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  Challenging Racism and Violence in the Media Through Education  


Excellent reply on issue of Palestinian suicide bombings which gives the facts

Open Letter to Mark Goodman: Reply to "Urgent Appeal . . ." June 07, 2002     By Jehad Aliweiwi
In response toMargaret Altman open letter to Mark Goodman, I would like  to provide few details Just for the record. The roadblocks that the  Israeli  army has all over the West Bank and Gaza are a hallmark of Israeli  occupation of West Bank and Gaze. Israel occupation forces instituted  RoadBlocks many years before any suicide attack ever taken place. The  first  ever suicide attack was in April 1994. The first Road block was in 1967.

Suicide bombs are because of road blocks that completely imprisons the  Palestinians in their own homes and towns and gives the Israeli army complete and total control of every aspect of Palestinian daily lives. The road block and check points are one of the many violent expressions of the 35 years old occupation.

Israel has imposed complete closure on the Palestinian territories for the first during the Gulf war of 1991. Since then the elaborate and oppressive system of roadblocks and checkpoints has ensured Israel effective control over Palestinian movements from one village to the next. Today, Palestinians live in three disconnected areas: the West Bank, Gaza, and Arab East Jerusalem. Roadblocks further divide these areas; check points and Israel Tanks into 12 different and incontiguous areas. Eight in the West Bank, three in the Gaza Strip and one in East Jerusalem, non of them is accessible directly to the other. Israel has imposed a system of permits that is required for movements for one village to the next. Palestinians from the West Bank are completely banned from traveling to Gaza or entering Jerusalem and the other way around.

For example, my family lives in Hebron. My sister lives on the other side of the town. Today, my mother needs a permit to go and visit her. The distance between my parent's house and my sisters is shorter than the distance between the York University Campus and Wilson Subway station, not even  five miles. I went to visit my family last summer. It took me an entire day to make it from Jericho to Hebron, a trip that normally 90 minutes at most. I  changed cars four times in the way, each time; I hauled my luggage over the  roadblock and to the other side of the road. This has been going on for many years. 

As for Casualties, the total number of Israelis, soldiers and civilians who were killed since 1994, the first suicide bomb until today is less than one fifth of the total number of Palestinians who were killed since September of 2000. For each Israeli killed five Palestinians were killed, for each Israeli injured 90 Palestinians were injured. In addition Israel demolished hundreds of homes and destroyed the entire road network of the West Bank and Gaza, and thousands of uprooted trees. Settlements are increasing at a furious rate and curfew days are increasing.

Aside from the human toll of the last Israeli invasion of Palestinian cities and villages, Israel has committed a cultural genocide. In Nablus old Kasbah, and Bethlehem old city, Israel has destroyed hundreds of years old ally ways and ancient homes to make room for monstrous tanks.

Finally, the much talked about "generous offer", was, true, the best Israel offered so far, however its is so far bellow the Palestinian minimum demand, it was impossible to accept. The offer divided the West Bank into three areas and Gaza into two. Gave the Palestinian custodial control over the Muslim and Christian holly places. The Palestinian capital would be the village of Abu Dees outside Jerusalem. The offer provided nothing for the Palestinian refugees. Israel wanted to annex the settlement, approximately 10% of the West Bank; in return they offer the Palestinians 1% in the Negev desert. The Palestinian objected saying how can we justify to our people a land swap at 10 to 1 ratio? Also, Palestinians have no control over borders, ports of entry, skies, water resources, and highways. For a closer look, I invite all of you to judge for yourself and see the proposed map of the Palestinian state by Israel at the bellow site:

Annual reports of Amnesty International, ICRC, Human Rights Watch, Israel human rights group B Tselem and the UN all detail the losses sustained by the Palestinians over the years.

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