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Symbolic Coffins At The Tel Aviv Museum Square

Today throughout the day at the Tel Aviv Museum Square symbolic coffins draped with Israeli and Palestinian flags are displayed to commemorate all victims of the cycle of violence - at the initiative of the Bereaved Parents Circle. The display will be there throughout the evening and the night. Today in Tel-Aviv - tomorrow on its way to New York and Washington.

At 11:00 a.m., today (Wednesday, March 13) members of the Parents Circle (Bereaved Families for Peace) draped a Palestinian and an Israeli flag on symbolic burial coffins placed in front of the Tel-Aviv Museum. (Shderot Saul Hamelech Street).

Minutes before the start of the ceremony, a number of the racist Kahane supporters created a disturbance and attempted to disrupt the proceedings. Security guards and police officers who were on the scene, held them back.

Yitzhak Frankenthal spoke at the ceremony as the flags were being draped over the coffins: "This display makes clear the enormity of the tragedy for Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In September, when we first held the coffin display, 750 people had been killed on both sides. In the last six months alone, another 750 people have joined them. We are starting a journey today, and the display will be in New York and Washington D.C. as well, next week. Our goal is to get the sides to stop shooting and start talking."

The Egyptian Charge D'Affaires, Dr. Ihab al-Sharif said: "The coffin display is very important for the advance of peace. As bereaved parents you have chosen to go in the path of peace and reconciliation, and you work hard at this. We need to put an end to the killing on both sides, so that the number of coffins won't go up.

The display contains many hundreds of symbolic coffins, and banners reading: "Better Have Pains of Peace Than Agonies of War." The display deliberaterly does not include coffins to the complete or exact number of dead (now more than 1400) but an approximation. This is out of consideration for the feelings of bereaved families on both sides of the national divide who may object to the purposes of this action and would not want a coffin representing their loved one to be included.

The coffin display will remain in place all day and all night (with special lighting.) Tomorrow, Thursday, the installation will be removed in the morning, to be flown to the United States where it will be displayed in front of the United Nations in New York and later in Washington D.C. The goal is to call on the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union not to stand aside, but to intervene in this terrible conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and pressure the two sides to resume negotiations.

US program: On March 19 the display will be held on the Dag Hammerskjold Plaza in front of the UN Headquarters. The preparation for the display will be in a large space rented for the purpose. The symbolic coffins will arrive on Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m., and placing them will last until noon. At 1:00 p.m., the display will officially open, in a ceremony a stage with a raised platform near the edge of First Avenue addresses by an Israeli bereaved parent and a Palestinian one, as well as a senior UN official. The opening ceremony will be on. The display will remain until 6:00 p.m., and then dismantled.

Two symbolic coffins – Israeli and Paletinian – will travel with the delegation to Washington DC, on the 20th of March. There will be events in DC on March 20 and 21. An event is planned for Boston as well.

Contact: Reuven Ladiansky +972-(0)52-688-040, franken2@netvision.net.il Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families for Peace

Through billboard we forward announcements received from other organizations. For more information, call them - not us ---- NB: Full transcript of the war crimes panel available on the Gush site For Hebrew http://www.gush-shalom.org/archives/forum.html For English http://www.gush-shalom.org/archives/forum_eng.html French available at request.

Also on the site: the weekly Gush Shalom ad - in Hebrew and English the columns of Uri Avnery - in Hebrew, Arab and English (and a lot more) http://www.gush-shalom.org

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