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Israel Should Not Be Condemned  for Fighting Terrorism

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. How the Arab-Israeli Conflict Is Viewed
  3. US Criticizes “Operation Rainbow in a Cloud”
  4. Israel Takes a Political Hit after Attacking Terrorism in Rafiah
  5. A History Lesson about Palestine
  6. Terrorists Use Human Shields
  7. Palestinians Called To Rafiah Battleground
  8. If Egypt Would Make An Effort, Maybe Israel Would Not Have To
  9. Demolition of Homes Is Not A Violation of International Law
  10. Why The IDF Was In Gaza?
  11. The History of Smuggling through the Tunnels in Rafiah
  12. Israel Does Not Have A Partner In The Peace Process
  13. VOICE OF PALESTINE  – the Voice of Terror
  14. Palestinian Terrorists Employ Abhorrent And Inhumane Methods
  15. Blame on Terror Handed to Israel
  16. Media Distortion of Operation Rainbow In a Cloud
  17. The World Shouldn't Condemn Israel's Fight Against Terrorism
  18. References

Executive Summary  

During “Operation Rainbow in a Cloud,” Israel took action against one of the greatest threats to itself and its citizens— the tunnels under the Philadelphi Route that cuts through the Palestinian and Egyptian town of Rafiah. (1)  

Katyusha rockets, mortars, shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank grenades, large amounts of explosives, ammunition, and rifles are just some of the items that are smuggled via the tunnels to terrorists in the Gaza strip. (2)  Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, and Libya are the sources of the arms.  Because the Israeli Navy's successful attempts to block Palestinian attempts to smuggle weapons via the sea, underground smuggling has become necessary.     

As a result of Israel's action to destroy the tunnels, the European Union (EU), the United States (US), the United Nations (UN), the Arab world and many nations of the world condemned Israel for its actions.  Contrary to the claims of the EU, UN, the Arab world, as well as many nations of the world led by the media, Israel's measures are not a form of “collective punishment; with the intention to cause the population at large deliberate hardships.  Instead it is self-defense in order to reduce the terrorist threat against innocent Israeli men, women and children.  To minimize the effects of the security measures on the civilian population not involved in terrorism whereever possible, even in the midst of military operations, Israeli security forces go to great lengths.   

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How the Arab-Israeli Conflict Is Viewed  

More often than not both the US and international media have presented a sympathetic viewpoint of the Palestinian terrorists cause.  Instead of considering a critical assessment of the true cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict, they have wrongly decided to vilify Israel as it fights for survival against its brutal terrorist enemy.  

The true nature of the problem is the Arab nationalist ideology.  (3)  Through demagoguery and lies utilizing the ideology of Arab nationalism the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Arab nations of the region maintain their power structure.  Powerful inducement to the Palestinians to maintain the status quo can be found in many years of indoctrination plus tradition, repression and fear.  Through the help of the media as well as many nations of the world, the PA continues to scapegoat Israel in order to survive and promote their behavior and propaganda.  

The goal of the Palestinians lead by Yassir Araft is to keep the conflict ongoing until the final total victory is achieved by the elimination of Israel or only accepting an agreement easy to use for launching another round to achieve a similar outcome. (4)  For example, in 2000 when offered serious proposals for peace at Camp David and a plan for peace by President Bill Clinton, Arafat rejected them.  In the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israel is not the cause but is the victim, yet the media and the nations of the world continue to portray Israel as the aggressor when it is acting in self-defense against terrorism.  Tragically, Israel is suffering from the symptoms of what the Palestinians term as the “peace process” terrorism—even though Israel has taken risks to avoid the end of this process based on a Palestinian state and to end violence.   

Compared to other nations of the world, Israel as it fights terrorism has exhibited more restraint and conscience than any other nation in a similar circumstance would have.   

The media and the world must begin to accept that Israel is a partner in the war on terrorism and that its enemy is brutal and nefarious that exploits misleading propaganda to portray Israel as evil.   

As a result of international pressure Israeli ground forces have been severely restricted from totally eliminating the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure in the southern Gaza border town of Rafiah as Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) withdrew on May 24, 2004.  (5)  

A weeklong assault on the Palestinian weapon smuggling operations in Rafiah came to an end as the IDF left the region.   Gaza-based terrorists had been supplied with weapons by as many as 90 tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt brought in through the Sinai Peninsula. (6)  

During “Operation Rainbow in a Cloud”, 56 buildings were demolished and 41 armed Arab gunmen and 12 unarmed civilians were killed reported Israeli military officials. (7)  Most of these ruined buildings were acting as a cover to manufacture weapons and to conceal arms-smuggling tunnels.  

The international community and media launched a scathing attack on Israel following the unintentional deaths of a handful of “Palestinian” civilians that resulted in a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel's anti-terror efforts.  

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US Criticizes “Operation Rainbow in a Cloud”  

Israel's actions in Gaza had worsened the humanitarian situation and did not improve its security situation according to the White House's response to Israel's recent military offensive which is to combat terrorism after an attack killed at least 10 Palestinian demonstrators on May 19, 2004.  

The Bush administration said in a statement that it deeply regretted ”the loss of life of innocent Palestinian civilians today in Gaza,” and said the deaths “serve as a grave reminder of the wisdom” of Israel pulling out of Gaza. [To view the full statement by the Press Secretary]  (8)  

Israel was also criticized by US Secretary of State Colin Powell who said, “The activities of the Israeli defense forces in Gaza in recent days have caused a problem and have worsened the situation.” (9)  Israel's actions in Gaza have made it more difficult for the US to move the peace process forward Secretary Powell said at a news conference on May 19, 2004.  Israel's operations in Gaza do not serve the purpose of peace and security the White House said in a statement late on May 19, 2004.  According to the statement, issued by the White House press office without any signature, “They have worsened the humanitarian situation and resulted in confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinians and have not, we believe, enhanced Israel's security.”  Also, the White House statement said Israel should withdraw from Gaza. (10)  

After a Cabinet meeting at the White House on May 19, 2004, President Bush told reporters “I continue to urge restraint.  It is essential that people respect innocent life in order for us to achieve peace.” (11)  

After Secretary Powell spoke by telephone to Dov Weisglass, who is Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's chief of staff, he told reporters at the State Department “Israel has explained it was not a planned act.  Nevertheless, it does not assist us in trying to move forward.” (12)  

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Israel Takes a Political Hit after Attacking Terrorism in Rafiah  

The criticisms of President Bush and Secretary Powell were reflected at the UN regarding an Arab resolution condemning Israeli's action.  On May 19, 2004, with a rare US abstention, the UN Security Council voted 14-0 to call on Israel “not to undertake demolition of homes” in Rafiah, Gaza. (13)  

Although the U.S. had vetoed several others, it was the first abstention by the US on a resolution brought by Arab nations targeting Israel since the September 24, 2003 Israeli incursion into Ramallah.  

Israel was told to “respect its obligations under international law and insisted, in particular, on its obligation not to undertake demolition of homes contrary to that law,” in the resolution that first recalled the Rafiah demolitions. (14)  

Also expressed in the U.N. measure was the “grave concern regarding the humanitarian situation for Palestinians made homeless in the Rafiah area.”  It called “for the cessation of violence” and for both Israelis and Palestinians “to immediately implement their obligations under the Roadmap,” sponsored by the Quartet which consists of the US, UN, EU and Russia.    

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a statement through his spokesman who said Annan, “Strongly condemns the killing and injury of Palestinian demonstrators in Southern Gaza,” shortly prior to the 5:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) vote. (15)  

The US decision to allow passage of the UN resolution condemning Israel encouraged Arab diplomats and they hoped it signaled a tougher stance against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.  

Despite the U.S. abandonment of Israel, some Arabs wanted to see something even stronger from the United States.  The US abstention in the UN vote was a positive signal, but the Bush administration needed to go further to be perceived as an “honest broker” in Mideast peace efforts according to Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa speaking at a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Tunisia on May 21, 2004. (16)  Moussa told The Associated Press, “I hope that this is a message that would stress there is a change in American policy.  Abstention is definitely better than the usual veto that hampers the UN in dealing with major issues of human rights in occupied territories.” (17)  

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A History Lesson about Palestine  

What must be made clear from the onset regarding statements by Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa and other Arabs is that the territories are occupied by the Palestinians and not Israel.   For years the Arab world has said that Israel is occupying Palestinian land but the term “Palestine” referred exclusively to the ancient land of the Jews up until the twentieth century. (18)  Only Jews had been called a Palestinian people until the 1900's.  The first official reference to the Jews as Palestians came after the outcome of World War I during the Versailles Conference held between 1919 and 1923. (19)  Unlike other people at the time the Jews were a scattered nation, exiled for many centuries from their homeland making their case unique.  At the beginning of the twentieth century the judgment of the civilized world was not affected as it is today and the world believed the Jews were entitled to a land of their own.  Furthermore, in their ancient homeland, Palestine, which up to 1918 was controlled by the crumbling Ottoman Empire, was widely recognized as being entitled to restore its national life. (20)  According to Versailles conference the Jewish people would be allowed to build a nation in the land of Palestine that was understood to be comprised of both sides of the Jordan River.  The territory of the present-day states of Jordan and Israel were included in this area, now referred to as Mandatory Palestine the area in which Britain was charged in 1920 to secure a Jewish national homeland. (21)  From a historical aspect, the name Palestine is derived from the Philistines, a seafaring people around 1200 BC that invaded the coast of the land of Canaan, shortly after the Jewish conquest overland from the east.  The name Palestine was invented to replace Judea, the historic name of the country by the Roman Empire, who were bent on destroying every vestige of Jewish attachment to the land.  (22)   

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Terrorists Use Human Shields  

The President, Secretary of State and UN Secretary-General failed to mention in their condemnation of Israel that when at least 10 Palestinians where killed on the afternoon of May 19, 2004, a group of armed terrorist used a hundred-strong mob of civilians as cover to advance on IDF troops conducting operations in the southern Gaza border town of Rafiah.  

According to an official statement released by the IDF, an aerial video surveillance of the area shows that an Israeli Apache gunship fired a warning missile into an empty field in order to deter the procession.(23)  Field commanders, fearing a major assault on their troops that would have turned into a bloody pitched battle when the mob continued to move on Israeli soldiers, directed gunfire at an abandoned building near the Palestinians' machine gun fire and four tank shells.  

Several people were killed and many more were wounded at that point.  However, after reviewing the surveillance tapes it seemed highly unlikely the causalities were caused by Israeli fire said the IDF spokesman.  

Furthermore, the path taken by the mob was an area “rigged with explosive charges planted by the Palestinians” noted the army. (24)  

Immediately, following the incident, Israel took the humanitarian initiative and “approached the Palestinians and offered medical assistance, including the evacuation of the casualties to Israeli hospitals,” said the army. (25)  

What is important to note in this situation is that armed combatants are forbidden to use unarmed civilians as human shields in a combat situation according to the Fourth Geneva Convention.  Arab-Palestinians did just that.  In such a situation responsibility lies with the offending party (the Arabs) for any civilian deaths, not the defending army (the Israelis). (26)  

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Palestinians Called To Rafiah Battleground  

Although the PA knew that Rafiah was the site of an armed battle between the Israeli army and Palestinian terrorists, the PA had been calling since May 17, 2004 for “women, children and elderly" to stand in front of Israeli bulldozers and tanks in Rafiah. (27)  

In these military situations, the PA has consistently urged civilians to put themselves on the front line.  The PA-controlled daily newspaper in this case, called specifically to enter the fray “woman, children, and elderly.”  What the world and the media continued to wrongly deny is that ultimately responsible for the fate of the civilians placed on the battlefield was the PA.  

In the May 17, 2004, edition of PA daily Al-Ayyam, the leaders had called for “women, children and elderly” to make an “impassable barrier” in Rafiah. (28)  The stage for the accident on May 19, 2004, was set when the call was answered, and thousand of civilians marched into the heart of the battle after being ordered by their own leadership to face the danger.   

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If Egypt Would Make An Effort, Maybe Israel Would Not Have To

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said “I hope the [the Americans] finally realize that support of Israel under the pretext of self-defense is leaving the Israelis to commit more and more acts of aggression and further complicates and inflames the situation. (29)  However, if Egypt would abide by its treaty with Israel, it is quite possible the IDF “Operation Rainbow in a Cloud” in Rafiah to destroy the terrorist infrastructure would have not had to occur.  The smuggling of weapons from Egypt to Gaza has not been deterred by Egypt.  In order to stop the smuggling the current treaty with Israel and Egypt allows Egypt to send unlimited numbers of police armed with assault rifles to the border area.  Stopping the smuggling of strategic weapons such as anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles and Katyushas rockets that are on the Egyptian side of the border into Gaza was the goal of the IDF operation that occurred in the Gaza Strip.  This could be avoided if Egypt were to flood the border area with police, seize the weapons and detain the smugglers. (30)  

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Demolition of Homes Is Not A Violation of International Law    

On May 17, 2004, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged Israel to stop bulldozing homes in Rafiah saying the demolitions violated international law and inhibited UN refugee workers from doing their job.(31)  Annan told reporters at UN headquarters, “I appeal to the Israeli government to stop this destruction, which is against international humanitarian law.  I am really distressed that the destruction of houses continues.” (32)  Annan also said that the bulldozing was making it very difficult for United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), that aids Palestinian refugees, to carry out its activities, “It is causing a very difficult and painful situation for the people of Palestinian.” (33)  It is unfortunate in this situation that Secretary-General Kofi Annan lacks the proper perspective.  If the Palestinians were truly interested in Peace with Israel, they would stop their terrorist activities and pursue the peace process.  Instead they continue to murder innocent Israeli men, women, and children.  The reason Israel is engaged in Rafiah is to fight its war on terrorism which one would think that the Secretary-General would be for.  But the exception for Secretary-General Annan must be that when Jews are killed it is not terrorism.  

Also, on May 17, 2004, Israel's demolition of Palestinian homes in Gaza was condemned by the EU foreign ministers who demanded an immediate cessation to the action  (34) They said in a statement issued at their monthly meeting, “The Council condemned the large scale demolition of Palestinian houses in the Rafiah district of Gaza as disproportionate and in conflict with international law.” The Council called on the Israeli government to cease such demolitions immediately.” (35)  

On May 16, 2004, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell rebuked Israel for its policy of destroying Palestinian homes which he said was counterproductive to US efforts to generate new movement on a stalled plan for Middle East peace.  It is hard to believe that after almost four years as Secretary of State, Mr. Powell has not learned that their never was a peace plan.  Israel wants peace and many times has agreed to give land for peace.  However, for the Palestinians, a peace plan is the systematic destruction of Israel so that eventually they can destroy it and claim Israel's land for their own.  Secretary Powell said in Jordan during a whirlwind 24-hour visit for a World Economic Forum meeting, “ We oppose the destruction of homes.  We don't think that is productive. We know that Israel has a right for self-defense, but the kind of actions that they are taking in Rafiah, the destruction of Palestinian homes, we oppose.” (36)  He said at a news conference at a Dead Sea resort, “The US is anxious to do everything that it can to stop this cycle of strike and counterstrike that has resulted in the loss of so many lives within the last week.”  

And finally Israel, on May 17, 2004, was criticized for its plan for the demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafiah by US National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice.  The US had told Israel “That some of their actions don't create the best atmosphere," said Rice speaking in Berlin after a meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia. (37)  She added, “It's a subject of conversation and it's a subject of concern.” (38)  

Contrary, to any notion of morality, and in a grave breach of the international laws of armed conflict, the Palestinian terrorists employ the most abhorrent and inhuman methods, including suicide terrorists in order to target Israeli civilians.  Abusing the protection granted by international law to the civilian population the Palestinian terrorists operate from within densely populated areas.  (39)  

Israel has been compelled to combat the threat to lives of Israelis, exercising its right to self-defense while upholding its obligation under international law as a result of the Palestinian leadership unwillingness to comply with its obligations to fight terrorism, stop incitement and prevent the smuggling of weapons.  The demolition of structures that pose a real security risk to Israeli forces is one such security measure.  

Often, from within homes and civilian structures, terrorists operate.  Military necessity dictates the demolition of these locations when terrorists fire from within these buildings or activate roadside charges from orchards and fields.  

These locations are considered legitimate targets under International Law.  In the midst of combat therefore, Israeli security forces may lawfully destroy structures used by terrorists when dictated by operational necessity.  

The use made by terrorist groups of civilian buildings in order to conceal openings of tunnels used to smuggle arms, explosives and terrorists from Egypt into the Gaza Strip is a further instance necessitating the demolition of buildings.  Also, buildings in the West Bank and Gaza Strip similarly are used for the manufacturing and concealment of explosive devices, weapons, rockets, and mortars to be used against Israel.  Often, the only way to combat this threat is the demolition of these structures.  

The demolition of homes of terrorists who have carried out suicide attacks or other grave attacks, or those who are responsible for sending suicide bombers on their deadly mission is another means employed by Israel.  

In its war against terrorism Israel has few available and effective means.  To provide effective deterrence of the perpetrators and their dispatchers, not as a punitive measure, this option is employed.  Israel's High Court of Justice has reviewed this practice and has upheld it.  

To the rules of International Humanitarian Law Israeli security forces adhere to them.  And in hundreds of Petitions made annually by Palestinians and human rights organizations they are subject to the scrutiny of Israel's High Court of Justice.

Contrary to the claims of the Arab world, the Palestinians, and many nations of the world led by the media, Israel's measures are not a form of “collective punishment” with the intention to cause a large deliberate hardship to any group of people.  The hardships to the sector of the Palestinian population that result are not the intent of Israel which is taking security measures in self-defense necessitated by terrorist threats in the area.  To minimize the effects of security measures on the civilian population not involved in terrorism where ever possible, even in the midst of military operations, Israeli security forces go to great lengths. 

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Why The IDF Was In Gaza?  

The White House has wrongly stated that Israel's actions in Gaza will not improve its security.  One of the greatest threats to Israel and its citizens is that Israeli forces have to contend with tunnels under the Philadelphi Route that cuts through the Palestinian and Egyptian town of Rafiah. (40) Built from inside Palestinian homes in Rafiah, the tunnels (which can reach up to hundreds of meters) have been built by Palestinians to smuggle vast amounts of weapons.  Also, to military posts located along the narrow Philadelphi Route, which under the Oslo Accords remains under Israeli control, some of the tunnels are booby trapped, packed with hundred of kilograms of explosives.  

Katyusha rockets, mortars, shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank grenades, large amounts of explosives, ammunition, and rifles are just some of the items that are smuggled via the tunnels to terrorists in the Gaza strip. (41)  Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, and Libya are the sources of the arms.  As a result of the Israeli Navy's successful attempts to block Palestinians attempts to smuggle weapons via the sea, the underground smuggling is necessary.   During the past three and half years almost 100 tunnels have been uncovered and destroyed by the IDF and this year alone 11 tunnels have been destroyed.  

The tunnels are operated by professional smugglers who purchase weapons from dealers on the Egyptian side and then sell them in the Gaza Strip to terrorists.  Local homeowners willing to allow tunnels to be dug either inside their homes or in their yards are identified by these professional smugglers.  Monthly, roughly $1,000 is offered to those who agree. And further compensation and assistance from the PA is received by the homeowners which helps to rebuild their homes in Rafiah's Tel Sultan neighborhood if the tunnel is detected and their home is demolished by the IDF. (42)  

When the Bush administration said in a statement on May 19, 2004 that Israel should withdraw from Gaza, once again it demonstrated that the White House does not clearly comprehend the complexity of the situation.  For example, control over most of the Gaza Strip was granted the PA by the Oslo Accords signed in 1994-1995.(43)  The IDF will continue to control a narrow strip between the area under Palestinian control and the border with Egypt, called the “Philadelphi Route.” And the agreement specifies that the towns of Palestinian Rafiah and Egyptian Rafiah are on both sides of the route.  

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The History of Smuggling through the Tunnels in Rafiah  

The area has been used for smuggling and rapidly has become the main pipeline for transporting into the Gaza Strip weapons and ammunition during the ensuing years.  Accounting for the majority of the weapons in the Gaza Strip are the smuggled weapons in the Gaza Strip, which are used for carrying out attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers.  The area is currently being used for smuggling weapons, goods, drugs and lately human beings.  

As a result of the city's economic condition and geographic location the smuggling business started during the 1980's in Rafiah.  In the past, smuggling is carried out mainly through tunnels dug under the border.  

Also, developing simultaneously with the smuggling industry in the area was the radical Islamic infrastructure which increased involvement in terrorist and smuggling activity of the residents.  

An important factor causing local residents and families to become involved in the smuggling industry of weapons and ammunition is the economic element. As a result, a large-scale smuggling industry developed in Rafiah during this time period.  

A primary source of income for entire families and the main source of income in the area is this industry.  A power struggle has been raging between different clans and tribes over control of the smuggling as a result of the lucrative economic aspects of this industry.  

Arriving at Sinai beaches have been the weapons, and from there they are transported to the Gaza strip.  Such activities have been financed almost entirely by Iran and organized via Damascus, Syria, and Lebanon with the aid of the Hezbollah. (44)  

To arm its members throughout the Gaza Strip the Hamas terrorist organization utilizes the Rafiah area.  Senior Hamas members and terrorist organizations in various countries which transport weapons through the Gaza Strip via Rafiah tunnels aid this effort.  Also, against IDF forces in the area, it carries out hostile terrorist activity.(45)   

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has smuggled weapons and explosives to the Gaza strip during the current armed conflict. (46)  As part of Iranian efforts to bolster the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip this effort is aided by Iranian officials.  To the PFLP, Iranian officials have smuggled weapons and with supporters based in Egypt maintain close contact.  Also, to further anti-Israeli attacks Iran is using the tunnels in the Gaza strip claimed Israel on May 19, 2004. (47)  Israel's UN ambassador Dan Gillerman told the UN Security Council after the resolution vote “Today, Israel stands at the gates of hell in the Gaza Strip.  The southern city of Rafiah serves as the arms smuggling gateway of the PA and the main pipeline for transporting weapons and ammunition into Gaza.”  

The tunnels “have been used by Iran and Hezbollah, as well as by Palestinian terrorist organizations like Hamas and the PFLP for turning the Gaza Strip into a base for missiles and rocket attacks against Israeli targets, “ said Israeli Ambassador Gillerman. (48)  

Since the beginning of the current armed conflict, the PA has aided the above-mentioned terrorist activity.  The PA, for example, has encouraged residents to conceal in their homes tunnels which result in the demolition of their homes.  Furthermore, according to a senior official on Israeli Army Radio on May 23, 2004, PA police are transferring weapons to terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip to assist in their fight against the Israeli army. (49)  Senior Israeli defense officials have charged that the PA security services in the Gaza Strip distributed arms to Hamas and Islamic Jihad gunmen. (50)  

The PA ‘s National Security Service, headed by General Abdul Razek Majaideh and the regular PA police, headed by Razi Jabali were specifically accused by the officials. (51)  

In response, the IDF operation has forced the security services to abandon posts in Rafiah, and in some cases, organizations such as Hamas simply raided the empty posts said Palestinian security officials. They admit however, in response to the growing anger of Rafiah residents over the IDF operation and the PA's inability to stop it, there were also cases in which the security services distributed arms to terrorist organizations.   

One Palestinian source said, “If the [security] services hadn't given the weapons to the [terrorist] organizations, the organizations would have seized the weapons by force.” (52)  

Currently, an ample windfall, as well as the construction of a new home built of concrete in the neighborhood of Tel-Sultan by the PA is the reward for the demolition of a home in which a tunnel has been uncovered. (53)   Furthermore, this has resulted in order to receive compensation from the PA after their home is demolished residents to begin to construct factious tunnels and spread rumors about tunnels located under their homes.  Therefore, the smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip is encouraged by the PA.  

The PA failed to deal with the smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip as it should have during the entire cease-fire period.  Instead, this smuggling in the Gaza Strip has served to strengthen the terrorist infrastructure in the area and has served to arm the terrorist organizations. (54)  

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Israel Does Not Have A Partner In The Peace Process  

The UN resolution on May 19, 2004, said that both Israelis and Palestinians should immediately implement their obligations under the Roadmap. The problem with this is the nation of Israel cannot enter into discussions regarding this agreement until they have minimized and contained the terrorist threat.  Furthermore, how can Israel negotiate when one of the “supposed” peace partners will not be happy until the nation of Israel is destroyed.  

What the world tragically fails to realize is that the PA is a terrorist organization and Israel cannot negotiate with terrorists if they are to provide peace and security for the Israeli people. According to the State Departments report, Patterns of Global Terrorism 2003  for the second consistent year the State Department has acknowledged that senior PA official are involved in terrorism.  Also, “The PA's efforts to thwart terrorist operations were minimal in 2003,” and “some personnel in the security services, including senior officers, have continued to assist terrorist operations,” noted the report.  

The world must begin to carefully scrutinize if the Palestinians themselves want peace and the creation of a Palestinian state which Israel has supported.  As recent as Camp David in 2000 the creation of a Palestinian state has been rejected by the Palestinians three times in recent history. (55)  Furthermore, since Yassir Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) instigated in September 2000 what the Arabs call the “Al Aqsa Intifada”, more that 1,000 Israeli civilians and security personnel have lost their lives to “Palestinian” violence. (56)  And for those that have been wounded and mutilated, they must now live with permanent disabilities and deformations— account for more than 6,000. (57)  

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VOICE OF PALESTINE  – the Voice of Terror  

When Israel responds to terrorists in Gaza just as the US does in Iraq, it is to protect its citizens from terrorism. However, it is the Palestinians that encourage terrorism.  For example the most influential media tool that the Palestinian government possesses is the PA radio, known as the PBC “VOICE OF PALESTINE.” (58)  Since the genesis of the PA self-rule, it has operated for ten years as the official voice of the Palestinian people.  The public tone is set by the VOICE OF PALESTINE which is heard everywhere in the Arab street.  Providing radio feeds that are played in every Arab marketplace and every home in areas ruled by the PA is the VOICE OF PALESTINE which was founded by Yassir Arafat and overseen by the highest echelons of the nascent PA.  Israel's Ministry of Communications with the idea that the Palestinians would be able to broadcast messages of “peace” on their own radio and in their own language provided the radio airwaves for the VOICE OF PALESTINE for the PA.  Instead Arab terror attacks are consistently praised by the VOICE OF PALESTINE.  

Earlier this month a pregnant Israeli woman while driving in Israel with her four little girls was shot to death by Arab terrorists. After murdering their mother who was shot multiple times, the two Arab terrorist executed each little girl with the youngest being only two-years-old, at point blank range with a shot to each of their heads   The VOICE OF PALESTINE described the attack as “an act of heroic martyrdom” by the men that murdered this pregnant mother and her children.  To describe the act committed by the “two youths” the VOICE OF PALESTINE radio station repeatedly used the term “is tish-had” (heroic martyrdom in Arabic) and “mustash-hidin” (heroic martyrs). The radio repeated again that they were heroic martyrs after reporting the attackers' names.  Furthermore, without mentioning that the attack claimed the lives of a pregnant woman and her four children, the VOICE OF PALESTINE constantly referred to the victims of the shooting attack only as “five settlers.”   

Also, in the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida in a May 6, 2004 article, praise was given to Samir Quntar, who is serving multiple sentences of life imprisonment in Israel for murdering an Israeli father, Dani Haran, and his two young daughters in Nahariya in 1979.  (59)  Quntar is a Palestinian hero and “authentic role model.” (60)

In an article dedicated to the “suffering” of Quntar in an Israeli prison the following appeared in the PA daily:  

“Samir Quntar, a name of pride in the history of the prisoners of the [Palestinian] national movement. A name that he created, during the resistance in Lebanon and the hours of heroism in Nahariya [terrrorist attack in which Dani Haran and his daughters were murdered] a name that is written in the blood that dripped in the interrogation dungeons. [Quntar] wrote the noble history of this name in letters of fire and light during the battles of the struggle… [Quntar] was and will continue to be a beacon of light for us and for the generations to come and an authentic role model. Every day that passes Samir's pride grows, and our pride in him grows greater and greater.” (61)  

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Palestinian Terrorists Employ Abhorrent And Inhumane Methods  

In order to target Israeli civilians the Palestinian terrorists employ the most abhorrent and inhuman methods, that include suicide terrorists breaching any notion of morality. For example, regarding allegations of human rights abuse, Israel's humanitarian sensitivity has always been exploited by the Palestinians who have recently used IDF soldier body remains to transport arms to their strongholds.  (62)  Furthermore, in the Rafiah area  Palestinian footage of destruction showed many buildings claiming to have been demolished in a four-day period that were in fact destroyed over a period of the past three and a half years.” (63)  

Brigadier-General Shmuel Zakai, Gaza division commander declared that none of the residents were suffering from starvation, and that in cases where water and electricity were cut off, crews immediately began repairing the damage and described the Palestinian reports of the destruction in Rafiah following IDF activity as a “well-oiled propaganda machine.” (64)  

General Zakai said, regarding footage of plowed up roads that these were the result of terrorists placing bombs underneath the road surface and covering them up with asphalt, so as to detonate as troops entered the area.  Also, many of the homes' damages documented by the Palestinians are a product of powerful explosive placed inside the walls of the home to harm IDF troops searching the area by terrorists.  

The General said, when addressing charges of the breach of human rights in Rafiah, “In order to assists civilians throughout the operation we granted unlimited access into Rafiah of ambulances as well as some 40 trucks containing blanks, food, medication and hundreds of oxygen canisters.” (65)  He added “From the outset, we have been constantly aware of the importance in providing humanitarian assistance.” (66)  

So one can see that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's statement that Israel's bulldozing homes in Rafiah inhibit UN refugee workers from doing their job is untrue.  Such statements by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan only exacerbate the situation, bringing undue world condemnation against Israel as it fights its war on terrorism and continues to reflect the UN's anti-Israel bias.  

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Blame on Terror Handed to Israel  

On May 19, 2004, the international community condemned Israel for killing in Rafiah several “Palestinians” who were among a mob marching on IDF soldiers. (67)  

Israel was accused of having no regard for the sanctity of human life by the EU.  Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen, speaking on behalf of the EU presidency, said in a statement, “It is clear that today's action was completely disproportionate to any threat faced by the Israeli military and that Israeli forces showed a reckless disregard for human life.” (68)  

Israel's use of force was called ”unacceptable and wrong,” by British Prime Minister Tony Blair. (69)  

The PA's claim that dozen of Arabs had been “massacred” by the Israelis was believed by the gullible media outlets and nations worldwide.  However, only seven Arabs had died, five of whom were armed, noted IDF officials.  

Israel had violated international law by using force against “Palestinian” gunmen using a mob of civilians as cover in Rafiah was the claim of a UN special envoy to the PA-controlled territories earlier on May 19, 2004. (70)  

South African law professor John Dugard said, “These actions constitute…war crimes…They also amount to collective punishment which violates both humanitarian law and international human rights law.”  (71)  Israel should be punished with an arms embargo by the international community according to his suggestion.   However, this interpretation is erroneous since the Fourth Geneva Convention does not protect groups of civilians among which are dispersed armed combatants.  (72)  Article 28 of that document says, “The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.” (73)   

On the other hand however, by involving children in a violent confrontation it is the Palestinians who are guilty of a war crime.  Swift international condemnation of Israel resulted as images of bloodied children being carried away from the scene in the Gaza Strip were viewed worldwide on televisions.  Instead the world should be asking as well as criticizing why are little children brought to an area where there are armed men, shooting and in a street full of bombs.  The focus of the world should be shifted from condemning Israel to the cruelty of the Palestinian society that callously thinks nothing of sacrificing their children and women and its readiness to commit suicide.  For example, during fighting in Bet-lahiya in the Gaza Strip on April 22, 2004, armed Palestinians grabbed children by the neck, and ran with them.  (74)  By grabbing their school bags, the Palestinians caught the children and then ran with them.  Children were used as a shield by the armed terrorists.   Also, according to a preliminary IDF probe two young teenagers killed on May 18, 2004, in Rafiah were killed by a bomb planted by Palestinian. (75).  

Family members told The Associated Press Ahmed Mughayer, 13, and his sister Asma, 16, were gathering washing on the roof of their house when they were hit in the head by stray bullets fired by troops from the roof of an adjacent building.  (76)  However, the possibility of gunfire was ruled out by the IDF.  

The house where the two lived is located next to a school where terrorists placed a number of bombs to be detonated near troops said IDF officials.  The bombs were spotted by soldiers, but not prior to one of the bombs exploding.  Shrapnel from the bomb is what officials believe caused the fatal injuries.  

The official said, “While a number of options were raised following the incident, this appears to be the cause of the incident, but we should take into account that the findings are still very initial, and the entire affair is still being investigated.” (77)

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Media Distortion of Operation Rainbow In a Cloud  

Featured stories claiming the IDF had committed cold-blooded murder and displaced some 1,650 civilians during anti-terror operations in the Gaza border town of Rafiah were consistently reported on major television networks news reports every quarter hour on the weekend of May 22-23, 2004.  (78)  

A dubious interpretation of international law insisted the IDF was guilty of various crimes against humanity according to claims by senior UN officials interviewed by the media.  (79)  

Misrepresented were documents touted as the “gold standard” of international humanitarian law and Israeli accounts of events were rarely if ever reported.  

By repeating a story on how Israeli soldiers had murdered in cold blood a three-year-old Palestinian Arab girl the international media demonstrated its lack of objectivity.  (80)  Every quarter hour major television networks such as CNN and Sky News (United Kingdom; UK) replayed their headlines news reports that consistently led off with the Rawan Abu Zaid story. (81)  According to Palestinian authorities, Zaid had been shot in the head and neck by Israeli troops on May 22, 2004, as she left her Rafiah home to purchase sweets at a local store.  (82)  Both networks failed to question the veracity of the PA allegation or to present Israel's side of the story.   For example, Israeli soldiers had not been operating in the area where Zaid was shot according to the statement released by the IDF.  In an effort to manipulate international public opinion against Israel, Palestinian terrorists in the past have shot Arab children. (83)  

In order to get a first hand look at the painstaking care taken by Israeli soldiers to protect the local population, IDF officials urged foreign correspondents to join Israeli military units as embedded reporters at the start of “Operation Rainbow in a Cloud.” (84)  The offer was refused by the vast majority of international media personnel.  Over the past week their reporters from the region have complained of their inability to now enter parts of Rafiah and verify IDF statements.  (85)  

The astonishing statement that some 1,6500 Palestinian Arabs had been made homeless after the Israelis razed their homes during the Rafiah operation was made by a UN official interviewed by Sky News.  (86)  

However, although the PA set the number of buildings destroyed only as high as 43, the IDF indicated that it had destroyed only 5-10 buildings used as weapons factories and as cover for arms-smuggling tunnels.  (87) The Sky News anchor was told by the UN official that he is sure Israel thinks its actions are justified, but that he would like to see some kind of evidence that in Rafiah illegal weapons smuggling had actually been taking place.  However, the UN must not be aware that an entire section devoted to the Rafiah weapons smuggling industry is featured on the IDF's official English-language website.  (To view: Exposure of Smuggling Tunnels: A Chronology) On several occasions, the army has released photographs of weapons smuggling tunnels being uncovered to the press. (To view a picture visit:  Weapon smuggling tunnel uncovered by IDF forces in Rafah)  

The insistence that Israel's army had committed war crimes against the Palestinian Arabs under international law was consistent in all the charges brought against Israel.  However, Article 28 of the Fourth Geneva Convention appeared to be overlooked by Israel's critics though they repeatedly invoked the Fourth Geneva Convention.  Nullifying the argument that home demolitions for security purposes violated international law is Article 28 which states that “protected persons may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.” (88)  

To create a false impression as to the impact of IDF operations in Gaza on the Palestinian civilian population CNN has deliberately played fast and lose with UN figures.  (89)  The red flashing news strip mentioned 11, 000 Palestinians as having been made homeless during the 6:00 PM (Israel time) news broadcast, while reporting on IDF operations in Rafiah resulting in a clear inference that this was the result of “Operation Rainbow in a Cloud.”  

Jim Clancy quoted “updated UN figures” as 13,000 homeless Palestinians, while airing a piece called “sound and sights of Gaza,” in which IDF tanks were shown in action in Rafiah later on during the news broadcast.  However, the 13,000 figure refers to Palestinians who have lost their homes since the outbreak of the Intifada in September 2000,  UNRWA spokesperson Paul McCann told Maariv International.  Yet, the 13,000 referred to Palestinians made homeless “either in the last 24 hours or the past week,” was the version CNN's Jerusalem bureau stood by (90)  

It is important to reflect for a moment on a story that has been previously mentioned.  Family members told The Associated Press Ahmed Mughayer, 13, and his sister Asma, 16, were gathering washing on the roof of their house when they were hit in the head by stray bullets fired by troops from the roof of an adjacent building.  (91)  However, the possibility of gunfire was ruled out by the IDF.  

The house where the two lived is located next to a school where terrorists placed a number of bombs to be detonated near troops said IDF officials.  The bombs were spotted by soldiers, but not prior to one of the bombs exploding.  Shrapnel from the bomb is what officials believe caused the fatal injuries.  

The official said, “While a number of options were raised following the incident, this appears to be the cause of the incident, but we should tale into account that the findings are still very initial, and the entire affair is still being investigated.” (92)  

In another account of this story as a result of Israel not allowing ambulances to enter the area one witness claimed that the children lay dying in their pool of blood for five hours.  As soon as shoots were heard another witness claimed that he went up to the roof and found the children dead. (93)  However, it appear unlikely that the IDF would have refused access to ambulances since it was acknowledged by the western media that Israeli army medical units immediately entered the area to offer aid to the Palestinians wounded by the explosions.  What is interesting to note is as the world and the media tries to portray the nation of Israel as inhumane and perpetrators of “war crimes”, the rooftop where the two young Palestinians were killed is in Tel Sultan a housing development built by Israel for Palestinians who can move into free of charge yet the media does not publish this fact. (94)  

From the perspective of the western media, anything that would convey a negative image of the PA and sometimes Hamas, they refuse to publicize, and in some event will even refuse to publish it. (95)  

The Palestine Academic Society For the Study of Academic Affairs (PASSIA) is a PLO lobby group in Jerusalem which trains PLO media professionals in the art of transforming the image of the Arab-Israeli struggle.  The media uncritically and at times joyfully accepts their input though not surprising that this input is often erroneous and deceitful at times. (96)    To demonize Israel and create untruthful claims of Israeli malfeasance the PASSIA and other Palestinian propaganda sources seize upon any possible incidence.   

Media coverage never alluded to the critical importance of the IDF “Operation Rainbow in a Cloud” in Rafiah.  For example, the urgency of this operation was a result of terrorists in Rafiah trying to smuggle Strela anti-aircraft missiles into the Gaza Strip capable of shooting down civilian airlines but the media did provide limited quotes from IDF spokepersons about the need to enter Rafiah to stop arm smuggling via tunnels. What should be noted because the media will not is that airplanes landing at Israel's Ben-Gurion airport could be brought down from the Gaza Strip by Strela missiles. (97)  

Also, a UN special envoy to the PA noted that “Palestinian gunmen (were) using a mob of civilians as cover,” yet the media neglected to mention this. (98) Within this demonstration at least a dozen armed terrorists were scattered.  The photos of the dead “civilians” wrapped in the black or green shrouds used by Hamas or Islamic Jihad for the honor burial of their terrorists affirms the UN envoy's statements.  At least six of the “demonstrators” were Hamas or Islamic Jihad terrorists, since military burial is not conferred upon civilians. (99)

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The World Should Not Condemn Israel As It Fights The War On Terrorism  

It is unfortunate that as Israel fights its war on terrorism it also has to deal with the lies being disseminated by the media, UNRWA, and the Palestinians.  For example UNRWA and the Palestinians say about 1650 home have been destroyed and CNN will report 13,000 homeless Palestinians. (100, 101) However, the footage being shown on television are those homes demolished over a three-year period. (102)  

Homes are being demolished not out of Israeli malice to the Palestinian Arabs but often, the only way to combat the threat against Israel is the demolition of these structures.  Terrorist groups are using civilian buildings in order to conceal openings of tunnels used to smuggle arms, explosives and terrorists from Egypt into the Gaza Strip. Also, buildings in the West Bank and Gaza Strip similarly are used for the manufacturing and concealment of explosive devices, weapons rockets, and mortars to be used against Israel.  Also, many of the homes damaged documented by the Palestinians are a product of powerful explosives placed inside the walls of the home to harm IDF troops searching the area by terrorists. (103)  

Following a week-long operation the IDF withdrew its forces from Rafiah on May 24, 2004, during which 41 Palestinians terrorists, including the local Hamas commander were killed and demolished were 56 homes. (104, 105) Also, in the parade on May 19, 2004 when a tank shell accidentally blew up near the hundred of marcher four were killed. And six civilians, two who were shot by Palestinian gunmen who fired on a group of civilians asked to surrender to troops last week. (106)  

When the Bush administration said that they do not believe the IDF operation enhanced Israel's security they were wrong.   For example during the May 22-23, weekend pause in “Operation Rainbow in an Cloud,” most of the Palestinian armed terrorist based in the Gaza Strip fled north to Khan Younes. (107)  In their haste to get out some terrorists even dropped their weapons.   

The UN Security Council continues to demonstrate its anti-Israel bias as it passed another resolution against Israel on May 19, 2004, with a rare US abstention, by a 14-0 vote based on extreme claims of the Palestinian Arabs.  Its creditability and moral relevance is once again absent.  As the UN continues its mantra that Israel has violated international law as well as the Palestinian Arabs human rights in Gaza it continues to allow rogue nations seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction go unchallenged.  Daily the UN's relevance as an institution that seek and promotes justice is diminished if not eliminated as it stands by in a world plagued by radical Arab/Islamic theocracies, police states, dictatorships as well as anti-western and anti-democratic nations.  

How can the UN say it has moral creditability when it accuses Israel of human rights violations when rogue nations such as Libya, Syria and Sudan that support terror as well as are major human rights violators are members of the UN Commission on Human Rights.  Simply, the UN has many member nations that are anti-Israel and yes anti-Semitic.  The UN has a record of ignoring international law as well as human rights as it ignores them worldwide.  For example, the UN failed to take action against Saddam Hussein when he used poison gas against the Kurds in Iraq. (108) Also, where is the UN when almost two million North Korean have been starved by their own government?  In Rwanda, 800,000 Tutsis and Hutus were slaughtered.  (109)  Additionally, over an 18 year period about two million black southern Sudanese Christians have been victims of Muslim genocide.  In Sudan today one million people have been driven from their homes and by the end of 2004, there is a threat of another 350,000 being murdered. And when Pakistan and rogue nations such as North Korea, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Libya proliferated weapons of mass destruction where was the outcry and bombastic condemnation afforded Israel displayed to these nations by the UN.  

Furthermore, it will be come clear hopefully in the near future if the UN cooperates why the UN and some members of the Security Council opposed any US military action against Iraq.  Saddam Hussein the Iraqi dictator was allowed to divert 10 percent of all transactions to himself and apparently to officials of various collaborating governments that include France, Germany and Russia under the 1995 UN Oil for Food Program.  (110) (To view: US Department of State fact Sheet on the UN Oil-for-Food Program)  

One can easily see from this that the UN is a corrupt and anti-democratic institution that cannot be recognized as an honest broker in the peace process in the Israeli-Arab conflict or any were else in the world.  

When the US abstained from the UN resolution on May 19, 2004, against Israel one has to question if it was to deflect focus away from the Iraqi Abu Ghraib prison scandal and the criticism of the events that occurred at the prison by the Arab world.  Furthermore, criticism of Israel was leveled by the US State Department on May 17, 2004, when it released its annual human rights report. (111)  (To view the US State Department Report:  Supporting Human Rights and Democracy)  

Israel uses “excessive force” against the “Palestinian Arabs,” leading to “numerous deaths” the report cited.  Also, at roadblocks through Judea, Samaria and Gaza and of allowing interaction between soldiers and international activists to deteriorate Israel was accused of unnecessarily detaining “Palestinian Arabs” by Washington.  What is ironic about this State Department report is many of the same criticism the international community is accusing the US of in Iraq are the same it has selected to censure Israel for. (112)  

Currently, Israel is engaged in a fight for its survival as it fights it war on terrorism.  When the US abstains from an anti-Israel UN resolution, or is critical of it in its human rights report, or is publicly critical of Israel's action as it takes every effort to protect the lives of Palestinians not engaged in terrorist activity and risks its soldiers lives unnecessarily as it fights terrorism it is morally and ethically wrong for the US to condemn Israel's actions.  First, it was not the Israelis that instigated in September 2000 “Al Aqsa Intifada,” it was the Palestinian Arabs.  Second, it is not Israel sending suicide bombers into the Palestinian occupied regions it is the Palestinians who are trying to murder innocent Israeli men, women and children.  When the US criticizes Israel when it fights it war on terror it weakens Israel's position in the court of world opinion as well as more importantly it put Israel's national security at risk.  What the US must do is allow Israel to fight and destroy its terrorist enemy.  As the US restrains Israel from fighting terrorism it only emboldens its enemy because the terrorist views it as a sign of weakness. Furthermore, if the US feels if on occasions reflects the view of the Arab world that it will appear more of an honest peace broker in the Arab-Israeli conflict they are totally wrong.  In the eyes of the Arab-world the Palestinian terrorist is viewed as a freedom fighter and when they speak of peace, the only time that peace will occur is when the nation of Israel not longer exists.  If the US and Israel are to be successful in the war on terror the US must support its ally Israel. And do what is morally and ethically right to defeat terrorism militaristically and not appease it through false peace hopes that could eventually cause the enemy to win.  

The UN, US, EU and many nations of the world are wrong for condemning Israel for the demolition of the homes in Rafiah because the only reason Israeli is doing this is because these homes are being used for harboring terrorist or are being used as sites of tunnels which smuggle into Gaza an array of weapons, including shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank grenades and rifles and large amounts of explosive material to target Israeli civilians and soldiers.  

Also, the reason that IDF is operating in Gaza is locate and destroy weapons factories set up by Hamas and other terrorist groups.  Located in densely populated urban neighborhoods in Gaza are these targets that manufacture short-range missiles.  If Israel does not stop the smuggling of the weapons such as Sagger anti-aircraft missile and Katyusha rockets currently on the Egyptian side they will be brought into the Gaza Strip.  

The UN, US, EU and many nations of the world should not be putting pressure on Israel for fighting terrorism but should put pressure on Egypt for doing nothing to stop the smuggling of arms into Gaza.  Egypt has been asked numerous times by Israel to act against this threat to Israel but their response has been almost not existent. Since 1979, the US has provided Egypt with $1.3 billion annually in military aid and in economic assistance an average of $815 million annually.  Since 1975, Egypt has received over $50 billion in US largesse. (113) To get the attention of Egypt to act in this matter the US should consider reducing its aid.  

Furthermore the UN, US, EU should put pressure on the countries were the arms originate from such as Iraq, Sudan and Libya. Also, why cannot the US army which is in Iraq stop arms leaving Iraq?  And what happened to Libya which is, according to the US, a partner in the war on terrorism only when it is not against Israel.  Also, playing a leading role in coordinating terrorist operations in the West Bank and Gaza is the Iranian-and Syria-supported Hezbollah.  Yet the UN remains mute to these actions but continues to condemn Israel.  

Prior to the UN and EU blaming Israel for human rights violations and international law they must first realize that the Palestinian civilian population being cynically is used by the terrorists.  For example, IDF troops encountered gunfire from a group of armed terrorists who wanted to cross a road.  A young Palestinian boy was grabbed as a human shield as they continued shooting at soldiers as they crossed fully aware that because of the boy the IDF soldiers would not shoot back.  (114)

Instead the UN, US and EU should redirect their focus from putting the onus on Israel to focus on the fact that the Palestinian cities are in a state of near anarchy, with people financed by Yassir Arafat's Palestinian Authority blamed for 90 percent of the gangland violence indicates a report partly financed by the Finnish government. (115)  

Where is the world condemnation against the PA?  Have they not read this report that reports incidents of torture of prisoners and the killing of civilians in gun battles between Palestinian factions?  Is this not the violation of human rights in the eyes of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.  Yassir Arafat has been accused of signing checks to people linked with terrorists activity and has recently been accused of misusing millions of EU funds. (116) And the world stands by just as it did as Saddam Hussein murdered innocent Iraqis and provided funding for Palestinian terrorists.  

Tragically for its work documenting human-rights violations against Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG), has won few friends. (117)   Its criticism of the PA has seen its funding by European governments slashed even thought it has been strongly critical of the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians. (118)  Once again as it did with Iraq and is doing with the war on terrorism Europe turns its back and looks away.   The situation in PA areas is described as “the Intra'fada” or the “chaos of the weapons,” and paints a picture of a society where the proliferation of guns has brought grave consequences for the people, indicates the latest PHRMG report.  

“PA security forces do not live up to international laws and regulations concerning the treatment of individuals under arrest,” says the report.  

An incident in July 2003, in which a worker from Bethlehem was forcibly taken from his house and interrogated by members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, working with the PA, who accused him of collaboration with Israel, was cited in the report.  

It said, “Under threat of violence [including firing at his feet] the man confessed to having committed certain thefts, but insisted that he was not responsible for Israeli assignations of Palestinians in Bethlehem.  When he finished his ‘confession,' the militants broke his hand and leg, smashed his teeth and hit him with an iron bar on his back.  He was then dumped into a garbage container where he was found the next day.”  

The examples quoted are the tip of the iceberg indicated the report.  It said, “Violence permeates the security forces, and it is worsened by legal confusions.  Unless and until more accountability and order is introduced, the problem will remain and could worsen as PA control continues to deteriorate.”  

Also, the PHRMG identifies incidents in which innocent bystanders have been struck by bullets in PA-controlled areas.  It stated, “Sometimes violence erupts between police members and loyalists of political factions.”  

Since supporters were concerned about political implications of being seen to support a group that exposes Palestinian abuses Basem Eid, the man who set up the PHRMG has struggled to find funding indicates the US-based Middle East Media Research Institute. (119)   

This is just another example of the UN's and EU's anti-Israel bias.  Prior to rushing to judgment against Israel that did not violate international law and the human rights of Palestinian Arabs during “Operation Rainbow in a Cloud,” they should focus where the problem truly lies with the PA, the Palestinians, and Yassir Arafat.  

The lesson that should be learned from these events of the latest few weeks in Gaza by the US and the world is that Israel's unilateral withdrawal (“retreat”) from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank will not work and will put the security of Israel at risk.  If Israel is simply to walk away from these areas the vacuum that is created would instantly be filled by the various terrorist organizations in the region and would be used as a base for terrorist attacks against Israel.    It is time for President Bush, to act as the leader of the free world and not worry about the Arab world opinion and to not support Israeli Prime Ministers unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank.  Instead he should rebuke the opinion of the Arab world, and encourage Israel to eliminate its terrorist threat.  For if he does not world opinion against Israel will wrongly so continue to decline further thus weakening Israel's military to fight terrorism.  As this happens it will weaken Israel's military superiority in the Middle East eventually leading to the destabilization of that region just as the Arab world wants.    

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References  

  1. Dudkevitch, Margot. “Background: Tunnels keep Gaza terrorists awash in arms.” The Jerusalem Post. [Retrieved May 16, 2004].
  2. Ibid.
  3. Rubin, Barry. “The Region: Middle East madness.” The Jerusalem Post. [Retrieved  May 24, 2004].
  4. Ibid.
  5. “World spares terrorists full Israeli wrath. “ Jerusalem Newswire. [Retrieved May 25, 2004].
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. “Powell Blasts Gaza Foray.” The Associated Press. [Retrieved May 19, 2004].
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Ibid.
  13. “U.N. tells Israel: stop Gaza demolitions.” United Press International. [Retrieved May 19, 2004].
  14. Ibid.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Ghattas, F. Sam. “Arab Leaders Cheer Anti-Israel Resolution.” The Associated Press. [Retrieved May 21, 2004].
  17. Ibid.
  18. Netanyahu,Benjamin. (2000) A Durable Peace: Israel And Its Place Among The Nation. New York: Warner Books.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Ibid.
  21. Ibid.
  22. Ibid.
  23. “10 killed as terrorists use human shields.” Jerusalem Newswire. [Retrieved May 19, 2004].
  24. Ibid.
  25. Ibid.
  26. Ibid.
  27. Marcus, Itamar and Cook ,Barbara. “PA called ‘Women, Children and Elderly,' to Wednesday's Battle.” Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin. [Retrieved May 20, 2004].
  28. Ibid.
  29. Ghattas, F. Sam. “Arab Leaders Cheer Anti-Israel Resolution.” The Associated Press. [Retrieved May 21, 2004].
  30. Lerner, Aaron. “Foreign Ministry Official: Egypt's Failure To Stop Smuggling Not The Story.” Independent Media Review & Analysis (IMRA). [Retrieved May 20, 2004].
  31. “EU, UN chief denounce demolitions in Rafah.” Ha'aretz. [Retrieved May 17, 2004].
  32. Ibid.
  33. Ibid.
  34. Ibid.
  35. Ibid.
  36. Wright, Robin. “Powell Denounce Israel's Destruction Of Palestinian Homes.” The Washington Post, [Retrieved May 17, 2004].
  37. Benn, Aluf. “Rice criticizes Israel for planned Rafah demolitions.” Ha'aretz. [Retrieved May 17, 2004].
  38. Ibid.
  39. “The Demolition of Palestinian Structures Used for Terrorism-Legal Background.” Foreign Ministry of Israel. [Retrieved May 18, 2004].
  40. Dudkevitch, Margot. “Background: Tunnels keep Gaza terrorists awash in arms.” The Jerusalem Post. [Retrieved May 16, 2004].
  41. Ibid.
  42. Ibid.
  43. “Weapon Smuggling Tunnels in Rafah -Background Material.” IDF Spokesman. [Retrieved May 17, 2004].
  44. Gilbert, Nina. “Ya'alon: Iran, Syria smuggling arms into Rafah.” The Jerusalem Post.  [Retrieved May 18, 2004].
  45. “Weapon Smuggling Tunnels in Rafah -Background Material.” IDF Spokesman. [Retrieved May 17, 2004].
  46. Ibid.
  47. “Israel says Iran using Gaza tunnels in anti-Israeli attacks.” Agence France Presse. [Retrieved May 19 2004].
  48. Ibid.
  49. “Report: PA police arming Gaza terror groups.” The Jerusalem Post. [Retrieved May 23, 2004].
  50. Stern, Yoav and Regular, Arnon. “PA distributing arms in Gaza.” Ha'aretz. [Retrieved May 24, 2004].
  51. Ibid.
  52. Ibid.
  53. “Weapon Smuggling Tunnels in Rafah-Background Material.” IDF Spokesman. [Retrieved May 17, 2004.
  54. Ibid.
  55. “Eiland: Palestinians don't want a state.” The Jerusalem Post. [Retrieved May 8, 2004].
  56. “Oslo War death toll tops 1000.” Jerusalem Newswire.” [Retrieved May 13, 2004].
  57. Ibid.
  58. Bedein, David. (2004, May 10, 2004). “A Voice For Killing.” FrontPageMagazine.com. [Retrieved May 10, 2004].
  59. Marcus, Itamar. “PA Daily: Murderer of Father and 2 Daughters, Samir Quntar:“A Beacon of Light for the Generations to Come!” Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin. [Retrieved May 9, 2004].
  60. Ibid.
  61. Ibid.
  62. Gilbert, Nina. “Ya'alon: Iran, Syria smuggling arms into Rafiah.” The Jerusalem Post.” [Retrieved May 18, 2004.]
  63. Dudkevitch, Margot. “Zakai: Rafah damages caused by terrorists, not IDF.” The Jerusalem Post. [Retrieved May 21, 2004].
  64. Ibid.
  65. Ibid.
  66. Ibid.
  67. “World reacts wildly to Gaza fatalities, ignores int'l law.” Jerusalem Newswire. [Retrieved May 20, 2004].
  68. Ibid.
  69. Ibid.
  70. Ibid.
  71. Ibid.
  72. Ibid.
  73. Ibid.
  74. “Armed terrorists grab children and run with them.” Maariv International. [Retrieved April 23, 2004].
  75. Dudkevitch, Margot. “IDF: Rafah teenagers killed by Palestinian bombs.” The Jerusalem Post. [Retrieved May 19, 2004].
  76. Ibid.
  77. Ibid.
  78. “IDF battles media bias, int'l hypocrisy in Gaza.” Jerusalem Newswire. [Retrieved May 23, 2004].
  79. Ibid.
  80. Ibid.
  81. Ibid.
  82. Ibid.
  83. Ibid.
  84. Ibid.
  85. Ibid.
  86. Ibid.
  87. Ibid.
  88. Ibid.
  89. “CNN deliberately disseminating disinformation.” Maariv International. [Retrieved May 18, 2004].
  90. Ibid.
  91. Dudkevitch, Margot. “IDF: Rafah teenagers killed by Palestinian bombs.” The Jerusalem Post. [Retrieved May 19, 2004].
  92. Ibid.
  93. Meievi, David. (2004, May 24, 20040. “Eyeless in Gaza.” FrontPageMagazine.com. [Retrieved May 24, 2004].
  94. Ibid.
  95. Ibid.
  96. Ibid.
  97. Ibid.
  98. Ibid.
  99. Ibid.
  100. “CNN deliberately disseminating disinformation.” Maariv International.    [Retrieved May 18, 2004].
  101. “Ya'alon: Media buying into Palestinian lies.” The Jerusalem Post. [Retrieved May 24, 2004].
  102. Ibid.
  103. Dudkevitch, Margot. “Zakai: Rafah damages caused by terrorists, not IDF.” The Jerusalem Post. [Retrieved May 21, 2004].
  104. Keinon, Herb. “Operation Rainbow in Rafah ends.” The Jerusalem Post. [Retrieved May 24, 2004].
  105. Dudkevitch, Margot. “IDF: No humanitarian disaster in Rafah. The Jerusalem Post. [Retrieved May 23, 2004].
  106. Ibid.
  107. “Rafah Encircled by Israeli Forces, Palestinian Combatants Flee.” DEBKAfile. [Retrieved May 24, 2004].
  108. Neuwirth, Rachel. “The UN is a failed Organization.” Arutz Sheva IsraelNationalNews.com. [Retrieved May 23, 2004].
  109. “Another Urgent UN Task: Sudan.” The Christian Science Monitor. [Retrieved May 25, 2004].
  110. Neuwirth, Rachel. “The UN is a failed Organization.” Arutz Sheva IsraelNationalNews.com. [Retrieved May 23, 2004].
  111. “World in high dudgeon as Israel hits Gaza terror.” Jerusalem Newswire. [Retrieved May 18, 2004].
  112. Ibid.
  113. Levinson, Charles. “$50 billion later, taking stock of US aid to Egypt.” The Christian Science Monitor. [Retrieved April 12, 2004].
  114. Dudkevitch, Margot. “IDF: No humanitarian disaster in Rafah.” The Jerusalem Post.  [Retrieved May 23, 2004].
  115. Chamberlain, Gethin. “Arafat at heart of rights abuse report.” The Scotsman. [Retrieved May 15, 2004.
  116. Ibid.
  117. Ibid.
  118. Ibid.
  119. Ibid.

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