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Sharon Answers Cease-Fire Offer With Carnage

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

Press release, Tuesday July 23
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Sharon answers cease-fire offer with carnage
Rabin-Pelosof resigns from the government
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Less than twenty-four hours ago, the Hamas leader Sheikh Ahamad Yassin made an unprecedented public call for a cease-fire with Israel.

That call was the culmination of long, patient negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas leadership, aimed at achieving a ceasefire between the Palestinians and Israel, putting an end to suicide bombings and paving the way to a resumption of some kind of political process Saudi Arabia, too, is known to have made direct approaches to the Hamas leaders in order to achieve the same result.

A government of Israel caring even a little bit for the well-being of its own citizens would have welcomed the opening. Not so the Sharon Government, whose response was to send an F-16 fighter plane on a bombing spree in Gaza.

The effect of attempting to assassinate a senior Hamas leader was a carnage whose victims included many women and children. Now, instead of offers of ceasefire the Hamas leadership is coming out with calls for revenge, which seems to suit Sharon much better.

It is the PM, with his endless string of provocations, who bears the responsibility for this missed opportunity of ending the cycle of bloodshed.

Deputy Defence Minister Dalia Rabin-Pelosof resigned this evening, charging the Sharon government with destroying the life work of the late Yitzchak Rabin, her father.

For more information:
Adam Keller,
Gush Shalom spokesperson
+972-3-5565804 / +972-56-709603 / +972-56-709604

***

[We just received the following from George Rishmawi who lives under curfew in Beit Sahour]

From: "abunimir" Date sent: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 23:51:51 -0000 Israeli terrorist airstrike kills 12 in Gaza

[Gaza, on Tuesday July 23, 2002]

Israeli F-16 fighters attacked a residential area to the east of the Al Yarmouk area in Gaza a couple of hours ago killing 12 Palestinian civilians and injuring more than 130, children, women, and old people among them. Israeli newspaper Haaretz says that Sheikh Salah Shehadeh (one of Hamas leaders) has been killed in the attack. Al Jazeera TV said that Shehadeh's wife and three of his children have also been killed in the same attack among the 12 dead.

This terrorist attack comes hours after Hamas's leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin's declaration about the intention of Hamas to stop its military attacks in Israel if Israel withdraws from the Palestinian areas. (Some Palestinian sources say that Sheikh Salah Shehadeh is still alive.)

Israeli and Palestinian officials met and there was a talk about withdrawing from two re-occupied cities if things will be quiet in the coming 24 hours or so. Now Israel assasinates a Hamas leader and Hamas is threatening to revenge. Thus, there will be no 24 hours of no attacks. This means that there will be no withdrawal from the cities.

I think the message is clear by now. Israel wants to keep provoking the Palestinians so they keep their occupation alive in the midst of an American blessing for every Israeli crime against the Palestinians under the excuse of fighting terrorism.

If what Palestinians are doing is terrorism, then Israel has to be blamed for creating it. The occupation is the maker of its and our suffering, therefore Occupation has to stop so that both peoples can live in peace.


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