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The Day After

GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 - http://www.gush-shalom.org/


Yesterday - exactly when it happened - we were preparing a message to our list about more house demolitions by the Jerusalem municipality, and the invasion of the West Bank town Jenin by the Israeli army.

Then a friend phoned warning us to immediately open CNN, We were just in time to see a plane fly into the World Trade Center's other tower. While we were glued, like everybody else, to the TV screen we gradually realised that we weren't watching another terrorist attack, like those to which we ourselves are exposed as part of the revenge-upon-revenge cycle of bloodshed in which our army and Palestinian militias had gotten themselves, and which apart from the fear and the human tragedy only made hope that the occupation will ever end fade away, but to which we nearly got used during the past months here in Israel/Palestine. What we witnessed here on our screens was so terrible and so huge; the world would not be the same after this day. The calculated decision to hijacking planes full of passengers and turn them into big suicide-missiles with a combined killing potential nearing that of atom bombs - and all that without any warning, no demands made...

But now it's the day after.

This night the Israeli army continued the invasion and penetrated deeply into the town of Jenin and destroyed the local police station. In this and other attacks by the IDF (and in one case by settlers) a total of eleven Palestinians were killed - one of them a nine-year old girl. Israeli forces still impose a strict siege of Jenin with its tens of thousands of inhabitants, preventing even the passage of medical crews and patients, and in the process violating the "A" areas which according to Oslo should be under exclusive Palestinian control. At any other time, all of the above would constitute a major news item on CNN and BBC, and international diplomatic initiatives would already be afoot to ease the crisis and get the army out of the Jenin area. Now, the world looks elsewhere and Sharon feels himself to have carte blanche. We face days of unchecked rampage, with bloodshed unnoticed by the world. We will do what little we can - at least by trying to fill in for the mainstream media and passing on what we hear.

- Following is the report which we got yesterday about the demolition of Palestinian houses in Jerusalem. (It may not seem so dramatic against the background of what is on everybody's mind. But the story of injustice which plants the seeds of future hatred deserves to be told.)

Jerusalem, Tuesday morning Sept. 11. Bulldozers of the Jerusalem Municipality, under the protection of dozens of heavily armed police and Special Forces arrived at the Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina. They destroyed the home of the elderly widow Aisha Abu Na'am and her daughter, and the house where Issa and Merriam Jaradat had lived with their five children. Then the bulldozers put their teeth into the home of the Bader family, but after the kitchen, bedroom and children's room were destroyed a quick legal action by lawyer Jawad Boulos succeeded in halting the destruction, saving the last two rooms. Five more "illegal" Palestinian homes in Beit Hanina are in imminent danger.

The Committee Against House Demolition plans to help the families rebuild. For when and where, phone Rabbi Arik Asherman 050-607034

For information about Gush Shalom visit the website: http://www.gush-shalom.org/


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