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April 2004 • Vol 4, No. 4 •

Ariel Sharon’s Message of Peace

By Amer Abdelhadi

Today, March 22nd, 2004, American made Israeli fighter jets have sent three missiles to a crowded neighborhood in Gaza murdering the founder and leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, Ahmad Yasin and eight other Palestinians who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, the wrong places being their homes; the wrong time happening to be during their sleep at night

The Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has personally supervised the assassination.

After the morning prayers, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was leaving the mosque, 30 meters away from his home in Gaza, when Israeli fighter jets sent its deadly and heavy missiles to the crowded area in the Sabra neighborhood in the Gaza City. Pieces of flesh and blood were thrown everywhere.

The assassination of Ahmed Yassin reminds us of the assassination of Salah Shehadeh that took place in July 2002 and killed in addition to Shehadeh, 16 others, of whom 15 were civilians, 9 were children including Shehadeh’s wife and child.

In both operations, the Israeli Prime Minister and some of his cabinet members, bragged about the success of the murders and declared that they were satisfied with the results of the operations; satisfied with murder, satisfied with genocide. They made murder look like the right thing to do, forgetting that a state cannot execute a human being without a trial and without proving his or her guilt.

Some members in the Sharon cabinet went to the extent of calling Yassin “the Ben Laden of Palestine” and claimed that Arafat was more dangerous than Yassin. This statement was received by Palestinians as a direct threat against the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat.

While Israel claims that assassinating Palestinian figures will reduce the number of attacks inside Israel, Palestinians are determined that Israel is only trying to provoke and initiate violent reactions by Palestinians to convince the already ignorant world community to accept Israel’s plans to move Israeli settlements from Gaza to the West Bank.

In a press conference held by Ariel Sharon and his Offense Minister Shaoul Mofaz, the two leaders justified the attack as a necessity to reduce the number of attacks against Israel by Palestinian “terrorists.” Many Israelis have condemned the attacks. Some of them went on to call Sharon’s decision to murder Yassin a “stupid move.”

Many countries in the world have denounced the assassination, some more shy than others. The United States, as usual, has called all parties to “practice self control” but maintained that Yassin was responsible for killing many Israelis and thus letting Sharon off the hook of guilt for his murders. Many Palestinians took the American statement as a disgusting irony noting that the United States has always accused Palestinians with terror when attacks in Israel took place while ignoring all the atrocities committed by the state of Israel against Palestinians.

Sharon, at the time of his provocative visit to Al Aqsa Mosque in September 2000, claimed that he came with a message of peace. “I came here with a message of peace,” he said “I believe that we can live together, we and the Palestinians.” When he was elected and appointed as Prime Minister, assassinations, demolitions, destruction, mass arrests, re-occupation, and locking up of mass communities were the only “proofs” of his message of peace.

“The murder of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin is a clear proof that Israel is drawing blood,” several political leaders told the media today. Yassin was a political leader, a respected leader who spent the bigger portion of his life in Israeli jails and one who was placed under house arrest by both Israeli and Palestinian authorities.

The Palestinian Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, and other political and military factions vowed revenge after the assassination of Yassin. They said their attacks “would be witnessed in every Israeli city and every Israeli house.”

Israel would not have persisted in excessively escalating its attacks on Palestinian civilians should the world community have intervened and pressured Israel to respect their part in the so-called peace plan. In the past four weeks, more than 35 Palestinians were murdered, most were civilians killed in cold blood for no reason. The world community has been suspiciously silent.

Terror and violence is practiced every day against Palestinians by the Israeli occupation forces. In Nablus today, a student in the media department at Al Najah University who was also practicing journalism as an intern was killed when Israeli jeeps approached Balata camp near Nablus. Israeli spokespersons claimed that their soldiers “mistook his camera for a weapon.” The exact story the American army used when they killed Mazen Daína, a Palestinian photographer reporting for Reuters in Iraq several months ago.

The U.S. administration has placed much pressure on world leaders to put Hamas and other Palestinian resistance movement supporters on their terrorist list. They have acknowledged every attack that Palestinians were responsible for, yet they have ignored all the assassinations, war crimes, massacres, murdering of innocent civilians or those who were slaughtered “accidentally” by Israel (using American fighter jets). They have even given excuses to Israel for all the atrocities they were responsible for claiming that Israel had the right to defend itself.

The U.S. administration still claims to be the “honest” sponsor of peace in the Middle East.

Does U.S. policy sponsor peace or does it harbor terrorism?

The world is watching, yet has done little.

—Radio Tariq Al Mahabbeh, March 22, 2004





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