Gush Shalom - Protest gegen die Häuserzerstörung
"Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc)" <info(at)gush-shalom.org>
14. Mai 2004 15:55:43 MESZ
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--
Prime Minister Sharon and Defence Minister Mofaz last night authorized
the army to demolish hundreds of Palestinian houses at Rafah, on the
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
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
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-controlled buffer zone -
"Philadelphi Route" so as to permanently cut off the Gaza Strip from all
access to the outside world - in effect turning
Gaza into a huge prison camp).
To remain updated look from time to time into: http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/427462.html
PLEASE BE CREATIVE ABOUT WHOM TO ALARM
To begin with: send an urgent protest to the government of Israel, with
copies to the relevant international bodies and
media - using the following sample letter.
I call upon you to immediately stop the demolition of dozens of
Palestinian homes going on at this
moment at Rafah in the
The authorization for the IDF to destroy hundreds of houses is an
authorization by the government of Israel to commit a
war crime. For this premeditated crime nobody in the hierarchy will be
able to shrug off responsibility.
The killing of Israeli soldiers in this vicinity offers no justification
for such an act, nor can it stop further bloodshed. Peace
and quiet can only beachieved by withdrwal of the occupation forces,
when the the Gaza Strip like the other parts of the
occupied territories become part of an independednt Palestinian state,
which like all sovereign states 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>
Secretary of State Colin Powell <secretaryofstate(at)USA.gov>
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
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,
+ bcc to:
BUT DON'T FORGET TO SEND MES.S.AGES BY SMS, PHONE, FAX AND EMAIL TO YOUR
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 own 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 Minister 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 Palestinians," one Israeli official said about the Philadelphi corridor where five troops were killed
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 uptwo days ago.
Left-wing lawmaker Yossi Sarid (Meretz) told Israel Radio that the mass
demolition of Palestinian buildings 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 Sharon has presented as a disengagement initiative to reduce points of
conflict with Palestinians after
three and a half years
"This is a catastrophe. At a time when the Israelis are speaking of
disengaging from Gaza this is really re-engaging," he said. "I hope that President Bush, who says he is
encouraged by disengagement, will interfere to stop the demolitions."
Palestinians carry out daily attacks against Israeli positions and
soldiers in the area adjoining Rafah refugee camp, where the army has already demolished hundreds of
homes in searches for arms smuggling tunnels.
"It's a major source of infiltration and smuggling of weapons. We've got
to stop it," said the official, 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.
Three of the five soldiers killed in the attack will be buried Friday
afternoon, after forensic testing 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 heels of the deaths of six soldiers, who were killed the previous day when
Palestinians bombed their APC in the Gaza City neighborhood of Zeitoun. At about 3 A.M. Thursday, representatives of the
Palestinian Red Crescent Society gave the IDF the remains of the soldiers killed Tuesday, after
Palestinian militants had threatened to use the body parts as ransom.
Corporal Elad Cohen, 20, of Jerusalem, will be buried 1 P.M. Friday at
the Mount Herzl military cemetery in the capital; Sergeant Lior Vishinski, 20, from Ramat Gan, will
be buried 2 P.M. Friday in
the Kiryat Shaul military 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 identities were confirmed, 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, 23, of Ashdod, and Sergeant Za'ur (Zohar) Smelev, 19, of Ofakim - have
not yet been confirmed. All five were killed during
a mission on the Philadelphi route to seek and destroy arms-smuggling
tunnels in Rafah, along the Egyptian 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 officials, said the war on terror will continue, utilizing all necessary means
in order to safeguard the security of Israeli citizens.
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 being carried out in a restrained 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
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
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
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