No atrocities in Jenin
So it was in Jenin, where 23 Israelis -- more than all the U.S. battle deaths in Kosovo and Afghanistan combined -- died in 10 days of intense fighting. There was the usual grumbling about ''sticking out our necks for civilians who only hate us,'' but still the reservists fought on. Jenin was cleared, house by house, alley by alley, without the aid of air power or heavy artillery, giving civilians time to get out of the way. Israelis did not question why. It is what their army, and their country, is about.
Israelis have since been stung by accusations of atrocities and massacres in the West Bank, by ''big lies'' that add insult to the pain of their losses. I felt similar resentment in Lebanon, where I saw Israeli soldiers repeatedly risking their lives to reduce civilian casualties, only to be charged with heinous crimes by the United Nations and other ''impartial'' bodies.
So often I would ask myself: ''If we're going to be condemned for what we didn't do, why don't we do it already and save our own skins?''
But I never acted on that thought. Instead, in Lebanon in 1982, we moved out of that garage and into a desperate battle. I came home -- many did not -- and had a son, who today serves in a frontline combat unit. He now faces the same dangers and dilemmas that I grappled with 20 years ago, and he tells me that he and his friends are making the same decisions.
He would not have it any other way, he says. As his father, in spite of my fears, neither would I.
Michael B. Oren, senior fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, is the author of the forthcoming Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East.
(from USA Today, April 24, 2002)
Hello williewoe and rgillscap (and all friends on this board)-
I agree with your replies to nasdaq_1000bust, our resident propagandist.
Since he has such a strong sell on Mags, I wish he would just sell all his shares and move on.
Ra'anan Gissin (Sharon spokesman) is giving a talk this afternoon on "security and the peace process," at one of our local congregations.
I will try to find out what references, if any, he makes to Magal products. (Although probably dont_sell_yet knows this information).
when people resort to filthy language...is the truest sign of DUMBNESS and a vocabulary of maybe a second grader......NASDAQ_1000 will probably think I,m bragging on him.
Why don,t you crawl back into your hole and pull your palistine buddy with you.
The Israeli Government must end the gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law it is committing during Operation Defensive Wall: it must stop the unlawful and disproportionate use of lethal force, including against medical personnel; end extrajudicial executions; end wanton destruction of homes and other collective punishment, through destruction and damage of Palestinian property and infrastructure, including water and electricity supplies; cease arbitrary arrest and detention; end torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; ensure that the practices of trashing apartments and looting come to an end.
All sides must respect the neutrality of medical vehicles and facilities. The Israeli government should allow immediate and unhindered access to all areas by medical workers, including the PRCS, the United Nations and the ICRC.
The Israeli Government should ensure that access by observers, including journalists, non-governmental organizations, and other representatives of civil society, is not unduly impeded.
The Israeli Government should immediately set up a Commission of Inquiry to examine violations of international humanitarian law in Jenin and other areas of the Occupied Territories since 27 February.
Palestinian armed groups must cease all deliberate attacks on civilians.
The Palestinian Authority must condemn and do everything possible to prevent attacks on Israeli civilians.
The international community should act urgently to despatch an international observer mission with a strong and transparent human rights component to Israel and the Occupied Territories.
All sides and the international community should ensure that any peace or cease-fire addresses the human rights violations of Palestinians which are at the core of this conflict.
Testimony of 'Awni Muhammad Ibrahim Sa'id, aged 27, from al-Am'ari Camp in Ramallah:
"At 9am on Tuesday 12 March they announced that people aged between 16 and 45 should report. They said that those who didn't report would be killed. I went around 11am to the school with three of my brothers. We stayed for a bit, then we were moved to Ofer in an armoured truck. At Ofer there were about 210 people. Among them was one deaf-mute and he was allowed to go. It was at Ofer that we were handcuffed and hooded - at the school we weren't. We stayed like that until 1am when a soldier took our IDs and searched us; they took everyone's mobiles. Then they picked out some people and gave them tents and told them to put them up � there were four tents for the 200, about 50 in each tent. By 2.30-3am we had finished putting up the tents and we asked them for mattresses which they refused. They brought us wood instead, rough, worse than you make coffins with. We had no blankets at all the first night � they only brought them around 10.30pm on Wednesday. By that time five people were sick from the cold; they took them to see a doctor but he did nothing. We were given our first food on Wednesday at 8am. Later we were also given two cigarettes per day. They released us all on Thursday; we were transferred in buses but we stayed in buses for the whole day before release."
During Operation Defensive Wall, up to 11 April more than 4,000 Palestinians were arrested, mostly in house to house searches. In some places mass arrests took place after broadcast orders to all males between 15 and 45 to report. This reportedly took place in al-Bireh on 30 March; many men who reported at the Diaspora School were put on buses and taken to Ofer. They were reportedly blindfolded and handcuffed and held in the open until their interrogation after three days. The interrogation was minimal: name, birth and personal details. After questioning they were taken to a tent and given blankets and wooden pallets to sleep on. Most were released at Qalandiya after seven days. Other detainees arrested in Ramallah reported being held in the open in half-finished houses or school yards; they were kept lying down and handcuffed and hooded when they went to the toilet. Detainees said that they were sometimes beaten.
With strict curfews in place in most towns, families whose relatives had been arrested did not know whether they were alive or dead. Israeli human rights organizations who tried to trace detainees were inundated with appeals but were unable to find information from the IDF who said that they themselves had no idea of the names of those they had arrested. A Military Order, number 1500, was issued on 5 April 2002 allowing the army to hold detainees for 18 days without access to lawyers before being brought before a judge (who could renew the lack of access order). As a result of reports that detainees had toes and fingers broken, four human rights organizations, B'Tselem, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), HaMoked and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) that such treatment should cease; the HCJ rejected the petition.
In light of the large number of those arrested and detained, but with very little interrogation, Amnesty International is concerned that the aim of the arrests, accompanied as they were by ill-treatment, may have been to collectively punish Palestinians uninvolved in armed opposition, and to degrade and humiliate those arrested. Palestinians sitting in large numbers blindfolded and handcuffed were photographed and their pictures shown on television and published in Israeli newspapers.
Testimony of Jamal Issa, aged 37, from Tulkarem refugee camp:
"The IDF came to my house at 6am [on 8 March]. They gathered everyone, three families, in one room and we stayed there from 6am until 10am when we were moved to another house. They collected 20 people in the same house. Then we were taken to the school where we stayed for four or five hours, blindfolded and with our hands bound. They collected all our IDs and tried to sort us in groups. After three hours they took us to the DCO [District Coordination Office]. We stayed the night at the DCO, about 60 of us, handcuffed and blindfolded, treated as terrorists and humiliated. The basic rights of prisoners in the past were denied us. We asked to go to the toilet and they refused. We spent a night of shouting and crying.
"After that some were transferred by buses to Kedumim and others to Huwara Military Camp. There wasn't a prison in Huwara; it was better than the other place, they removed the blindfolds and handcuffs. We spent six days without any interrogation and then they released us. We hoped that someone would tell us why we were taken. We had been scared the whole time because they had threatened to kill us, but in the event we were more frightened of the release than of detention as we were left at the military camp checkpoint, where we collected our IDs and we had to find taxis and go past all the Nablus settlements. It took us four hours to get home."
Testimony of Majdi Shehadeh, from Tulkarem refugee camp:
"At 9am on Friday [8 March] there was an announcement on the loudspeaker that we had to report. We came on to the street and we were all told to take off the clothes on our upper part. We were about 100. We put on the clothes after about an hour, and then went on foot to the school. They checked all our IDs until 9pm. Then they brought buses and transferred us to Kibbutz Sanaws. We were all handcuffed and we sat on a pebbly ground. We weren't given any food, and when we asked for water they poured it over us. The handcuffs were tight and when the blindfolds were taken off on our arrival I saw some people with hands black and swollen. We told the soldiers that they were cutting into us and they said there was no alternative. We started to shout and cry, begging them to ease the handcuffs. It was very cold and some of us had T-shirts and no shoes. We weren't allowed to go to the toilet and had to relieve ourselves there. By 3.30am we were starting to shake and our teeth were chattering with cold. We huddled up together and then we stood up. The soldiers tried to impose order and shot in the air, but we were not afraid or scared and we did not accept to stay. Among us were some people more than 50 and children under 14. We protested at such arrests. Then an officer came and said, 'You will go home at 7am'; they released the old and the young at 4am. There were no charges against anyone. We protested against the cold. Around 10am they put us into line and a soldier had a stick and beat us all. Then we were released and taken to the DCO."
Torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. It is also prohibited by the Convention against Torture, to which Israel is a state party, and is also a non-derogable article of the ICCPR. Even in ''time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation'' a state is never allowed to torture or allow anyone for any reason whatsoever to suffer cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The arrests of Palestinians from the Occupied Territories carried out by Israel since 27 February were almost invariably accompanied by cruel and degrading treatment; a number of allegations of torture have been received.
IDF incursions were often accompanied by a house to house search for suspected members of armed groups. However, between 1 March and 12 March in three of the refugee camps - Tulkarem, Deheisheh and al-Am'ari - and in Qalqiliya, mass arrests were carried out accompanied by degrading treatment of those detained. The typical pattern was a summons by the IDF by loudspeaker for all male Palestinians between certain ages (usually 15 to 45) to report at a designated assembly point. Palestinians at al-Am'ari camp said that they were told that if they came and had not been involved in any offence they would be released; those in Tulkarem camp said the loudspeaker warned that anyone who failed to report might be killed (however, most people interviewed by Amnesty International were arrested from houses or streets). Once there they were sorted, usually by being asked basic details such as name and age, some were immediately released. However, the majority were blindfolded and handcuffed with plastic handcuffs (which can tighten and be extremely painful). Some were numbered on their wrists; however, after protests in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) and in many sectors of Israeli society, this practice, which was not general, was stopped. The vast majority of those arrested said they were not given any food for the first 24 hours and were not allowed even to go to the toilet; they had to relieve themselves on the ground where they sat. During a season when nights remain extremely cold, no blankets were given to detainees during the first night of their detention. Those arrested and detained included many children reportedly as young as 14 or 15.
Those arrested were taken to temporary holding stations located in military camps or settlements. By 17 March, three weeks after the first invasion of refugee camps, some 135 Palestinians of at least 2,500 arrested over the previous 19 days from Tulkarem, Deheisheh, al-Am'ari and Qalqiliya, remained in detention in the temporary camps. They were detained in Huwara, Ofer and Majnuna Military Camps, and Kedumim, Gush Etzion and Beit El Settlements. Others were detained at Erez.