"Ain't Gonna Study War No More"

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Right-To-Life Party, Christian, Anti-War, Pro-Life, Bible Fundamentalist, Egalitarian, Libertarian Left

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A Warning from Israel

What May Come After the Evacuation of Jewish Settlers from the Gaza Strip

We feel that it is urgent and necessary to raise the alarm regarding what may come during and after evacuation of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip occupied by Israel in 1967, in the event that the evacuation is implemented.

We held back on getting this statement published and circulated, seeking additional feedback from our peers. The publication in Ha'aretz (22 June 2005) quoting statements by General (Reserves) Eival Giladi, the head of the Coordination and Strategy team of the Prime Minister's Office, motivated us not to delay publication and circulation any further. Confirming our worst fears, General (Res.) Eival Giladi went on record in print and on television to the effect that "Israel will act in a very resolute manner in order to prevent terror attacks and [militant] fire while the disengagement is being implemented" and that "If pinpoint response proves insufficient, we may have to use weaponry that causes major collateral damage, including helicopters and planes, with mounting danger to surrounding people."

We believe that one primary, unstated motive for the determination of the government of the State of Israel to get the Jewish settlers of the Qatif (Katif) settlement block out of the Gaza Strip may be to keep them out of harm's way when the Israeli government and military possibly trigger an intensified mass attack on the approximately one and a half million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, of whom about half are 1948 Palestine refugees.

The scenario could be similar to what has already happened in the past - a tactic that Ariel Sharon has used many times in his military career - i.e., utilizing provocation in order to launch massive attacks.

Following this pattern, we believe that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz are considering to utilize provocation for vicious attacks in the near future on the approximately one and a half million Palestinian inhabitants of the Gaza Strip: a possible combination of intensified state terror and mass killing. The Israeli army is not likely to risk the kind of casualties to its soldiers that would be involved in employing ground troops on a large scale in the Gaza Strip. With General Dan Halutz as Chief of Staff they don't need to. It was General Dan Halutz, in his capacity as Commander of the Israeli Air Force, who authorized the bombing of a civilian Gaza City quarter with a bomb weighing one ton, and then went on record as saying that he sleeps well and that the only thing he feels when dropping a bomb is a slight bump of the aircraft.

The initiators of this alarm have been active for many decades in the defence of human rights inside the State of Israel and beyond. We do not have the academic evidence to support our feeling, but given past behavior, ideological leanings and current media spin initiated by the Israeli government and military, we believe that the designs of the State of Israel are clear, and we submit that our educated intuition with matters pertaining to the defence of human rights has been more often correct than otherwise.

We urge all those who share the concern above to add their names to ours and urgently give this alarm as wide a circulation as possible.

Circulating and publishing this text may constitute a significant factor in deterring the Israeli government, thus protecting the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip from this very possible catastrophe and contributing to prevent yet more war crimes from occurring.

Please sign, circulate, and publish this alarm without delay!

Please send notification of your signature to Tamar Yaron tiyaron@hazorea.org.il


Uri Davis, Sakhnin, uridavis@actcom.co.il , Ilan Pappe, Tiv'on, pappe@poli.haifa.ac.il, and Tamar Yaron, Kibbutz Hazorea, tiyaron@hazorea.org.il

Sharon Threatens To Invade Gaza


ITS forces massed on the border with Gaza, Israel yesterday threatened a large-scale invasion if the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, did not move decisively to stop Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli targets.

"I have spoken to the heads of the security establishment and informed them that there are to be no restraints on our operations to stop the attacks on towns and communities within Gaza and along the border," the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, told his cabinet. It was his sternest warning yet to the Palestinian president.

Mr Abbas told Hamas in a speech on Saturday night that the attacks were harming Palestinian interests and that the Palestinian Authority (PA) would not tolerate a continuation of the violence.

But Hamas defied him again yesterday, firing early in the day at the southern Israeli town of Sderot and later wounding six Israelis in shootings at settlements in the Gaza Strip.

Mr Abbas was in an unenviable position last night, caught between the prospect of an Israeli move that would destroy what is left of his biggest achievement - the ceasefire agreed in February - and a major internal battle if he takes further steps against Hamas.

The PA appealed yesterday to the United States, the European Union and Russia for help in stopping an Israeli incursion. "If the Israeli government continues with its steps, it will destroy all the efforts to impose the rule of law and also the idea of a peaceful withdrawal from Gaza," Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian negotiator, said.

Israel is planning to evacuate its 21 settlements from the coastal enclave starting next month, and Mr Sharon has said repeatedly he would not allow a situation in which departing settlers and soldiers evacuating them were fired upon.

The US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, is expected to visit Israel and the PA areas later this week to try to avert a conflagration and keep the withdrawal plans on track.

Israel ratcheted up the pressure still further yesterday by launching at least one missile at a car in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya, an area often used as a staging ground for rocket attacks. Palestinian reports said one bystander was wounded.

Earlier, an Israeli sniper assassinated a leader of the armed wing of Hamas in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis as he left his home, according to Palestinian sources.

Said Siyyam, said by the Israeli army to have been involved in mortar and gun attacks on soldiers and settlers, was fired on from a watchtower at the Ganei Tal settlement, the sources added. The shooting came two days after seven Hamas militants were killed as Israel returned to its policy of targeted killings for the first time since February.

Hamas later launched rockets at the Neve Dekalim settlement, wounding four people, two of them seriously. Another two people were wounded in a subsequent attack on the site.

Ibal Giladi, the Israeli coordinator of the Gaza withdrawal, said yesterday that Mr Abbas should be given a chance to rein in Hamas. "It is not necessary to conquer a part of Gaza," he said. "The Israel defence forces must act in a manner that halts this [rocketing] activity on the one hand, while on the other hand does not stop activity by others that we have an interest in encouraging."

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