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News ::
7/29 Emergency Palestine Demo 5:30-7 Israeli Consulate
27 Jul 2002
EMERGENCY DEMONSTRATION: MONDAY, JULY 29TH, 5:30-7 PM PICKET ISRAELI CONSULATE (in front of Park Plaza Hotel, Park Square, Boston)

(Analysis by Richard Becker, co-coordinator West Coast
International Action Center)

A U.S.-supplied Israeli F-16 dropped a 2,000-pound bomb in
the center of densely populated Gaza City at midnight on
July 22, killing 15 people, nine of them children ranging in
age from two months to 14 years, and wounding at least 176
others. The laser-guided bomb destroyed four residential

Among the dead were Sheik Salah Shehadeh, senior military
commander of Izzedine Al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas
(Islamic Resistance Movement), his wife Layla and one of
their daughters.

The next day more than 100,000 Palestinians joined in a
massive and militant three-mile-long funeral march for the
victims. Survivors painted on the sides of the devastated
buildings: "This is the American weapon" and "This is the
Israeli peace."

Marchers chanted "Death to Israel, death to America," and
called for avenging the killings. Many of the speeches and
slogans at the rally reportedly focused on the role of the
U.S. in arming Israel. The Pentagon has provided the Israeli
military with F-16s, attack helicopters and other high-tech
weaponry that has been extensively used to attack
Palestinian civilian areas.

In the 22-month-long Intifada (Uprising), more than 1,900
Palestinians have been killed, tens of thousands wounded and
immense destruction done to Palestinian society. The U.S.
government and corporate media have overwhelmingly focused
attention on the 575 Israelis killed in the same period.


Numerous governments and organizations issued statements
condemning the Israeli bombing and the heavy civilian toll.

After 15 hours of silence, the White House issued a
statement criticizing Israel in moderate language.

"This heavy handed action does not contribute to peace,"
said Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. No reference to
"terrorism," the label that Washington hangs on every act of
Palestinian resistance to the harsh and illegal Israeli

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, repeatedly praised by
President George W. Bush as "a man of peace" despite his
blood-drenched history, hailed the Gaza attack as "one of
our greatest successes."


The timing of the Gaza massacre must be seen as part of a
pattern of similar operations carried out by the Sharon
government. Time after time over the past two years, Sharon
has ordered the most provocative actions, including numerous
assassinations, in order to derail the "threat" of

Only a few hours before the Gaza bombing, Hamas was reported
to have offered to suspend operations against Israel if
Israeli troops were withdrawn from recently reoccupied
Palestinian cities and towns in the West Bank.

According to the Washington Post, quoting an unidentified
U.S. source "involved in the negotiations," all the
Palestinian political parties had agreed to "a cessation of
attacks on Israeli civilians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip
and Israel," at 10 p.m. on July 22, just two hours before
the Gaza attack.

"Many people believe that probably Sharon knew about this,
and [the attack] was a provocation," designed to undercut
the agreement, said the Post.

Galia Golan, of the Israeli Peace Now movement, said that
the attack came "when there was progress for a cease-fire,
even with Hamas," and that this "was an indication that
Sharon is not interested in negotiations."

Hafez Barghouthi, editor of the al-Hayat al-Jadida
newspaper, said: "The purpose of this operation was to stop
the contacts between Palestinians and some Israeli
ministers. Sharon wants there to be a Palestinian response,
he wants more violence because he has no political

Why would Sharon, the Bush-designated "man of peace," want
more violence? The answer to the question--the obvious
question never asked by the U.S. big business media--is
quite simple.

Sharon's entire political and military career has been
dedicated to conquering and absorbing all of historic
Palestine into the Israeli state. To achieve this goal,
Sharon has shown that he is willing to shed unlimited
Israeli as well as Palestinian blood.

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