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Re: Israeli Atrocities Question Mark
by Raja H. Swamy
10 December 2002 04:49 UTC
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Israel and the Occupied Territories
Shielded from scrutiny: IDF violations in Jenin and Nablus
(report from Amnesty Int'l)

"IDF soldiers and officers have been given clear orders: to enter cities
and villages which have become havens for terrorists; to catch and arrest
terrorists and, primarily, their dispatchers and those who finance and
support them; to confiscate weapons intended to be used against Israeli
citizens; to expose and destroy terrorist facilities and explosives,
laboratories, weapons production factories and secret installations. The
orders are clear: target and paralyse anyone who takes up weapons and
tries to oppose our troops, resists them or endangers them - and to avoid
harming the civilian population." 

[Ariel Sharon, Israel's Prime Minister, before the Knesset, 8 April 2002] 

"I have been in urban environments where house to house fighting has
happened: Rwanda, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Colombia, and a city struck by a
massive earthquake: Mexico city. The devastation seen in Jenin camp had
the worst elements of both situations. Houses not just bulldozed or
dynamited but reduced almost to dust by the repeated and deliberate coming
and goings of bulldozers and tanks. Houses pierced from wall to wall by
tank or helicopter gun ships. Houses cut down the middle as if by giant
scissors. Inside, an eerie vision of dining or bedrooms almost intact. No
signs whatsoever that that bedroom or dining room or indeed the house had
been used by fighters. Gratuitous, wanton, unnecessary destruction.
Children's prams, toys, beds everywhere. Where were those children? I do
not know, but I do know where the survivors will be in the future." 

[Javier Zuniga Amnesty International's Director of Regional Strategy who
entered Jenin refugee camp on 17 April 2002] 

Sun, 8 Dec 2002, Alan Krebs wrote:

> For all the Israel-obsessed on this list, a piece of some interest.
> AK
> Subject:  Jenin: Anti-Israel mythology
> Dangerous traveling documentary regarding things that never took place
> in Jenin: Your attention needed NOW.
> This new anti-Israel documentary about the alleged incidents in Jenin,
> will be traveling around the world, shown to audiences in order to
> create anger and anti-Israel sentiment. Programs like: The Protocols of
> the Elders of Zion are shown in Egypt because there is no world outcry.
> Only Jewish outcry. But here it is, in your faces, a traveling
> documentary about the shelling of hospital wings in Jenin (hospital
> wings that never existed) a story of a dead baby with no name or body
> ever found, a story about an old man who lies about being shot in the
> hand and foot when in reality he did have light injury to his hand but
> was in fact treated in an Israeli hospital for chronic anemia, imaginary 
> bodies being crushed by Israeli tanks, and imaginary mass graves dug by the 
> IDF to hide bodies. The film talks about Israeli planes that supposedly 
> bombed the city. There were no such planes. The film systematically and 
> repeatedly uses manipulative pictures of tanks taken in other locations, 
> artificially placing them next to pictures of
> Palestinian children.
> Tell everyone about this by forwarding this entire note to your list.
> Send this to other organizations, other leaders.
> The standwithus membership is international...due to the blessings of
> the internet...we have a far reach... each one of you has a far reach as 
> well... alert everyone about this...and when it comes back to you from other 
> organizations, you will know that we have made a diffence. At the very least 
> we have alerted everyone that such a false film is about to be shown... That 
> we have hopefully tainted this lying film to any responsible station who 
> might consider airing such hateful propaganda.
> Special thanks to Standwithus member Janet Levy
> Please read:
> SEVEN LIES ABOUT JENIN (Presented in New Palestinian Documentary to be
> Viewed Worldwide) By David Zangen, M.D
> (Commentary by Dr. David Zangen, Ma'ariv, 8.11.2002, Weekend Supplement)
> I watched Muhammad Bakri's film Jenin, Jenin in a limited forum, with
> Jerusalem Cinematheque Director Leah Van Leer and several journalists.
> After the private screening, I responded and indicated each lie and lack of 
> credibility. One of those present at the screening was outraged: "If you 
> don't accept the facts in the film, you apparently don't understand 
> anything; how can you be a doctor?"
> For a moment, I forgot that I had been in Jenin last April, serving as a 
> regional brigade doctor, while this viewer had, at best, been fed on rumors. 
> Bakri expertly weaves together lies and half-truths until it becomes very 
> difficult not to be seduced by the distorted picture he creates.
> Even so, I was invited to its premiere screening in Jerusalem and I arrived 
> in order to explain my position to the audience. Following are several 
> points that I wished to raise to the audience:
> 1. Dr. Abu Riali, director of the hospital in Jenin, claims in the film
> that the western wing of the hospital was shelled and destroyed and that the 
> IDF knowingly hit the hospital's water and power supplies. There never was 
> any such wing and in any case, no part of the hospital was either shelled or 
> blown up. IDF soldiers took care not to enter its grounds even though we 
> knew that it was serving as a refuge for several wanted fugitives. We 
> guarded the water, electricity and oxygen supplies to the hospital all 
> throughout the fighting and assisted in setting up an emergency generator 
> after the city's electrical system was damaged.
> the hospital's clean and well-kept corridors, but not in the blown up
> wing. I met him outside the theater and asked him if he had visited the 
> western wing. At first he said no, then he moment in the film with shattered 
> glass - it was from there." It is important to point out that this Abu Riali 
> is one of the "authorized sources" for the claim of a "massacre." At the 
> beginning Al-Jazeera television and spoke of, "thousands of victims."
> 2. Another impressive part of the film is the interview with a male
> 75-year-old Jenin resident who mumbles and cries and tells how he was taken 
> out of his bed in the middle of the night, shot in the hand, and after he 
> failed to obey the soldiers' command to get up, was shot again in the foot. 
> I met this very same old man as he was brought to me after an operation to 
> clear one of the Hamas cells' houses in the refugee camp. He had indeed been 
> lightly injured in the hand and was suffering from a minor scratch on the 
> foot, but certainly not as the result of a
> bullet. IDF soldiers transferred him to a secure station that had been
> set up to treat wounded and there I treated him, among others. One of the 
> military doctors identified diagnosed a transferred immediately to Haemek 
> Hospital in Afula for treatment. He asked to be treated at the
> hospital in Jenin since he did not speak Hebrew. After the hospital
> refused to admit him, we transferred him to Afula and he stayed there for 
> three days in the internal medicine department for treatment of his heart 
> problems and the anemia that he suffered from as a result of another chronic 
> illness.
> 3. Another person who was interviewed spoke about a baby who suffered a
> chest wound from a bullet that entered through his chest and exited his 
> body, creating a hole in his back. According to the film the baby died after 
> IDF soldiers prevented his evacuation to hospital. A baby's body with this 
> type of injury has never been found. Moreover, such an injury would have 
> been fatal, and evacuation would not have saved his life. What is this 
> baby's name? Where did his body disappear?
> 4. The same person interviewed also told how, using his finger, he opened 
> the baby's airway in his neck after he was injured. Again, a complete lie. 
> Such an action cannot be carried out with a finger. This "witness" adds that 
> tanks ran over living people many times until they were completely 
> imaginary.
> 5. The film mentions a mass gravesite that IDF soldiers dug for
> Palestinian dead. Every international organization that investigated the 
> matter concur that there were 52 Palestinian dead in Jenin, and that all the 
> bodies were returned to the Palestinians for burial. Bakri does not bother 
> to show the supposed location of this mass gravesite.
> 6. Israeli planes that supposedly bombed the city are mentioned in the
> film. There were no such planes. In order to prevent civilian casualties, 
> only focused helicopter fire was used.
> 7. It is interesting to note that Bakri was not present in Jenin at the
> time of the operation, and only arrived two weeks after it was completed. In 
> pictures shot at the site in the center of Jenin, the damage appears much 
> larger than it was in actual fact, and the martyrs' pictures and jihad 
> slogans - which had been present at the time of the
> IDF military operation - had disappeared from the walls of houses. The
> film systematically and repeatedly uses manipulative pictures of tanks taken 
> in other locations, artificially placing them next to pictures of 
> Palestinian children.
> In general, this is a vulgar, but extremely well done, work of
> manipulation.
> Allow me to say what I was unable to say to those people that evening. I
> am proud that I was part of this excellent and ethical force that operated 
> in Jenin, regular army soldiers and reservists with motivation and a 
> fighting spirit, who went to destroy the terrorist infrastructure in its 
> capital. Many suicide-bombers came from Jenin, and were
> responsible for the murder of the elderly, women and children on our
> streets. I am proud that we were there, that we fought, and I also am proud 
> of the morality of the battle. The camp was not bombed from the air in order 
> to prevent innocent civilian casualties, and artillery was not used even 
> though we knew about specific areas in the [refugee] camp where terrorists 
> were holing up. IDF soldiers fought against terrorists, and terrorists only. 
> Before destroying a building where terrorist fire against our soldiers had 
> originated from, as many warnings as could be allowed, were given, so that 
> the people could leave without injury. The medical team administered medical 
> aid to
> all casualties, even if they had Hamas tattoos on their hands. At no
> point was any person refused medical treatment.
> This battle, heroic on one hand and ethical on the other, took a heavy
> toll from the best of our fighters! We who had to be there - the soldiers 
> that fell there, their families and the IDF - do not deserve that Muhammad 
> Bakri should incite the world to murder and hatred at our expense.
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