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Israel Murders American Family

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    US Consulate in Jerusalem Ignored Plea to Stop Israeli Assault on Palestinian-American Family Palestinian American Calls for US Investigation into Israeli
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2005
      US Consulate in Jerusalem Ignored Plea to Stop Israeli Assault on
      Palestinian-American Family

      Palestinian American Calls for US Investigation into Israeli Assault
      By Genevieve Cora Fraser
      Thursday, March 03, 2005

      Amr Salah, a United States citizen living in Massachusetts asks for
      your help in demanding a formal investigation into the deaths of his
      father and brother at the hands of 1,000 Israeli troops. Dr. Khalid
      Salah, age 51, and his 16 year old son, Mohammed were shot and
      killed by Israeli Defense Forces on July 6, 2004 in their home in
      the city of Nablus in the Israeli Occupied West Bank. Throughout the
      hours of assault the Salahs were huddled together in a corner of the
      apartment, contacting relatives on a mobile phone for help. Despite
      an urgent call to the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, Consul General
      David Pearce nor anyone else at the consulate intervened.

      Dr. Salah received his doctorate in engineering at the University of
      California, Davis in 1988 and was a member of the Palestine-Israeli
      Peace Association at An Najah University in Nablus, where he was a
      Professor of Electrical Engineering. Both Dr. Salah and his wife
      Salam had permanent US resident status and had reluctantly made the
      decision to leave Nablus. They were preparing to move to the United
      States at the time of the assault. Their daughter Diana and son Amr
      were born in California and are US citizens. The Salahs returned to
      Nablus in 1989.

      According to Amr, "My dad was a very gentle man who loved his
      family, his work and his community. Despite living with war for many
      years he remained a man of peace and often told me that Israelis
      were his cousins and that he prayed that Israelis and Palestinians
      could live together in harmony." Amr Salah attends Middlesex College
      in Lowell, MA where he studies computer science. He plans to become
      an computer engineer like his father.

      "My Dad had turned down a good job offer in Silicon Valley. He
      wanted to teach in his home town and help those who did not have the
      educational opportunities that he had," Amr continued. "Despite the
      curfews, closings and almost constant military action in Nablus
      during the last 15 years, my Dad managed to stimulate young minds
      with his love of science and, more importantly, with his love of
      peace. My Dad hated violent words and acts and he would not tolerate
      hateful words, even against the Israelis who occupied our city."

      Amr alleges that his father and brother were innocent victims of
      aggressive and reckless Israeli action. Shortly after the attack,
      his mother and sister phoned to describe the circumstances of the
      deaths of his father and brother. Amr was told that in the early
      hours of July 6, his mother and father and sister Diana (22), and
      brothers, Mohammed (16) and Ali (11) were asleep in their home when
      they became trapped during an Israeli military pursuit of two armed
      men. Their apartment building was attacked with rockets and machine
      guns during the first hours of the Israeli action, he said.

      "My family somehow survived this initial attack without injury and
      following an Israeli command to evacuate the building, my father
      spoke to the soldiers in English to tell them that their damaged
      door could not be opened," Amr explained.

      "The soldiers then fired through a window in the top part of the
      front door and my father, and then my brother, Mohammed was both
      shot. My Dad died instantly from a chest wound and Mohammed was
      wounded by a bullet in the mouth when he came to help my Dad," he

      "The Israeli forces then entered the apartment and forcibly removed
      my mother, Diana and Ali and, despite my Mom's pleading not to
      abandon him, my brother Mohammed was left by the Israelis and he
      subsequently bled to death." His mother further reported that there
      was no attempt to gain medical help for Mohammed or to allow local
      ambulances access to the area, and that the Israeli soldiers
      ridiculed and verbally assaulted her.

      "The Israelis attacked an apartment building full of innocent people
      with tanks, helicopters and rockets and then killed my father and
      brother after they had caught the two men that they were chasing,"
      Amr said.

      According to eye-witness accounts, the militants were isolated and
      killed in a courtyard and grounds area near the apartment building
      occupied by the Salah family. Israeli sharpshooters were stationed
      on rooftops and balconies throughout the neighborhood, and residents
      of the apartment building had been evacuated, except for the Salahs.
      The full military assault continued on the family's apartment even
      after the militants had been killed.

      "Newspaper reports of the incident made it quite clear that the
      Israeli military were actively evacuating their wounded at the time
      of the shooting," Amr stated. "When my mother returned to our home
      three days later the building was damaged further from Israeli
      attempts at demolition and my family home had been extensively
      machine-gunned to destroy the contents."

      I was first contacted by Diana Salah shortly after a memorial poem I
      wrote, "Palestinian-American Family Ensnared in Israeli Death Trap,"
      was published. When they learned that I planned to visit Palestine
      to attend a conference held by the Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian
      Peace, the family was determined that I visit.

      In January, on the six-month anniversary of the attack, I met the
      Salah family in Nablus. Salam now lives with her mother and sister
      Fatema, in her childhood home and where she lived during her
      courtship, situated on the South Mountain directly across from
      Khalid's family home on the North Mountain. Accompanied by her
      daughter Diana, Salam drove us in her deceased husband's car to the
      site of the attack, up high on Saka Street along the south side
      overlooking the city. It was her first venture outside her mother's
      home since her husband and son were brutally and willfully murdered,
      I was told. Salam has since lost over 40 pounds and her features
      have become gaunt. Though the front door and windows were replaced,
      bullet and mortar holes are still visible on the porch and
      throughout the apartment. Blood stained rugs are rolled and Khalid's
      and Mohammed's blood has soaked deep into tiles. She stated that
      Israeli tanks fired from vantage points on Saka Street as well as
      from the streets of the city below.

      Salam and Diana led me into the kitchen where all the pots and pans
      are riddled by bullets as well as the cupboards, refrigerator, floor
      and ceiling. In the bathroom, I saw beautiful, hand-painted floral
      tiles shattered along with the bathroom fixtures. The parent's and
      children's bedrooms are riddled by bullet holes and their clothes
      pock marked and shredded. The computer in the boy's room is also
      shot-up as well as posters along the wall. Salam continues to pay
      rent on the apartment and intends to keep it as a memorial to the
      deaths of her beloved husband and son. She also confided she cannot
      bear to have their blood further desecrated by tossing away the
      tiles and discarding the rugs.

      Salam said neighbors informed her that prior to the attack, the
      Israelis had checked out the neighborhood and knew the names and
      backgrounds of the residents and the exact location of the Salahs,
      including the fact that Khalid was a well known peace activist. Two
      physicians who also lived in the apartment building were evacuated
      during the attack but prevented from treating Dr. Salah and his son,
      despite pleas from Salam.

      "Not once has anyone from the US Consulate's office in Jerusalem
      contacted me to help or send someone to witness what was done,
      despite the fact that Khalid had permanent US resident status, and
      two of my children are American citizens with US passports," she
      said. "No one from the Nablus Municipality or police has examined
      the apartment nor has any effort been made to investigate the
      deaths, despite that fact that the assault was widely reported by
      the media." Salam finds unbearable the knowledge that one of their
      relatives had successfully placed a call to the US Consulate during
      the attack. They could have stopped the assault but they chose to do
      nothing. They are partly to blame for the deaths of her husband and
      son, she believes.

      The Israeli paper Haaretz published an article in their weekly
      magazine section, "Death in a Cemetery" by Gideon Levy that
      described the military assault in vivid and gruesome detail. Salam
      and I sat on her mother's living room couch as we leafed through the
      article and others written in Arabic plus keepsakes from the
      memorials and many tributes to her husband and son. Glossy posters
      of the Salah martyrs are posted in the hallway, living room and
      dining room as well as the bedrooms of the home. Salam dresses in
      widows' black and wears a leather strap around her neck with photos
      of Khalid and Mohammed. It is a struggle for her to focus on
      anything but her loss though she is concerned that her surviving
      children not be permanently scarred by the tragedy.

      Though her grief is obvious, Diana is a bright, vivacious and
      attractive young woman, quite popular with many friends. She appears
      to be adjusting, but Ali is 11 years old and remains deeply affected
      and somewhat withdrawn since the loss of his father and brother. He
      too has many cousins and friends who shower him with attention and
      seem to understand, for the children of Nablus are no stranger to
      death and live with nightly assaults and rampages by the Israeli
      armed forces. These assaults have continued since the election of
      Abbas and the so-called truce, despite Israeli claims to the

      In the evening Salam and I watched a video that had been dropped off
      by a friend of TV footage of the attack, scenes in the hospital
      where the bodies of Khalid and Mohammed and the militants had been
      brought, the separate funerals, and graveside observances. She is
      determined that those responsible for the deaths of her loved ones
      will someday be brought to justice.


      Palestine was stolen - that's why the Middle East is in conflict

      by Jennifer Winkler

      Most people don't understand why the Middle East is plagued by
      violence. It is because Israel stole vast land and property from the
      Palestinians beginning in 1948 and continuing today. Among
      the "achievements" of the security wall underway is further theft.

      The installation of Israel in Palestine was entirely wrong. That the
      United Nations, Britain or France "gave" Palestine for a Jewish
      homeland is abhorrent: it was not theirs to give. (And UN "approval"
      was obtained under duress: UN member countries were threatened with
      loss of trade or aid if they didn't vote for the partition, which
      conferred on Jews 54% of Palestine's land though they owned only 7%.
      Read the details at http://www.al-bushra.org/America/ch9.html.)

      Then, through the acts of Jewish terrorists, 700,000 people were
      terrified into fleeing their properties. (Read at
      Remembered/Story674.html and http://www.al-
      bushra.org/America/ch9.html .) They haven't been compensated for
      their enormous losses. So naturally the Palestinians fight.

      That their ancient ancestors had once lived there does not make it
      legitimate for Jews to wrest the land from the people who since had
      made it their home. Except of a scant portion, there had been
      centuries of discontinuation in Jewish possession.

      That the Old Testament decreed it is inadequate: the Old Testament
      is not the universal book of man. (In any case the Bible
      was "doctored" in the 20th century to strengthen the position of
      Israel.

      That the Jews were victimized during World War II is inadequate: one
      victimization doesn't justify another. And that they had no home of
      their own is inadequate: other people should not be dispossessed of
      their homes in order to provide them one.

      Jennifer Winkler



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