreshet.

The list will be brought next week to a special inter-ministerial committee for final approval.

Criteria set-out for classification as "an especially sensitive settlement" were formulated in recent weeks by security officials. The classification applies to communities located within the Green Line either in border regions, or in "sensitive" areas that are either isolated or close to Arab populations.

Special defense provisions to be given to the 45 communities include firearms and communications equipment, fences, electric gates, observation posts, and preparation of alternative entrance and exit roads.

Appeared in HaAretz, November 23, 2000

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Hadera Bombing:
Strategic Terror
Ron Ben Yishai
Security Analyst, Yediot Aharonot

The Palestinians regard bombing terror attacks as strategic terror. This terror is meant to achieve diplomatic goals within a short period of time by using “shock therapy” on Israeli public opinion.

The Palestinian terror organizations want to achieve the same goal as the ballistic missiles fired by Saddam Hussein on Israel in the Gulf War and as the Katyusha rockets Hizbullah fired on the Galilee: by means of massacring civilian population and wreaking havoc deep inside the State of Israel, the Palestinians hope to spur the frightened public in Israel to pressure the government and the political establishment into taking steps that they, the Palestinians, consider desirable. At times their goal is to deter Israel from taking painful and powerful military action. At other times their goal is to stop the peace process. That was the case in 1995-1996 when Hamas blew up buses on the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and toppled the government. At this juncture in time the Palestinian terror attacks are meant to achieve two strategic goals.

The first goal is to escalate the war of attrition being waged against the Israeli public so that it begin to hold the settlers responsible for the situation and that it begin to demand that the government put an end to the warfare that is underway “because of them.” The second goal is to drag the Israeli government into retaliating in such a lethal manner that it will isolate Israel internationally and may even force the Arab world and the international community into intervening forcibly in order to “protect the Palestinians.”

Under the current circumstances, the Israeli government and the IDF must not play into Arafat, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad’s hand. A large-scale reprisal that leaves innocent Palestinians dead and escalates the warfare even further would be detrimental to the Israeli interest.

But Israel does not have to remain impassive. It will be able to produce far better results by increasing the pressure on the Palestinians by less flashy military means: stopping Palestinian radio and television broadcasts, for example, can serve as a good punitive measure that will also help stop the incitement; tightening the closure on the territories and blocking all movement into Israel will be far more effective in preventing future car bomb attacks than the bombing of a few buildings owned by the Palestinian security services in the heart of Judea and Samaria or Gaza will. Above all, enlisting leaders in the U.S. and in Europe to apply pressure on Arafat. Barak has already begun enlisting the support of these leaders and the public has to give this diplomatic effort a chance to succeed if it wants to win the overall campaign in which we are currently engaged with the Palestinians.

The present battle will not be won from the air but rather by means of intensive diplomatic pressure coupled with a variety of IDF actions on the ground. And we must not forget revenge. Israel must seek vengeance from the initiators, perpetrators and planners of the car bomb attack, not only in response to base needs but also for the sake of deterrence. “Revenge is something that one eats cold,” Stalin said, and justly so. Intelligence information needs to be gathered, an operation needs to be planned and then, when the time is right, the blow needs to be dealt. This blow needs to serve the Israeli interest and not the Palestinian.

Appeared in Yediot Aharonot on November 23rd

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Bombs Don't Distinguish Between a Jew and an Arab
Yoni Hilleli
Correspondent, Maariv

Thara Abu-Hussein, a one-year old baby from the town of Baka al-Garbiya, sustained moderate to severe injuries in yesterday’s attack. She suffers from burns on 15% of her body.

The baby was transferred yesterday to Rambam Hospital in Haifa and was immediately rushed to the operating room. According to the hospital, in the next few days she will undergo a series of operations.

“What is a one-year old baby guilty of?” asked the baby’s uncle, Rashid Marana. “What is her mother guilty of that she has to see her like this, completely burnt. Whoever did this is a criminal. A bomb doesn’t know the difference between Jews and Arabs and it is forbidden to hurt children. A struggle is something for one army against another army.”

Thara’s mother, Manal, sat next to her daughter crying. Her husband, the baby’s father, was also seriously wounded in the attack. “Leave her alone,” said the baby’s uncle, “Let her deal with this pain. It’s hard enough for us especially since she doesn’t know what’s going on with her husband, who is lying in Hadera.”

Appeared in Maariv, November 23rd

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