The Guardian October 31, 2001


Palestine: "End the nightmare of violence"

While Afghanistan is being bombed into oblivion, the Middle East 
situation continues to deteriorate. Cities, towns and villages in areas 
under the Palestinian Authority are being occupied by Israeli tanks and 
troops. Punitive raids and wanton killings take place on a regular 
basis.

Even the International Red Cross has spoken angrily when it was prevented 
from tending the wounded by the Israeli troops  an action that violates 
international laws.

The assassination of Rahavam Ze'evi, the leader of the National Union Party 
by the members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) 
was in retaliation for the murder of their leader by Israeli forces last 
August. "We vowed to avenge the killing of leader Abu Ali Mustafa and we 
fulfilled our promise", they said in a communique released soon after the 
assassination.

Ze'evi was a rightwing extremist who advocated the "transfer" of 3.3 
million Palestinians from the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza to the 21 
Arab nations in the Middle East. Hours before he was sworn in as Tourism 
Minister he vowed to end the second Palestinian Intifada by finding 
Palestinians' "weak spots and pressing them until they come to us on all 
fours begging for a cease-fire".

Israeli peace organisations have issued an appeal to end the nightmare of 
violence in the territories addressed to the US President, US Secretary of 
State Colin Powell, the EU president, the UN High Commissioner for Human 
Rights and others.

"Using the assassination of the Israeli Minister for Tourism Rehavam Ze'evi 
as an excuse, the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has embarked on 
a wanton military attack of Palestinian towns, which may continue for days 
if not months.

"Prime Minister Sharon has historically been committed to reckless 
supremacist and oppressive policies. This most recent attack represents a 
policy of wreaking damage on the Palestinian population, and perpetuating 
their 34 year occupation, a policy which is considered good for Israel by 
the policy-makers in power; and disrupting chances for negotiations, which 
are considered bad.

The reoccupation of West Bank cities endangers the future of both nations, 
and the stability of the region. We urgently request your intervention", 
says the appeal.

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