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 Gush Shalom - Protest gegen die Häuserzerstörung


Von: "Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc)" <info(at)gush-shalom.org>
Datum: 14. Mai 2004 15:55:43 MESZ
GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 - www.gush-shalom.org/

M A Y        S T O P B U L L D O Z E R S
Gush Shalom calls for worldwide campaign



International release

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 Tal.

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 demolitions).

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).

To remain updated look from time to time into: http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/427462.html


To begin with: send an urgent protest to the government of Israel, with copies to the relevant international bodies and media - using the following sample letter.

Dear Sir

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.
The 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 its embassies)

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 +972 2
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 <president(at)whitehouse.gov>
Fax: +1-202-456-2461

Secretary of State Colin Powell <secretaryofstate(at)USA.gov>
Fax: +1-202-261-8577

Spokesperson of the Prime Minister <dover(at)pmo.gov.il>
Spokesperson Defense Ministry <info(at)mail.idf.il>
Spokesperson Foreign Ministry <dover(at)mfa.gov.il>
UN Special Coordinator <unsco(at)palnet.com>
State Departement <secretary(at)state.gov>
European Union <mailto(at)delwbg.cec.eu.int>

and with a blind copy to:
Gush Shalom <info(at)gush-shalom.org>

[for your conVenience, here follow the combined email addresses:
pm_eng(at)pmo.gov.il, sar(at)mod.gov.il, sar(at)mofa.gov.il

cc to:
president(at)whitehouse.gov, secretaryofstate(at)USA.gov, dover(at)pmo.gov.il,
info(at)mail.idf.il, dover(at)mfa.gov.il, unsco(at)palnet.com,
secretary(at)state.gov, mailto(at)delwbg.cec.eu.int,

+ bcc to:
info(at)gush-shalom.org ]


IDF to raze hundreds of Rafah homes; Sarid: Move would be war crime

By Haaretz Service and Agencies

Last Update: 14/05/2004 13:15


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.

The 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 top officials.

"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.

An 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.

Palestinian cabinet 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 fighting.

"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 smuggling tunnels.

"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 Thursday night.

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 ransom.

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 his hometown.

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 border.

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.

He 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 casualties.

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.

Sharon also extended his thanks to the head of the Egyptian intelligence services, Omar Suleiman, for making a special effort to recover the remains.

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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