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.