Gita Hashemi on Tue, 9 Apr 2002 19:08:02 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] FWD: An appeal from Neta Golan from within the compound

Title: FWD: An appeal from Neta Golan from within the compoun
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From: "Gush Shalom" <
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Sent: Sunday, April 07, 2002 12:42 PM
Subject: [GushShalomPress] An appeal from Neta Golan from within the

 GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 -

 [The following article comes from Arafat's compound and was written by
Israeli  human
 shield activist Neta Golan, together with the journalist Ian Urbina. It is
a most powerfull
 appeal for international intervention. We found it on;
 it was published yesterday by Merip (Middle East Research and Information

 An Israeli View from Arafat's Compound Saturday, April 06 2002 @ 06:51 PM
 By Neta Golan and Ian Urbina 

 It is not Israeli actions which have surprised the international peace
observers currently
 holed up within Arafat's presidential compound. It is the inaction of the
 community that most shocks us. Inside the pock-marked building surrounded
by Israeli
 tanks and snipers, there is one question on everyone's mind: how many
international laws
 does Israel need to break before the UN demands a full and immediate
 The list of violations is reaching unprecedented levels, even for a
conflict with a long
 history of ugly behavior on both sides. International law absolutely
forbids the building of
 the settlements, but 34 new settlements have been constructed in this year
 Collective punishment is illegal. But Israel has now escalated from
interrupting food
 shipments to completely shutting off water to the Palestinian city of
 endangering the lives of 120,000 people. The shelling of innocuous
Palestinian civilian
 structures such as power plants, schools, and sewage facilities, is
occuring at an alarming
 rate. Unarmed civilians are being killed practically on a daily basis. 
 There are also growing reports of Israeli troops raiding hospitals and
firing on ambulances
 and journalists. These are grave breaches of international convention. The
 experience of American newspaper correspondent, Anthony Shadid, is hardly
 First, he was shot while in a zone under full Israeli control. The area
was quiet and there
 was no crossfire in which to be caught. Shadid was wearing the required
signs on his back
 and front indicating that he was with the official press as he walked away
from an interview
 in our building. Soon after Shadid arrived to the hospital, Israeli troops
raided it with
 machine guns drawn. He was subsequently transferred for further medical
treatment, and
 his ambulance came under fire by Israeli soldiers manning a checkpoint. 
 Israel is making a mockery of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the founding
legal document
 of international human rights law, and by its tacit acceptance, the UN is
severely eroding
 its credibility in the region and beyond. 
 Those of us inside the presidential compound need help desperately. But
not half as much
 as those on the outside who are facing the full brunt of the mass
round-ups and house-to-
 house raids. The situation can not deteriorate much further. Medical
supplies have run
 out. Food is scarce. 
 Pressure from abroad is essential, even when only on a person-by-person
basis. Boycotts
 and letter writing work. The presence of international "human shields"
throughout the
 Occupied Territories has been very important in limiting the
indiscriminate nature of Israeli
 military actions. But nothing short of a UN demand for a full withdrawal
to the 1967 UN
 recognized borders will succeed in restoring calm and opening the way for
 negotiations. Only then can there be discussion of the status of Jerusalem
and the
 Palestinian refugees. Simply pulling the troops out of the recently
invaded regions will not
 It is not just the Palestinians and foreigners within the compound who
have been calling
 for a full withdrawal. Even sectors within the Israeli military have put
forward this option as
 the only chance for peace and security for the Israeli people. In a formal
"Letter of Refusal"
 to Sharon, several hundred Israeli soldiers, most with combat experience,
advocated a full
 withdrawal and have stated their unwillingness to serve in the West Bank
or Gaza Strip. 
 But Sharon does not want to listen. And in the meantime we in the compound
are left, not
 without fear, wondering whether the international community will allow the
 expansion of the already illegal occupation and the exile if not
assasination of the
 Palestinian leader. 
 Neta Golan, an Israeli, is among the 40 international peace observers
occupying Arafat's
 besieged office. Ian Urbina is Associate Editor of Middle East Report, a
foreign policy
 magazine in Washington DC. This article was first published by the Middle
East Research
 and Information Project (MERIP) 

 NB: Full transcript of the war crimes panel available on the Gush site
     For Hebrew
     For English
     French available at request.

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We must organize against the seige of Palestinian people by the Israeli army. Our silence implicates us in the genocide.