Heavily armed Israeli soldiers have been firing rubber bullets and tear gas shells into crowds of angry Palestinian youths across the towns in West Bank and Ghazzah as we went to press. Hundreds of Palestinians, protesting the Zionists’ aggressive settlement policy have been injured. Two Palestinian youths were shot and seriously wounded by Israeli soldiers at a road-crossing in Ghazzah on March 22.
What has sparked the latest uprising is the illegal settlement at Jabal Abu Ghneim in East Jerusalem. Israeli army bulldozers have been deployed to clear the ground and push ahead in total disregard of the Palestinians’ rights or feelings.
Even the Palestinian Authority (PA) of Yassir Arafat, acting as subcontractor for the Zionists, has been appalled by the latest Israeli moves. The PA considers East Jerusalem as Arab territory and would like to make it the future capital of a Palestinian State (Muslims regard the whole of Jerusalem as well as Palestine Islamic land and the Zionists as alien invaders).
The Israelis are master tacticians of creeping annexation. Last September, they opened a tunnel underneath the Aqsa Mosque with the clear intention to undermine the foundations of the Islamic holy site. In the ensuing protests, more than 70 Palestinians were murdered by the Zionists. Even Arafat’s police were appalled by this and joined in the fight, albeit temporarily, against Israeli soldiers.
Arafat’s PA has taken over most of the dirty work of the Israelis. In the past, Israeli soldiers attacked and killed Palestinian activists, now the PA police, all 30,000 of them, are doing it. Yet they get no thanks from the Zionists who demand that they do more. Arafat’s men have caused more damage to the Islamic movement in Palestine in three years than the Zionists could do in 10. Many leading activists have been trapped and killed by Arafat’s thugs at the behest of the Zionists.
Not that the Zionists themselves have been any less active. The Palestinians’ anger has been exacerbated by the brutal tactics employed by the zionists in the wake of the March 21 bombing of a Tel Aviv cafe in which four Israelis died and several were wounded. The Zionists immediately sealed off the West Bank and Ghazzah.
Surif, a village near Hebron, where the cafe bomber, Mousa Abdel Khader Ghneimat lived, was invaded by the Israeli army in the middle of the night on March 21. Heavily-armed soldiers broke down the front door of his house and arrested all male members of his family and those of his wife’s. The house was then sealed and demolished with explosives.
Terrified villagers witnessed Israeli soldiers beat up and kick on-lookers as a ‘lesson’ to others - lessons that the Palestinian strugglers have learned to dismiss with contempt. They no longer fear the Zionists. Nonetheless, the Zionist occupiers persist in their brutal tactics, in complete disregard of the human or other rights of the Palestinians.
The Israeli army has also resorted to using specially-trained dogs to attack and maim Palestinians. They are trained to attack with the specific purpose to cause maximum injury and possibly death. A number of children have been viciously attacked and mauled by these beasts and their gun-toting masters.
Dogs were used against Jews in Nazi Germany as well as by the apartheid regime of South Africa. The Zionists are in good company with their latest tactics, though nothing new to them since they have used dogs against the Palestinians in the past as well. These, however, are not likely to prick the conscience of the human rights crusaders in the west who immediately take up arms if a cat belonging to a Christian or Jew is slightly injured in a Muslim country. The Palestinians - indeed Muslims worldwide - are an easy prey.
This was also evident in the manner in which king Husain of Jordan went to see on March 16 Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the families of school girls shot dead by the lone Jordanian soldier three days earlier. He expressed his profound grief and regret. The Jordanian monarch has never bothered to offer any such condolences to the families of countless Muslims, whether in Palestine, Jordan or elsewhere, who have been the victims of Zionist crimes.
The families of Dr Fathi Shiqaqi, assassinated by Zionist agents in Malta (October 26, 1995), or Yahya Ayyash, martyred by a Zionist booby-trap (January 6, 1996), never received a word of sympathy from the Jordanian king. He is fond of shedding tears, like a woman, for Jewish soldiers as well as women and girls, but did not utter a word of sympathy for the 48 Muslim worshippers slaughtered at prayer in Al-Khalil Mosque by the Zionist soldier, Baruch Goldstein on February 25, 1994. Nor did the massacre of 102 Muslim women and children in Qana, South Lebanon by the Israeli army on April 18, 1996 arouse his feelings.
This is a malaise that afflicts the Muslim/Arab world in general. The suffering of Zionists takes precedence over that of all other peoples, especially Muslims. They are dying all over the world anyway, as the argument goes, so a few dozen or even a few hundred killed by the Israelis is an insignificant matter.
The Zionists and their minions - Arafat’s PA - may have pushed the struggling Palestinians to launch another intifadah. It is only through armed struggle that the Zionists can be evicted from the whole of Palestine. All other options are a waste of time and a delusion. Muslims must be absolutely clear on this point.
Muslimedia - April 1-15, 1997