Ariel Sharon: Palestinians Have to Be Hit Hard
5 March 2002
Palestine Media Center PMC
In the clearest manifestation yet of his aggressive intentions, Ariel
Sharon declared to the Israeli Knesset yesterday, 4 March, that Israel was
at war with the Palestinians. Speaking to the Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee, Sharon declared, It won't be possible to reach an agreement
with them before the Palestinians are hit hard. Now they have to be hit.
If they aren't badly beaten, there won't be any negotiations. Only after
they are beaten will we be able to conduct talks. They must be beaten: the
Palestinian Authority, its forces, and the terrorists," he said, adding,
"If they aren't beaten there won't be any political horizon.
Further proving that he has no political agenda, Mr. Sharon said, Those
who speak of political horizons should look at the security horizon. Today
there is only one horizon, the security horizon. The comments were meant
as an indirect criticism to those in the Israeli Knesset who have strongly
criticized the Israeli governments continuous military aggression against
Palestinian population centers, which have thus far resulted in the
killing of at least 1060 Palestinians, 439 of them children.
Ariel Sharon also confirmed the Israeli governments intention to carry out
additional attacks against other Palestinian refugee camps; we are in a
long and difficult war, but if we know how to remain steadfast we can
overcome all the obstacles. The latest incursions into the Balatta and
Jenin refugee camps have resulted in the killing of at least 40
Palestinians, the vast majority of whom were children, women, and elderly.
In fact, Sharons Knesset speech came a few hours after Israeli occupation
forces had fired a tank shell at a Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS)
ambulance, killing 58 year-old Dr. Khalil Suleiman, the director of the
PRCS in Jenin. The doctors body was completely burnt after the crew
accompanying him as well as an additional PRCS medical crew came under
fire and were injured while trying to rescue him. The victim was on his
way to rescuing a little girl who had been injured in the camp.
Also related to his plan of aggression, Ariel Sharon further explained his
declared and internationally condemned buffer zone plan. According to the
daily Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Sharon said that he means a 5-kilometer
strip east of the Green Line, a 15-20 kilometer swath west of the Jordan
River, including the area close to [illegal Israeli settlement of] Ma'aleh
Adumim [in Occupied East Jerusalem]. From Ma'aleh Adumim, the zone would
stretch south over a 10-kilometer-wide swathe, where the [Israeli]
security forces would have a free hand [in conducting military attacks].
The planned buffer zones include 108 Palestinian villages and towns in
which at least 400,000 Palestinians live.
Responding to his buffer zone plan presentation, rightwing Member of
Knesset Yosef Lapid alleged, There could be as many as 4,000 terrorists
there, implying that military aggression should be employed against the
civilians living in these planned buffer zones as well.
For his part, the Israeli opposition leader, Yossi Sarid, delivered a
scathing attack against the planned buffer zones, stating to Ariel Sharon,
It's an illusion that has nothing to do with security. Your buffer zone
plan is an annexation plan that can never happen. Mr. Sarid also accused
the Israeli Prime Minister of insulting the Israeli publics intelligence
with this plan.
Of Mr. Sharons plan to hit the Palestinians hard, Mr. Sarid said, It is
obvious that a tragedy befell the state of Israel a year ago and the fate
of the nation is now being determined by Sharon, Ben Eli-ezer, and the
Chief of Staff Mofaz. These people only work as a result of very retarded
reactions. Mr. Sarid then added, Their principle mistake in defining the
problem. They have yet to understand the problem of continuing the
[Israeli] occupation and that is that no People will accept to live under
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