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>Israel Faxx
>JN May 18, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 86

Red Cross Equates West Bank/Gaza Communities with War Crimes


Addressing a news conference on Thursday, Rene Kosirnik of the International Committee of the Red Cross stated the Jewish presence throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza was a war crime under international law. Kosirnik is the ICRC official representative to Israel and the PA areas.

Israeli Army Takes Over Area of Gaza Strip

By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)

The Israeli army has taken over a Palestinian-controlled area of the Gaza Strip for what it describes as security reasons.

The army continued bombarding Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip, this time shelling the Khan Yunis refugee camp. The army has established outposts in houses on the edge of Khan Yunis in an area under Palestinian control.

An army spokesman told VOA soldiers have captured buildings in the Palestinian-ruled area because they had been used by gunmen to fire at Israeli troops. He called the action a "temporary" move. The Israeli military has made repeated incursions into Palestinian territory in recent weeks, but has always withdrawn quickly.

The Israeli policy of entering Palestinian-controlled areas has drawn sharp criticism from the international community. Palestinian officials say the operations violate interim peace agreements. The move follows a series of attacks by Israeli combat helicopters on Palestinian targets in Gaza and the West Bank.

Israeli helicopter gun ships blasted a compound used by Palestinian security forces in Gaza, and buildings in the West Bank town of Jenin. The military says the offices in Gaza were used to plan Palestinian attacks, while the structures in Jenin were used to produce weapons such as mortars.

Israeli Public Security Minister Uzi Landau, speaking in New York, said the government is escalating its reaction to the Palestinian uprising and may resort to all out combat to quell the unrest.

"We are also stepping up our activity in order to protect ourselves. But I believe, eventually, we will have to start and combat them all out because no way can a civilized society that believes in freedom let it be intimidated by simply those who are allies of Saddam Hussein."

Speaking to reporters in Gaza, Palestinian chief Yasir Arafat accused Israel of escalating military operations against his people. He said the Israelis are trying to force the Palestinians to "kneel down," but added that the Palestinians are strong people and will not "surrender."

UN: Emergency Mideast Meeting Won't Help Now

By Breck Ardery (VOA-United Nations)

The United Nations Security Council has turned down a request from Arab nations for an emergency meeting on Mideast violence. The request was made by the head of the Palestine observer mission, Nasser Al-Kidwa, in his capacity as head of the Group of Arab States at the United Nations.

He wanted the council to discuss what he characterized as the "escalation of repressive practices against the Palestinian population by Israel."

But after about 30 minutes of closed consultations, Council President James Cunningham of the United States told reporters there would not be an immediate meeting. The U.S. position is that it would not be helpful to bring the issue into the council at this time. But Cunningham said other members of the council were also against an immediate meeting.

"There was widespread agreement in the council that it was not appropriate to take a decision at this time, that we did require more time for consultation and reflection, including, for some members, consultation with capitals about going forward with a meeting at this time."

NBC Cited For Martyr-Encouragement Report


NBC has come under fire for a recent report exposing some of the "encouragement to martyrdom" given Palestinian children by their elders.

"The Palestinians are [now] calling on the youngest to join the battle," reported Martin Fletcher, who used material provided him by Palestinian Media Watch, "and [are] using a stunning tactic: commercials on Palestinian TV asking children, 'Drop your toys. Pick up rocks.'"

The commercials show one of the most famous "heroes" of the Palestinian violence - 12-year-old Mohammed al-Dura dying in his father's arms, caught in a hail of ostensibly Israeli bullets. [Much evidence has since been produced indicating that the bullets were actually Palestinian.]

The PA television clip then shows Mohammed in paradise, urging other children to follow him. The violent scene of Mohammed's killing shifts to an image of the boy running through a sunlit field in "paradise" where he greets other boys who sit together in the green grass.

The NBC report then shows a scene of Mohammed's classroom, where the teacher shouts, "Are you afraid?" and the children shout in unison, "No!... We ask Allah to destroy the Jews!" Fletcher concluded his report,

"Already, young boys are learning how to fight. Summer camp teaches how to resist the Israelis. But now they are being taught not to fear death [images of young boys in military training, crawling under barbed wire and other drills, are shown]. The greatest glory, they are told, is to be a martyr."

The NBC report can be viewed on line at

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