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From janet@wwpublish.com Sun Oct 8 10:31:13 2000
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2000 23:13:54 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: U.S. Gives Green Light to Israeli Repression
Article: 106209
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

U.S. Gives green light to Israel repression: Palestinian uprising defends sovereignty

By Richard Becker, Workers World,
12 October 2000

Provoked by a fascist politician and fired on by occupation troops, the Palestinian people have launched a new uprising—a new Intifada. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in virtually every town of the West Bank and Gaza, as well as inside the 1948 borders of Israel. They have reminded the United States, Israel and the world that their just demands cannot be ignored or shunted aside.

By Oct. 4, the Israeli occupation army had reportedly killed 54 Palestinians and wounded more than 1,300 in six days as they fired indiscriminately into crowds of demonstrating youths. But the unprecedented use of heavy combat weapons by the U.S.-armed Israeli Army failed to break the protests.

On the contrary, the demonstrations have grown. More guns have begun to appear on the Palestinian side, some in the hands of Palestinian Authority police who have often fought alongside the demonstrators. A small number of Israelis have been killed in the fighting, and more than a hundred have been injured.

Heavy sustained fighting has taken place in many cities and towns, including Nablus, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Hebron and many locations in Gaza.

On Oct. 2 alone, the Israeli Army shot and killed at least 19 Palestinians, nine of them in predominantly Palestinian cities and towns such as Uhm Al-Fahm and Nazareth in the Galilee region of northern Israel. It was the biggest single- day death toll among Palestinians living inside Israel since 1956.

The uprising by Israeli Arabs, as the U.S. corporate media usually call them, sent shock waves through Israeli society. Comprising over 18 percent of the population—1 million people—these Palestinians supposedly have equality in Israel. In reality, they are treated like third-class citizens and suffer extreme discrimination, poverty and unemployment.

Fighting broke out again on Oct. 3 in Jenin, Ramallah, Nablus, Gaza and elsewhere, just a few hours after a cease- fire agreement was to have taken effect.


The event that triggered the uprising—the most widespread since the Intifada of 1987-1991—was a provocative visit Sept. 28 by the Israeli fascist Ariel Sharon to the main Muslim holy site in Palestinian East Jerusalem. The Al-Aksa and Dome of the Rock mosques are both located on the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) plaza, which for many years has been under the administration and security of Islamic authorities.

Sharon's invasion of the site was okayed in advance by Israeli authorities. He was escorted into the area by 1,000 Israeli troops.

This was a clear provocation, accentuated by Sharon's brutal record. Blandly described in most U.S. media as an opposition leader or as holding hawkish views, Sharon is both an advocate and a perpetrator of genocide against the Palestinians.

Sharon has long called for Israel's retention of all of occupied Palestine and the expulsion of the Palestinians. The removal of a people from their homeland is defined as genocide under international law.

But Sharon is most hated for his role in the Sabra and Shatila massacres in Lebanon.

In 1982 Israel, with full backing from Washington, launched a massive invasion of Lebanon. Its goal was to destroy the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Lebanese National Movement. Intensive Israeli bombing killed more than 30,000 Lebanese and Palestinians—mostly civilians.

During the Israeli occupation of Beirut under Sharon's command, Lebanese fascists were allowed to enter two Palestinian refugee camps, Sabra and Shatila, and carry out a mass slaughter of the inhabitants. More than 2,000 children, women and men were murdered in three days. The residents of Sabra and Shatila were families expelled from Palestine in 1948 to make way for the creation of Israel.

Even an official Israeli tribunal found Sharon responsible for this atrocity. But the war criminal suffered no punishment for his acts, and within a few years he was once again a cabinet minister.

In the late 1990s, as part of Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud government, Sharon was minister of housing. He conducted a massive Israeli settlement-building program on seized Palestinian lands in the West Bank.

The appearance of this bloody racist killer in the heart of East Jerusalem, at one of Islam's most revered sites, did not, and could not, go unanswered. Hundreds of Palestinians fought back.

The next day, Sept. 29, was a Friday, and an estimated 20,000 people came to Haram al-Sharif for prayers. They found 2,000 Israeli troops surrounding the area.

This new provocation proved beyond any doubt that the Israeli government as a whole wanted to ignite a conflict—not just Sharon.


Thousands of Palestinians, mostly youths but including people of all ages, joined in the struggle.

Their stones were answered with rifle fire from the Israeli troops, who used both rubber-jacketed steel bullets and live ammunition.

Six Palestinians were killed and more than 200 were wounded that day, including several who had their eyes shot out by rubber bullets, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

On Sept. 30, the uprising spread to virtually every city, town and refugee camp in the West Bank and Gaza. In many areas, armed Palestinian Authority police and security forces fought side-by-side with the people against the Israeli occupiers, reportedly with the support of the PA leadership headed by Yasir Arafat.

The Israeli Army responded by bringing up battle tanks, using heavy machine guns and opening fire on the demonstrators from helicopter gunships. Anti-tank missiles were fired into Palestinian buildings, destroying apartment complexes and PA structures in Gaza. Thirty-five Palestinians were injured after an anti-armor missile hit one building.

But despite the overwhelming firepower and heavy casualties, the Palestinians—most armed only with stones—displayed incredible courage and determination.

At the Netzarim Junction, Palestinian youths and police stormed an Israeli police station. The occupation troops retaliated by firing rockets, destroying two apartment buildings. In the West Bank town of Tulkarem, four Israeli factories were torched.

Addameer, an Internet news summary posted by Ramallah activists, reported that Israeli troops tried to invade the town of Jenin Oct. 2 but were driven back. One Israeli soldier was critically wounded.

Two Israeli soldiers were killed in fighting in Beit Sahour, where Palestinians also repulsed an attempted invasion of the town.

Addameer also reported mass arrests of Palestinians inside the 1948 Israeli borders and in Kalandia, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Many other clashes were reported.


Just as Sharon could not have gone to Haram al-Sharif without the knowledge and support of the Israeli government, the Israelis would not have launched this massive, well- prepared attack without a green light from Washington.

Since the Camp David talks between Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and U.S. President Bill Clinton broke down this summer, Clinton's foreign policy team has blamed the Palestinians for being unreasonable. Yet it was the Israeli government that refused to concede Palestinian sovereignty over any part of East Jerusalem.

Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem in 1970 in violation of international law. All Palestinians consider Jerusalem to be their capital, and East Jerusalem is almost entirely Palestinian.

That latest U.S. propaganda blitz set the stage for the new Israeli attack.

In recent days the administration has publicly tried to equate the Israeli brutality and the Palestinian resistance. But as PA spokesperson Saeb Erekat said, decrying Clinton's call for a cease-fire, One side is shooting and one side is dying.

Clinton's comments on the death of 12-year-old Muhammed al- Durrah were especially cynical.

The boy's death was filmed by a French TV crew in Gaza as he and father attempted to shield themselves behind a stone block. Only the Israeli soldiers had guns at the site.

As his father frantically waved toward the Israelis, shouting, The boy, the boy, the Israelis opened a barrage of automatic weapons fire. Muhammed died and his father was badly wounded. The Israeli troops then shot and killed an ambulance driver attempting to aid the two.

What was Clinton's response? On Oct. 2, he appeared on national television to express his regrets for the boy killed in a crossfire.


The Israeli Army has been built up, armed, funded and supplied by the Pentagon for more than five decades. The tanks, helicopters, missiles and guns raining death on the Palestinians come from the United States. The U.S. government has played a key and irreplaceable role in keeping Israel afloat since its birth at the expense of the Palestinian people 52 years ago.

In the peace talks, Washington is anything but a neutral broker. It is the senior partner in a U.S./Israeli alliance. Washington's objective is not a just peace but an imperialist-led pacification of the entire Middle East.

The Israeli Army is trying to force the Palestinians to accept the peace terms that the PA refused at Camp David—in other words, surrender.

For 52 years, Israel and the United States have tried to accomplish this objective. Many times they have counted the Palestinians down and out. But the Palestinian people have shown amazing determination and resiliency.

In recent days, the Palestinians have written another chapter in their glorious history, and made it clear once more that without justice for their people, there will be no peace in the Middle East.