[R-G] [GushShalom] HELP STOP IT: MASS HOUSE DEMOLITION UNDERWAY
david.mcr at earthlink.net
Fri May 14 09:50:18 MDT 2004
> [Original Message]
> From: Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc) <info at gush-shalom.org>
> To: <gush-shalom-intl at mailman.gush-shalom.org>
> Date: 5/14/2004 2:56:27 PM
> Subject: [GushShalom] HELP STOP IT: MASS HOUSE DEMOLITION UNDERWAY
> GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 - www.gush-shalom.org/
> Y O U R P R O T E S T
> M A Y S T O P B U L L D O Z E R S
> HUNDREDS OF HOUSES BEING DEMOLISHED AT RAFAH
> Gush Shalom calls for worldwide campaign
> YOUR IMMEDIATE PROTEST MAY HELP LIMIT THE DAMAGE
> --SMS, PHONE, FAX AND EMAIL TO YOUR RELEVANT CONTACTS--
> International release
> Prime Minister Sharon and Defence Minister Mofaz last night authorized
> the army to demolish hundreds of Palestinian houses at Rafah, on the Gaza
> Strip's border with Egypt, so as to create a "sterile" zone hundreds of
> metres wide. This was reported on Kol Yirael radio by correspondent
> Shmuel Tal.
> The recent killing of five Israeli soldiers nearby is the pretetxt, but
in fact it is the implement
> ation of plans which the army
> formulated already in 2001, under then Southern Command General Yom Tov
Samiya, and which were carr
> ied out
> piecemeal over the past three years. (American peace activist Rachel
Corrie was killed when trying
> to block bulldozers
> carrying out such demolitions).
> While a mass protest rally is being prepared for tomorrow evening in
Tel-Aviv, Gush Shalom calls up
> on supporters of
> peace and justice worldwide to mobilize their governments and civic
organizations to act immediate
> ly and come out
> against this war crime while it is not yet fully perpetuated - the
premeditated massive destruction
> of homes, making
> hundreds of families homeless - most of them refugee families already
> Now is the last minute to act against the Sharon government's Grand
Design (to create an Israeli-co
> ntrolled buffer zone -
> "Philadelphi Route" so as to permanently cut off the Gaza Strip from all
access to the outside worl
> d - in effect turning
> Gaza into a huge prison camp).
> To remain updated look from time to time into:
> PLEASE BE CREATIVE ABOUT WHOM TO ALARM
> To begin with: send an urgent protest to the government of Israel, with
copies to the relevant inte
> rnational bodies and
> media - using the following sample letter.
> Dear Sir
> I call upon you to immediately stop the demolition of dozens of
Palestinian homes going on at this
> moment at Rafah in the
> Gaza Strip.
> The authorization for the IDF to destroy hundreds of houses is an
authorization by the government o
> f Israel to commit a
> war crime. For this premeditated crime nobody in the hierarchy will be
able to shrug off responsib
> The killing of Israeli soldiers in this vicinity offers no justification
for such an act, nor can i
> t stop further bloodshed. Peace
> and quiet can only beachieved by withdrwal of the occupation forces, when
the the Gaza Strip like t
> he other parts of the
> occupied territories become part of an independednt Palestinian state,
which like all sovereign sta
> tes must have free access
> to the outsdie world.
> NB: Start with sending it to the nearest Israeli Embassy:
> http://www.embassyworld.com/embassy/israel1.htm (It will be good when the
foreign ministry will be
> alarmed by many
> of its embassies)
> But send your letter ALSO by fax (the best) and/or email to:
> Prime Minster Ariel Sharon - email <pm_eng at pmo.gov.il>; fax +972 2
> Defence Minster Saul Mofaz - email <sar at mod.gov.il>; fax +972-3-6916940
> Foreign Minster Silvan Shalom - email <sar at mofa.gov.il>; fax +972-3-
> with copies to:
> President George W. Bush <president at whitehouse.gov>
> Fax: +1-202-456-2461
> Secretary of State Colin Powell <secretaryofstate at USA.gov>
> Fax: +1-202-261-8577
> Spokesperson of the Prime Minister <dover at pmo.gov.il>
> Spokesperson Defense Ministry <info at mail.idf.il>
> Spokesperson Foreign Ministry <dover at mfa.gov.il>
> UN Special Coordinator <unsco at palnet.com>
> State Departement <secretary at state.gov>
> European Union <mailto at delwbg.cec.eu.int>
> (MAYBE ADD HERE THE EMAIL OF YOUR LOCAL MEDIA)
> and with a blind copy to:
> Gush Shalom <info at gush-shalom.org>
> [for your conVenience, here follow the combined email addresses:
> pm_eng at pmo.gov.il, sar at mod.gov.il, sar at mofa.gov.il
> cc to:
> president at whitehouse.gov, secretaryofstate at USA.gov, dover at pmo.gov.il,
> info at mail.idf.il, dover at mfa.gov.il, unsco at palnet.com,
> secretary at state.gov, mailto at delwbg.cec.eu.int,
> + bcc to:
> info at gush-shalom.org ]
> BUT DON'T FORGET TO SEND MESSAGES BY SMS, PHONE, FAX AND EMAIL TO YOUR
> RELEVANT CONTACTS
> IDF to raze hundreds of Rafah homes; Sarid: Move would be war crime
> By Haaretz Service and Agencies
> Last Update: 14/05/2004 13:15
> IDF armored bulldozers Friday began demolishing buildings in the Rafah
> refugee camp, adjacent to the Philadelphi Route where five soldiers were
> killed in a Palestinian attack on Wednesday.
> Witnesses said bulldozers had demolished 10 houses and were threatening
> many more in the camp. Panic-stricken residents grabbed whatever
> belongings they could carry and fled, some waving white flags at
> approaching Israeli forces, the witnesses said.
> The army had no immediate comment.
> The IDF has plans to widen the flashpoint corridor it controls in
> southern Gaza along the Egyptian border and demolish dozens or even
> hundreds of Palestinian homes in the area, political sources said on
> Local Palestinian officials said the military tore down "dozens" of
> houses and shops in the Rafah camp, where 12 Palestinians were killed in
> Israeli missile strikes and exchanges of fire on Thursday.
> Four armed Palestinian militants were meanwhile reported killed
> overnight, three of them as they approached soldiers on guard along the
> Egyptian border and at least one other when a bomb he was carrying
> exploded in his ow
> n hands just outside the Rafah Yam settlement.
> The plan to expand the route was approved on Thursday at a high-level
meeting attended by Prime Min
> ister Ariel Sharon, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and other top officials.
> "It's a measure that we are taking to provide better protection for
armored personnel carriers and
> the soldiers, and to reshape that theatre of war so we will enjoy an
advantage and not the Palestin
> ians," one Israeli offi
> cial said about the Philadelphi corridor where five troops were killed on
> An Israeli political source said the army intends to destroy "dozens or
perhaps hundreds" of homes
> and widen the 9-km long buffer zone once soldiers complete a search in
the area for the remains of
> their comrades blown up
> two days ago.
> Left-wing lawmaker Yossi Sarid (Meretz) told Israel Radio that the mass
demolition of Palestinian b
> uildings along the route would be a war crime and warned against "razing
half of the town of Rafah.
> Palestinian cabinet minister Saeb Erekat condemned the plan as a "total
contradiction" to what Shar
> on has presented as a disengagement initiative to reduce points of
conflict with Palestinians after
> three and a half years
> of fighting.
> "This is a catastrophe. At a time when the Israelis are speaking of
disengaging from Gaza this is r
> eally re-engaging," he said. "I hope that President Bush, who says he is
encouraged by disengagemen
> t, will interfere to st
> op the demolitions."
> Palestinians carry out daily attacks against Israeli positions and
soldiers in the area adjoining R
> afah refugee camp, where the army has already demolished hundreds of
homes in searches for arms smu
> ggling tunnels.
> "It's a major source of infiltration and smuggling of weapons. We've got
to stop it," said the offi
> cial, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
> Israel Defense Forces troops were resuming searches Friday morning for
the remains of soldiers kill
> ed Wednesday during an attack on their armored personnel carrier on the
Philadelphi route in the so
> uthern Gaza Strip.
> Remains identified
> Three of the five soldiers killed in the attack will be buried Friday
afternoon, after forensic tes
> ting confirmed their identities late Thursday night.
> A total of 11 IDF soldiers were killed in Gaza this week, with
Wednesday's attack coming on the hee
> ls of the deaths of six soldiers, who were killed the previous day when
Palestinians bombed their A
> PC in the Gaza City nei
> ghborhood of Zeitoun. At about 3 A.M. Thursday, representatives of the
Palestinian Red Crescent Soc
> iety gave the IDF the remains of the soldiers killed Tuesday, after
Palestinian militants had threa
> tened to use the body p
> arts as ransom.
> Corporal Elad Cohen, 20, of Jerusalem, will be buried 1 P.M. Friday at
the Mount Herzl military cem
> etery in the capital; Sergeant Lior Vishinski, 20, from Ramat Gan, will
be buried 2 P.M. Friday in
> the Kiryat Shaul milita
> ry cemetery; and Sergeant-Major Aiman Gadir, 24, of Bir Makhsur, will be
buried 2 P.M. Friday at th
> e cemetery in his hometown.
> Chief military chaplain Rabbi Yisrael Weiss was involved in the tests to
confirm their identities,
> which were carried out in the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu
Kabir, in Tel Aviv. After the i
> dentities were confirme
> d, Weiss went to the homes of the soldiers killed to inform the families
of a formal declaration of
> death, allowing for the soldiers to buried.
> The identities of the bodies of the other two soldiers killed Wednesday -
Lieutenant Aviv Hakani, 2
> 3, of Ashdod, and Sergeant Za'ur (Zohar) Smelev, 19, of Ofakim - have not
yet been confirmed. All f
> ive were killed during
> a mission on the Philadelphi route to seek and destroy arms-smuggling
tunnels in Rafah, along the E
> gyptian border.
> Meanwhile, at least 12 Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israel
Defense Forces troops in the
> Gaza Strip during fierce fighting Thursday.
> Mofaz: IDF operations in Gaza essential
> Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Thursday that the 11 soldiers killed in
separate APC bombings in
> the Gaza Strip over the past two days died in an essential and
> Mofaz, speaking at a press conference in Tel Aviv, said Israel Defense
Forces efforts to bring the
> troops to proper burial continue amid constant fighting.
> Mofaz, who met earlier Thursday with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and
high-ranking security official
> s, said the war on terror will continue, utilizing all necessary means in
order to safeguard the se
> curity of Israeli citiz
> He added that no one intends to flee from the Gaza Strip.
> Troops took control of several houses in the Rafah area in order to
protect the soldiers searching
> for any remains of the soldiers, Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon said,
adding that the operation was b
> eing carried out in a r
> estrained manner to avoid civilian casualties.
> Also Thursday, Sharon thanked Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for the
> assistance his country has given Israel in helping recover the remains of
> the soldiers killed this week.
> Sharon also extended his thanks to the head of the Egyptian intelligence
> services, Omar Suleiman, for making a special effort to recover the
> Mubarak told Sharon of his wish to tighten cooperation between the two
> countries and advance Sharon's plan to disengage from the Gaza Strip and
> part of the West Bank.
> Ya'alon said Thursday the Egyptians were conducting searches and allowing
> IDF troops to search for the remains inside Egyptian territory. Sources
> in the Palestinian Authority said that to the best of their knowledge,
> Palestinian organizations were not in possession of any remains from
> Wednesday's attack.
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