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Four Years on Israel's Sharon Perpetuates Intifada

Four Years on, Israeli PM Sharon Perpetuates Intifada
Canada, Jordan Warn Against Israel’s Extra-territorial Adventures

Palestine Media Center – Four years on, Monday was another day for the Palestinian Al-Aqsa Intifada (uprising) as it entered its fifth year on Tuesday: “How much longer!” The Palestinians are still asking, as the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed seven more Palestinians, raised havoc in a West Bank hospital and let illegal Jewish settlers on the loose to a murder a civilian taxi driver and go on rampage in Hebron.

Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sparked the Intifada against the 37-year old Israeli occupation with his visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on this day four years ago. Palestinian President Yaser Arafat on the same day described the visit as a “dangerous step.”

Sharon has perpetuated the Intifada with his extra-judicial killings of leading anti-occupation activists, his reoccupation of most of the West Bank and incessant raids into the Gaza Strip, his declarations that the Oslo Accords as well as the UN-adopted “roadmap” peace plan were “dead,” his creation of more facts on the ground in Occupied Palestinian Teritory including the building his Apartheid Wall in the West Bank, which when completed would confiscate 58 percent of its total area and expansion of settlement activity, and offering nothing on condition that the Palestinians concede everything.

Canada, Jordan Reject Israel’s Extra-territorial Adventures

On the eve of the 4th anniversary of the Intifadah, Sharon on Sunday resumed Israel’s state terrorism abroad with the extra-judicial killing of a Hamas activist in the Syrian capital Damascus.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew condemned the car bomb killing of the Palestinian activist in Damascus, Syria, and said Monday that Canada “does not support extra-territorial killings.”

Prominent Israeli commentator Ze’ev Schiff warned in Haaretz Monday that the Damascus killing won’t help Egypt’s efforts to help concluding an Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire.

However visiting Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abul Gheit said in Ottawa Monday that he plans to travel next week to Israel.

“Most probably, we will be going -- myself and the chief of Egyptian general intelligence (Omar Sulaiman) -- to Israel in the first week of October,” Abul Gheit told reporters after meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew.

Meanwhile Jordanian FM Marwan al-Muasher warned against the extra-territorial implications of Sharon’s policies when he told the United Nations General Assembly Monday that the Apartheid Wall Israel is building on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank “is bound to have spill-over implications into neighboring countries, especially Jordan.”

At the same time Israeli official and unofficial threats continued against Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem. The Palestine National Authority (PNA) demanded Sunday that the Jerusalem Committee of the Organization of the Islamic conference (OIC) convene to confront the new Israeli threats.

Shortly after official Israeli warnings that Jewish terrorists are threatening to blow up Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Israel threatened Sunday to restrict access to the compound during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan by disseminating baseless rumors that the eastern and southern walls of Islam’s third holiest site could collapse on top of thousands of Muslim worshippers.

Palestinian and Jordanian officials denied the Israeli “rumors” on Monday.

Jordan rejected Israeli claims that “the Marwani prayer room (part of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem) could collapse during the holy month of Ramadan” as baseless, Jordan's Religious Affairs Minister Ahmed Heleil told Al Rai daily.

IOF, Settlers Kill 7 Palestinians

Separately in the Gaza Strip on Monday, leading anti-occupation activist Mohammad Abu Nssaira survived a failed fresh IOF extra-judicial assassination when an Israeli military helicopter struck a Palestinian vehicle in Abasan village east of the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis and killed a Palestinian man, his bodyguard, instead.

“The Israelis got the wrong man,” an eyewitness told AP. “He was just the bodyguard.”

Earlier Monday, IOF soldiers fired sporadic heavy machine guns toward the Khan Yunis refugee camp in southern Gaza Strip, killing a 55-year-old civilian man as he stood at the gate of a local school.

IOF demolished 55 Palestinian houses during a 24-hour long raid into Khan Yunis Saturday.

In the nearby Rafah refugee camp, five Palestinians, including four children aged 9-15, were injured by IOF fire, hospital officials said.

At dawn also on Monday IOF shot dead two Palestinians near a military outpost in Abu Safiyya to the east of Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip, claiming they were planting an explosive device.

The two victims were identified later as Hasan Abu Daher and Mohammad Abu Asker.

In the West Bank on Monday also an illegal Jewish settler confessed to killing a Palestinian taxi driver on a road near the northern West Bank settlement of Elon Moreh and was arrested by Israeli police.

Palestinian witnesses said the settler was lying in wait for the cab and its passengers as they drove along a country track between Eilon Moreh and Nablus.

In northern West Bank the same day the IOF shot dead two unarmed Palestinians in the Balata refugee camp, near Nablus.

Also Monday, five IOF so-called “border policemen” were arrested for abusing two Palestinians, including forcing one to lick a puddle of urine and making them jump from a second story window, Israel’s “Justice” Ministry said.

Occupation Troops Raid Hospital, Wound 8 People

Earlier in the day, at least 50 IOF tanks and military vehicles backed by US-made Apache helicopters sealed off and stormed into the northern West Bank city of Jenin and its adjacent refugee camp, opening heave sporadic machine gunfire.

The IOF troops raided Al Arazi Hospital and occupied several high buildings including a school and a government office.

Inside the hospital, the troops searched rooms and called on “wanted” activists over loudspeakers to surrender. Soldiers eventually left without finding any of the “wanted” men or making any arrests, witnesses said.

But eight Palestinians were wounded, hospital officials said.

Talal Hamad, director of the hospital, said soldiers were running through hospital hallways and searching rooms. “They have caused a lot of damage to hospital equipment and cabinets in the rooms,” Hamad said.

They also destroyed the main gas supply room, thus making work in the operations room in the hospital, the only one in the city, impossible, he added.

Settlers Go on Rampage in Hebron

Meanwhile in the southern West Bank illegal Jewish settlers, protected by the IOF troops, went on rampage in a Hebron neighborhood.

150 settlers from the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement to the east of Hebron violently attacked Palestinian inhabitants in Wadi Al-Nassara (Valley of Christians) suburb, which is located between the Al-Haram Ibrahimi Mosque and the settlement.

They threw stones and empty bottles at Palestinian citizens and their homes, creating a lot of fear among them.

Palestinian Death Toll on the Rise

The seven Palestinian deaths Monday raised the death toll to more than 3,547 since the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada (uprising) on September 28, 2000.

On Sunday Palestinian activist Jihad Hasan, 35, was killed when his automatic rifle exploded without warning in Salfit, some 20km south of Nablus, AFP reported.

Hasan was a leading local anti-occupation activist and Palestinian sources said his killing was another Israeli extra-judicial assassination.

Two days earlier on Friday 60-year old civilian Ali Abdullah was killed and several others wounded when an IOF Apache helicopter fired two missiles on Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip.

Husam Abu al-Naja, 27, died of wounds sustained from IOF gunfire during an Israeli raid into the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on Thursday Sept. 23.

A B’Tselem Count

B’Tselem Website puts the Palestinian death toll until September 15, 2004 at 2,778 Palestinians, of whom 557 were minors under the age of 18.

In a latest report on Sunday the Israeli human rights organization said that 1550 of the Palestinians who were killed by IOF since September 2000 were not involved in any anti-Israeli activities.

Ages of the minors killed according to B’Tselem count:

One hundred and five minors were age 17, one hundred and fifteen were age 16, seventy nine were age 15, seventy four were age 14, forty nine were age 13, twenty eight age 12, nineteen were age 11, twenty two were age 10, twelve were age 9, ten were age 8, eight were age 7, seven were age 6, three were age 5, six were age 4, six were age 3, six were two years old, four were one year old babies, one was an 11 month old baby girl, one was a 6 month old baby girl and one was a four month old baby girl.

The IOF extra-judicially executed 290 Palestinians over the past 48 months, including 194 in the West Bank and 96 in Gaza Strip since the outbreak of the Intifada in 2000 according to a report issued by the Palestine National Information Center (PNIC).

From January 1, 2004 until the end of August, the Israeli forces assassinated 72 Palestinians, including 45 in the West Bank and 27 in Gaza.

According to another report released Thursday by Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (IICHR), at least 168 of the Palestinians killed were extra judicially assassinated.

105 Palestinians were killed either at streets or homes or other places were assassinations took place, 29 of them were minors, according to the Israeli report.

The report noted it did not include the Palestinians who died after medical treatment was delayed due to restrictions of movement and closure.

During the same period 1,017 Israelis were killed, according to Israeli data published Monday.

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