(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
M A Y S T O P B U L L
D O Z E R S
HOUSES BEING DEMOLISHED
Gush Shalom calls for
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 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
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
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 uprooted once.
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).
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 international bodies and media - using the following
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
of Israel to commit a war crime. For this premeditated crime nobody
in the hierarchy will be able to shrug off responsibility.
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
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
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
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>
Foreign Ministry <dover(at)mfa.gov.il>
UN Special Coordinator
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:
info(at)mail.idf.il, dover(at)mfa.gov.il, unsco(at)palnet.com,
+ bcc to:
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
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.
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 Friday.
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
"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 on Wednesday.
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.
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 of
"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
"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.
Remains identified Three of
the five soldiers killed in the attack will be buried Friday
afternoon, after forensic testing confirmed their identities late
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
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
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
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 unavoidable battle.
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.
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
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.
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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