- Jan 4, 2003Israeli soldiers tell Palestinian villagers "we will do to you what
the Nazis did to us."
Dura (West Bank): 2 January, 2003 (IAP News)
The estimated 25,000 people of this small town have been subjected
to a fresh wave of "nightmarish terror" at the hands of the
notorious Israeli border police unit whose largely undisciplined
soldiers abducted and brutally murdered a Palestinian teenager in
Hebron Monday night.
For two consecutive days, hundreds of soldiers, backed by military
vehicles, two military trucks, and several large bulldozers,
rampaged through the town, opening fire and stun grenades in all
On Wednesday, the force held some 200 Palestinian youths inside the
town's only cultural Center for 10 hours during which the soldiers
did, as one hostage put it, "what all Israeli soldiers do in the
absence of television cameras."
"They beat each and every one of us without any reason, they started
cursing our religion and making other blasphemous remarks.
Afterwards they, using large hammers, smashed all the windows and
doors of the building. Then they smashed all the 30 computers, which
had been donated from a European country. In short they were Gestapo
in real life," said Musa Abu Salameh, one of the hostages.
Abu Salameh also testified that the soldiers also stole at gunpoint
28 cellular telephones, large amounts of money and other valuable
things from the hostages.
"They told us not to expect help from anybody, and when one of us
told the officer that what they were doing was wrong, the officer
said laughingly `what right, what wrong, what God I'm God."
When Other Palestinians walked toward the building to know what was
happening to their sons, the soldiers didn't hesitate to open fire,
injuring several people, including 11-year-old Jihad Abu Arqoub,
from whose belly doctors at the Princess Alya hospital in Hebron
extracted two bullets.
As dark-fall neared, the soldiers began scouring through the town,
blowing the sirens of their jeeps and shouting obscenities at the
Earlier, the huge bulldozers sealed all entries to Dura by dumping
huge piles of dirt across the streets.
The draconian, medieval measure effectively meant that Dura became
cut off from the rest of the West Bank and practically isolated from
the rest of the world.
In real terms, the sealing of the town also meant that nobody, not
even an ambulance, could move either into or out of the town. In
shot, if some needed urgent hospitalization, he or she would have to
die because "the army says so."
Earlier this week, the Israeli army dynamited four homes belonging
to the families of Palestinian resistance activists, three of them
Abed Elqiq, whose cousin's home was among the homes demolished
narrated that one of the Israeli officers who oversaw the
destruction of the homes told the grieving women at the site
that "we will do to you what the Nazis did to us" half a century ago.
"Ok, if you want call us Nazi, we are Nazi, but we have the upper
hand and we can kill you and destroy your homes and nobody in this
world can ask us `why'. And we are happy about it."
In a Further Escalation of Israeli Illegal Military Actions, 25
Houses Have Been Demolished in Rafah.
2nd January, 2003 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
This Thursday morning, the second of January 2003, Israeli forces
instigated another illegal action by destroying 25 refugee houses in
the Rafah refugee camp rendering 85 families including 313 people,
homeless. Those civilians were forced to leave their houses at about
01.00hrs and forced to search for shelter as the bulldozers moved in
on their property. According to the PCHR's field work unit and the
testimonies of those whose houses were damaged, approximately more
than 30 heavy vehicles moved approximately 200m into Block J in the
Rafah Refugee camp adjacent to the Egyptian border. They shelled the
area intensely. Palestinian civilians who were sleeping were shocked
and terrified by these actions and were forced to leave their houses
to find shelter. The armoured bulldozers demolished the houses over
their furniture and belongings. 14 houses were totally demolished
while 2 others were partially demolished rendering 33 families,
comprised of 180 people, homeless. A number of these people,
particularly from among the women and children, were evacuated to
Hospital for treatment.
Then the armoured vehicles moved east to Block L adjacent to the
border with Egypt. The soldiers called upon the residents to
evacuate their houses through loud hailers. This was at
approximately 02.30hrs. The bulldozers then demolished 9 Palestinian
houses rendering 25 families, comprised of nearly 130 family
members, homeless. The families were forced to flee from the area
due to intensive gunfire from the Israeli soldiers. This wide scale
military operation is reminiscent of the other illegal actions
conducted by the Israeli forces within the Rafah refugee camp. On
the 7-12 of January 2002 the Israeli forces demolished 77
Palestinian houses while more than 100 houses were rendered
uninhabitable. This humanitarian crisis rendered more than 100
Palestinian families including 750 people homeless. The worse scenes
saw unarmed Palestinian civilians, including hundreds of women,
children and the aged, escaping from their houses in fear of the
intensive Israeli shelling.
We feel disappointed that the International community and the more
active powers are silent about these illegal and abusive actions
against the Palestinian civilians. The flagrant human rights
violations conducted by the Israeli forces require the action of an
independent international movement to ensure that the Israelis
respect International Law. We feel this would help stop the
retaliatory actions that are being carried out against the civilian
PCHR condemns the escalation in these illegal actions against unarmed
civilians and reiterates its call for an immediate intervention by
the international community and calls upon the high contracting
parties to the Forth Geneva Convention of 1949 to stop these
actions. Over the past twenty seven months, the Israeli occupying
forces have carried out many illegal actions within the Rafah area.
PCHR calls upon the international community to break their silence
and fulfill their international obligations.
PCHR considers that; 1) these illegal actions do not occur without a
political void created by certain world powers, a void that allows
these actions to occur under the guise of `Security Operations' and
in the name of self defence. 2) The Israeli claim that the
demolished houses were used for military purposes is untrue and the
international community and agencies are invited to visit the area
to verify that the Israelis demolished inhabited houses.
PCHR calls upon the United Nations to visit the area immediately in
order to conduct an investigation and to take the necessary steps to
bring about an end to these illegal actions. The International
community is also asked to contribute to the efforts to build
shelters for the affected Palestinian families. The PCHR also asks
that the international agencies provide medical support for the
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