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24 Dzul Hijjah 1422                                   Media Berita Merdeka

Israel edges more toward targeting Palestinian civilians

Israel targeting Palestinian civilians

Hebron (West Bank) - The Israeli occupation army seems to be menacingly edging toward targeting Palestinian civilians, apparently for the purpose of coercing  Palestinians to stop their resistance to Israeli repression and apartheid.

On Wednesday, a massacre was narrowly averted when Israeli apache helicopter gunships launched three hellfire air-to-ground missiles at a nursery and pre-school kindergarten at the village of Dahiriyya, 18 miles south-west of Hebron.

The three missiles fell 30 meters from the building, which also houses a lecture hall, a prayer hall, and a clinic.

An eyewitness, who lives 50 meters from the building, said he believed the Israeli army wanted to convey a message.

"This was not a miss, it was a message. What they are telling us is that they will observe no red lines, that all Palestinians, including kindergarten kids, school children, teachers, everybody will be targeted," said Mahmoud al-Qeisiyyeh, 60.

"There is no other explanation, there are no offices for any political organizations here within a three kilometer-radius, so Sharon is after children blood now."

The Israeli occupation army made no mention of the attack and even refrained from issuing the routine dismissive statement following such attacks which says "the army is investigating the incident."

A few hours before the rocketing or attempted rocketing of the Dahirriya pre-school, another massacre was averted in Gaza, when missiles fired from two F-16 fighter jets, Israel's most advance warplane, hit a rehabilitation center for the blind.

The rocketing inflicted heavy damage and reduced much of the building to rubble.

Dunya Sedeisi, who narrowly escaped death when a wall collapsed next to where she was sitting, expressed the bitterness of most Palestinians at the world's callous apathy toward Israeli savagery.

"My God, even the blind are not safe, what happened to this world where F-16 jet fighters attack innocent civilians who can't even flee when they sense danger coming."

She told Peter Hansen, UNRWA commissioners who inspected the damage, that the UN was failing to carry out its responsibility.

"Tell your bosses in New York shame on them, not only the Israelis and Sharon are criminals, the UN is also criminal because it watches Israeli crimes and do noting to stop them or protect us from them."

Hansen had no words to comfort the blind girl.

"I understand your feeling," he muttered.  Non the less, Sedeisi was luckier than other children and civilians in Ramallah and elsewhere who were killed and their bodies incinerated beyond recognition by Israeli tanks shells and rockets.

On 4 March, the Israeli army fired a tank shell at a civilian car in Ramallah, killing a mother, her three children, and two other children who were riding another car.

The Israeli army claimed it fired the shell by mistake, a claimed described as "rubbish" by foreign journalists and observers in the area.

A British journalist said "The Israelis have maintained this pattern of lying since before 1948, they murder civilians deliberately and with malice aforethought and then they apologize for it for Public relations."

Since the outbreak of the Palestinian revolt against Israeli military occupation more than 17 months ago, the Israeli army killed more than 600 innocent civilians, half of them minors and children.

 Jewish settlers attack olive trees

Occupied Jerusalem - Messianic Jewish settlers on Wednesday cut off hundreds of grown olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers west of southern West Bank of Hebron.

Palestinian sources said the settlers who were wielding electric saws cut off more than 300 grown-up olive trees outside the village of Beit Awwa, 25 km west of Hebron.

The orchards reportedly belonged to two Palestinian farmers from the villages, Abdul Hadi and Muhmmed Sweiti.

Eyewitnesses said the criminal acts was carried out in full view of Israeli occupation soldiers who provided protection for the settlers.

Palestinian sources said Israeli troops opened fire toward the farmers who sought to stop the settlers.

Since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation 17 months ago, the Israeli army and Jewish settlers destroyed and burned down more than 100,000 olive trees throughout the West Bank.

The Palestinian ministry of agriculture described the systematic vandalism as "a deliberate environmental holocaust."

Occupation authority blocks family visits 

Bethlehem - The Zionist occupation authority has re-imposed its ban on family visits to Palestinian detainees in its jails as part of the all-out war waged by the Sharon government against the Palestinian people.

Family visits to the detainees were limited to very few times over the past couple of years, which carried more sufferings on children and relatives of those detainees.

The internees themselves suffered from deteriorating interment conditions as a result of the ban in addition to continued Zionist torture of the Palestinian prisoners.

The Palestinian prisoner?s club described the ban as a war crime targeting imposing isolation and siege on the detainees, some of whom did not see their relatives since their detention.

The ban on the visits also led to acute shortage in certain necessities of the detainees such as clothes as the families are considered the sole suppliers of such needs.

Israeli tanks overran refugee camp

Occupied Jerusalem - Israeli army tanks on Thursday rumbled again into poverty-stricken Palestinian refugee camps in the northern West Bank, firing heavily at civilians.

Hospital sources said at least five Palestinians were killed and scores others were injured as terrified refugees raced to take cover from flying Israeli bullets.

"They are trying to do to us what they did in Balata and Jenin last week," said a refugee reached by telephone.

During the Israeli army's rampage at the Balata and Jenin refugee  camps last week, more than 50 Palestinians, most of them noncombatants, were killed and hundreds injured.

The Israeli army said its operation in Tulkarm would continue for "two days."

Palestinian sources at the Nur Shams and Tulkarm refugee camps described the Israeli incursion as "another wanton crime against civilians."

"They are the most cowardly people on earth, they send tanks and apache helicopters and F-16 fighters to attack poor, unarmed refugees, Hitler must have been right about the Jews," said one angry refugee.

Earlier, Israeli warplanes attacked government buildings in Halhul and Gaza, injuring a number of civilians and passersby.

And in the afternoon, apache helicopters fired four hellfire missiles at a Palestinian police checkpoint east of the village of Yatta south West of Hebron.

There were no casualties.

The Israeli army says it goals is to kill Palestinian resistance fighters who resist Israeli occupation and repression.

Human Rights groups condemns Israel

Occupied Jerusalem - The Palestinian human rights group, LAWW, has strongly condemned the latest Israeli closure of Palestinian towns and villages in the West Bank, which reduced them to virtual concentration camps.

Law issued a statement on Thursday, castigating the measure as illegal and inhuman:

The following are excerpts of the statement:

Israeli occupation troops have started implementing a decision to prevent Palestinians from traveling on roads in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Curfews and closures have been put in place on areas outside Palestinian-controlled areas, banning Palestinians' movement between towns and villages.

Yesterday, two Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers positioned as checkpoints in the West Bank. In the past, Israeli soldiers have prevented the sick and wounded from passing through checkpoints, ambulances have been sent back, pregnant women in labor have been prevented from getting to hospitals, in some cases pregnant women have been shot and killed, and thousands of Palestinians have been ill- treated, cursed and humiliated.

Today, anyone who travels could get shot and killed.

Israel's closure policy has led to a profound humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, affecting the economy, health and education.

Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was quoted saying: "The Palestinians should be hit very hard." Statements made by the Israeli government and officers in the Israeli army suggests an unprecedented increase in gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including acts that amount to war crimes.

Previously, the European Union, has stressed more than once, that Israel should address its "security concerns", "with full respect for human rights and within the framework of the rule of law." Despite numerous reports by Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights organizations, the European Union has failed to set limits to its tolerance as it recently did in cases of human rights violations in other countries, notably Zimbabwe.

LAW calls for an urgent appeal, in particular, to the European Union, to pressure the Israeli authorities to lift this specific ban on Palestinian movement. This measure is a disproportionate response to any security threats and is a gross violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, in particular articles 27 and 33. The nature of the restriction, its timing and indiscriminate nature, as well as its destructive consequences indicate that it constitutes a form of collective punishment, and may lead to grave breaches of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (i.e. war crimes). Moreover, this measure is to cause a suffering to ordinary Palestinians, which will amount to a breach of the Convention against Torture.

Democratic Front vows revenge

Khan Younis - The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine has vowed to revenge for the murder of one of its founding cadres in Al-Faraheen area to the east of Khan Younis at dawn yesterday.

The Front issued a statement saying that Zionist occupation forces stormed the house of the struggler Abdul Ghani Abu Daqqa, 57, and fired at him wounding him seriously in the head. The invading force then prevented any medical assistance and left him bleed to death.

The Front held the fascist government of Sharon fully responsible for the assassination of Abu Daqqa and vowed to its martyr and all Palestinian martyrs to revenge from the Zionist occupiers.

The statement pledged to painfully retaliate to the crime and to escalate resistance until ejection of occupation, establishment of the independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds as its capital and the return of refugees.

Qassam Brigades declare responsibility

Gaza - Qassam Brigades, military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, yesterday declared responsibility for the killing of a Zionist army officer and soldier to the east of Khan Younis, south of Gaza Strip.

A statement for the Brigades said that two Qassam members advanced 400 meters beyond the barbed wires separating Gaza Strip from areas occupied in 1948 and hid behind a tree in the area.

It elaborated that the two Mujahideen hurled a grenade at a passing Zionist army jeep then opened machinegun fire at its occupants hitting them all. A Zionist tank started firing at the combatants one of whom was injured but both managed to leave the area and return safely to base.

The occupation army had claimed that two of its soldiers were mistakenly killed by their comrades-in-arms to conceal the truth.

The Brigades statement underlined that all Zionist targets were legitimate targets, stressing that there was no sanctity for the so-called Zionist civilians ?because they entered our country as usurpers, killing our children and women?.

 Yassin affirms determination to Jihad

Alexandria - Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, founder and spiritual leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has affirmed the Palestinian people?s determination to continue in resisting Zionist occupation to the finish.

Yassin, addressing Egyptian students of the Alexandria University over the telephone, hailed the Egyptian people?s support of their Palestinian brothers across history.

He recalled past historical battles in which the Egyptians shared in defeating foreign invaders on the land of Palestine.

The Hamas leader said it was the Palestinians? fate to remain stationed on the land of Isra? and to pay the price ?and we are prepared to sacrifice men, youth, aged and children?.

He affirmed the Palestinian people insistence on their rights and holy shrines and affirmed their appreciation of Egyptian backing.

Yassin expressed confidence that the Islamic Nation would never accept Zionist oppression and aggression and that it would fight American interests in the Arab and Islamic worlds.

He assured the students, who demonstrated in support of the Palestinian people, that the Palestinians would not be defeated Insha?allah and would never raise the white flag but would continue to fight until liberation of national soil and holy shrines and until return of all displaced refugees.

Washington to add Aqsa Martyrs in the list

Occupied Jerusalem - The American administration intends to include the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, military wing of the Fatah Movement, in the list of terrorist organizations, according to Hebrew press reports.

Hebrew daily ?Ha?aretz? yesterday said that an American envoy last week carried a message with this meaning to Tel Aviv.

The Aqsa Martyrs started armed operations in the first week of the Aqsa intifada that erupted in late September 2000.

Leaders of this group said that its members grouped national as well as Islamic activists.

The Aqsa Brigades succeeded in the past period in directing a number of painful military blows to the Zionist forces inflicting scores of casualties in their lines.

The founder and leader of those Brigades known as Haj Abu Ahmed remained a mysterious figure for the Zionists and even officials in the Fatah Movement due to his extreme secrecy and cautious moves.

The Brigades refused numerous decisions passed by the Fatah revolutionary council led by Palestinian Authority chief Yasser Arafat that stipulated dissolving the Brigades.