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From owner-imap@chumbly.math.missouri.edu Sun Jun 2 10:30:12 2002
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 2002 14:03:31 -0500 (CDT)
From: NY Transfer News <nyt@tania.blythe-systems.com<
Subject: The Shards of Oslo
Article: 139540
To: undisclosed-recipients:;


Oslo R.I.P.

By Khaled Amayreh, Al Ahram Weekly,
30 May - 5 June 2002

The Israeli occupation army has continued to make daily incursions into Palestinian population centres, effectively eliminating any semblance of Palestinian Authority control or sovereignty.

The latest incursion took place in the already devastated northern West Bank town of Jenin, which bore the brunt of Israel's savage onslaught in March when rampaging Israeli troops killed dozens of Palestinian civilians and destroyed hundreds of homes.

Columns of Israeli tanks and armoured personnel carriers, backed by Apache helicopter gunships, roared through the city on 28 May amid intensive shooting and loud explosions.

The invading forces placed the entire city and surrounding areas under curfew, warning inhabitants via loudspeakers to stay indoors and threatening to kill anyone venturing outside his or her home.

The Israelis made good on their threat when trigger-happy soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian civilian who, for reasons unknown, ventured outdoors.

Moreover, Israeli soldiers raided and vandalised homes to arrest wanted terrorists. The Israeli army said it arrested scores of activists including Rami Awad, a prominent member of Hamas.

An Israeli occupation army spokesman said Israeli troops would leave the devastated city when the mission is completed or if unforeseen international developments make it wise to do so. The phrase unforeseen international developments seems to refer to possible, but unexpected pressure from the United States.

The incursion into Jenin was preceded by the Israeli army's reoccupation of Bethlehem on 27 May.

For the second time in less than 24 hours, Israeli tanks and troops placed the town and surrounding smaller towns and refugee camps (Beit Jala, Beit Sahur, Dheishi, Ayda, Al-Doha, and Ta'amreh) under curfew.

And once again, in less than three weeks, Israeli personnel carriers and military jeeps were seen racing back and forth at Manger Square, terrorising the local population and blocking access to the historical basilica, which only two weeks ago reeled from a harsh Israeli siege that lasted more than five weeks.

Israeli soldiers also stormed and vandalised a local FM radio station—Bethlehem-200—knocking it off the air.

Scores of young Palestinian men were rounded up, blindfolded and handcuffed and taken away to awaiting army trucks that transported them to interrogation centres and detention camps throughout Israel.

Earlier, on 26 May, a sizeable Israeli force had rampaged through the biblical city, ostensibly for the purpose of arresting wanted activists.

The soldiers raided and burned down the home of Mohamed Shehadeh, a political activist affiliated with the Islamic Jihad organisation. Shehadeh described the attack on his home as a despicable and cowardly crime.

Here you have an army with tanks and helicopter gunships attacking a citizen's home, destroying everything inside and rendering a family of seven human beings homeless. This is not an army of soldiers; it is an army of Gestapo-like thugs and street criminals, Shehadeh said.

The incursion into Bethlehem coincided with two other incursions, one in Tulkarem and another in Qalqila, both of which were continuing as Al-Ahram Weekly' went to press.

A Palestinian citizen of Tulkarem described how Israeli soldiers vandalised his house. They raided our home before dawn, around 3.00am. They terrorised the kids and forced everybody into the bathroom, and then began breaking and smashing furniture, the television set and other electrical appliances. Even framed pictures and college diplomas were smashed. At 7.00am they left, leaving behind a devastated home. They also stole our money and valuables.

This week the Israeli occupation army killed at least 11 Palestinians, including an 11-year-old child and her aunt, two boys in Gaza, a newborn baby near Bethlehem, a middle-aged man in Tulkarem and an elderly man south of Jerusalem.

The most heinous killing took place on 25 May outside the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, when an Israeli tank fired an artillery shell on peasants harvesting their grain crop. The shell landed next to Kamila Abu Isa'ayed, 40, and her 11- year-old niece Anwa, killing them both instantly. The ensuing fire incinerated their bodies beyond recognition.

As usual, the Israeli army said it was investigating the incident, but insisted that the soldiers made no mistake. The Israeli media claimed the soldiers saw suspicious objects and had to respond in time.

Another Palestinian, a baby in his mother's womb, died soon after Fadya Najajra was forced to give birth at an Israeli army roadblock outside the village of Nahalin, having been denied access to a hospital in nearby Bethlehem.

The murderous cycle continued. On 27 May, a Palestinian suicide bomber from Nablus blew himself up in the small town of Petah Tekva, east of Tel Aviv, killing himself and two Israelis, an elderly woman and a child.

On 22 May, the Israeli army had assassinated Mahmoud Titi of the Balata refugee camp, the suicide bomber's cousin.

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, again blamed for the bombing by the Israeli government, condemned the attack, saying it was a terrorist act against civilians that brings more harm than good to the Palestinian cause.

This attack and the previous one on 22 May in Rishon Letzion, south of Tel Aviv, in which three Israelis were killed, were carried out by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the military wing of Fatah.

A spokesman for the group said Fatah would be willing to stop attacking Israeli civilians if Israel stopped attacking Palestinian civilians.

This and a similar offer by Hamas were rebuffed by the Israeli government.