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Israelis Open Fire in Ice Cream Shop

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    Murder On Rucarb Street By Eliza Ernshire http://www.counterpunch.org/ernshire08302006.html Ramallah. August 29, Pre-dawn. It is only now that the gun-fire
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2006
      Murder On Rucarb Street
      By Eliza Ernshire


      August 29, Pre-dawn.

      It is only now that the gun-fire saluting the killed young man has
      become sporadic and no longer constant, and that the verses of the
      Koran, chanted in farewell to him, has ceased. But the streets are
      full; and full too are the hearts of all who had to witness an attack
      that should only have been imaginable in the darkest back alleys of
      some underworld city.

      At 9 pm, the 28th, undercover Israeli Special Forces walked down the
      main street of Ramallah. They wore civilian clothes and Palestinian
      police-caps. They carried M-16s as all the police force does. No one
      looked at them twice. They walked straight past us where we stood at
      Al-Minara discussing work with a third colleague.

      They walked straight passed the Palestinian Police Force as well who
      is always stationed there.

      They continued walking straight down Rucarb Street until they were
      opposite the famous Rucarb Ice-cream shop where families gather every
      evening in the summertime.

      Then they opened fire.

      They opened fire after they failed to catch two 'wanted' men who were
      also in Rucarb Street along with half the population of Ramallah. The
      two men wouldn't come when called and so the undercover Israeli
      Officers opened fire.

      It is not easy to explain the horror of seeing the cold-blooded murder
      of the young man who had turned to escape on realizing the situation.

      It is not easy to explain the horror of hearing the name of the killed
      youth spreading from mouth to mouth until the whole of Ramallah knows
      that the young man killed was A. from the village of Deir Ghassan. Nor
      is it easy to explain the horror of rushing with everybody else who
      knows an A. from that village or a nearby one to the hospital.

      The relief if the body pulled from the fridge is not your A.

      The anguish if it is.

      Grown men falling on the ground to beat at the dirt and cry.

      The parents of the killed man stumbled into the hospital at midnight.
      The father could not even see his son because he was temporarily
      blinded by the shock and the screams of the mother could be heard from
      the street.

      Young men were also in shock, wandering around and wondering why they
      had not even had a chance to fight back. There was an overwhelming
      feeling of powerlessness.

      Palestine has been so reduced and so humiliated that it is now a
      country where the Occupying force can walk into a main city on
      nightfall, can walk down the main street of that city and kill a man
      and then walk away again as if that is a damn right of theirs and no
      one is going to blink an eye at it.

      It is not their damn right to come and terrorize the people of a city
      night after night after night on some hyped up 'security' reason! This
      is no human being's right.

      I have been accused of not understanding how people are feeling on the
      other side of the Wall. People have written to me 'You don't know what
      it is like to be driving behind a bus when it explodes' and I say this
      is true. But I do know what it is like to see fifteen thugs walk down
      a main street of a city at nightfall and murder in cold-blood outside
      a family restaurant and then walk away again.

      I call that the worst kind of terror.

      The boy they killed was just a village boy, and the children who
      witnessed this killing were just children. As in all parts of the
      world, children who had begged their parents for an ice-cream before
      going to bed.

      Nhow they must live with this violation of their sensitivity forever.

      And the thugs could just walk away! They did not even need jeeps to
      perform their action of terror.

      These men were not desperate. Not one of them would tie an explosive
      belt around his waist.What I am most afraid of is that they enjoy what
      they do. To them and to too many others, the lives of Palestinians
      are, at most, only countable.

      There was a three-second coverage of this news item on BBC. 'Three
      militants killed in the West Bank. One in Ramallah and two in Nablus;
      all were from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.'

      One second for each man killed.

      I won't begin a discussion on why, by naming the Martyrs Brigade, the
      West is somehow justifying the deaths, because the purpose of this
      article is only to register horror at the nighttime terror that came
      in so particularly a disgusting way to the streets of Ramallah four
      hours ago.And also to say that now the city is angry.

      The young men who have been gathering for hours in groups on street
      corners are angry. Some have been crying, and all have been voicing
      their disbelief at how on earth Israel can continue to get away with
      their inhuman actions; not only nightly midnight raids and arrests but
      also this gangster plot that has left the main street of their city
      stained with blood again.

      In the past two weeks Israeli forces have come to Ramallah every
      single night. There is now a vigil in the dark hours of these nights;
      from 2am till 5am half the city is awake watching and wondering where
      Israel's eyes are turned and what neighborhood they are targeting.

      In the past week Israel has made daily incursions into Nablus and has
      destroyed houses and killed 16-year old boys in broad daylight, and
      has raided the city every night. For the past month the whole village
      district of Ramallah and Nablus have been enduring invasions and
      raids, house-searches and arrests.

      While Olmert is taking a few blows about his conduct of the war in
      Lebanon, the Palestinians are having to endure being his

      How on earth is he and Israel getting away with it?

      Eliza Ernshire can be reached at eliza_ernshire @ yahoo.co.uk


      Can you really not see?
      By Amira Hass

      Let us leave aside those Israelis whose ideology supports the
      dispossession of the Palestinian people because "God chose us." Leave
      aside the judges who whitewash every military policy of killing and
      destruction. Leave aside the military commanders who knowingly jail
      an entire nation in pens surrounded by walls, fortified observation
      towers, machine guns, barbed wire and blinding projectors. Leave
      aside the ministers. All of these are not counted among the
      collaborators. These are the architects, the planners, the designers,
      the executioners.

      But there are others. Historians and mathematicians, senior editors,
      media stars, psychologists and family doctors, lawyers who do not
      support Gush Emunim and Kadima, teachers and educators, lovers of
      hiking trails and sing-alongs, high-tech wizards. Where are you? And
      what about you, researchers of Nazism, the Holocaust and Soviet
      gulags? Could you all be in favor of systematic discriminating laws?
      Laws stating that the Arabs of the Galilee will not even be
      compensated for the damages of the war by the same sums their Jewish
      neighbors are entitled to (Aryeh Dayan, Haaretz , August 21).

      Could it be that you are all in favor of a racist Citizenship Law
      that forbids an Israeli Arab from living with his family in his own
      home? That you side with further expropriation of lands and the
      demolishing of additional orchards, for another settler neighborhood
      and another exclusively Jewish road? That you all back the shelling
      and missile fire killing the old and the young in the Gaza Strip?

      Could it be that you all agree that a third of the West Bank (the
      Jordan Valley) should be off limits to Palestinians? That you all
      side with an Israeli policy that prevents tens of thousands of
      Palestinians who have obtained foreign citizenship from returning to
      their families in the occupied territories?

      Could your mind really be so washed with the security excuse, used to
      forbid Gaza students from studying occupational therapy at Bethlehem
      and medicine at Abu Dis, and preventing sick people from Rafah from
      receiving medical treatment in Ramallah? Will also you find it easy
      to hide behind the explanation "we had no idea": we had no idea that
      the discrimination practiced in the distribution of water - which is
      solely controlled by Israel - leaves thousands of Palestinian
      households without water during the hot summer months; we had no idea
      that when the IDF blocks the entrance to villages, it also blocks
      their access to springs or water tanks.

      But it cannot be that you don't see the iron gates along route 344 in
      the West Bank, blocking access to it from the Palestinian villages it
      passes by. It cannot be that you support preventing the access of
      thousands of farmers to their land and plantations, that you support
      the quarantine on Gaza which prevents the entry of medicine for
      hospitals, the disruption of electricity and water supply to 1.4
      million human beings, closing their only outlet to the world for months.

      Could it be that you do not know what is happening 15 minutes from
      your faculties and offices? Is it plausible that you support the
      system in which Hebrew soldiers, at checkpoints in the heart of the
      West Bank, are letting tens of thousands of people wait everyday for
      hours upon hours under the blazing sun, while selecting: residents of
      Nablus and Tul Karm are not allowed through, 35-year-olds and under -
      yallah, back to Jenin, residents of the Salem village are not even
      allowed to be here, a sick woman who skipped the line must learn a
      lesson and will be purposefully detained for hours. Machsom Watch's
      site is available for all; in it are countless such testimonies and
      worse, a day by day routine. But it cannot be that those who are
      appalled over every swastika painted on a Jewish grave in France and
      over every anti-Semitic headline in a Spanish local newspaper will
      not know how to reach this information, and will not be appalled and

      As Jews we all enjoy the privilege Israel gives us, what makes us all
      collaborators. The question is what does every one of us do in an
      active and direct daily manner to minimize cooperation with a
      dispossessing, suppressing regime that never has its fill. Signing a
      petition and tutting will not do. Israel is a democracy for its Jews.
      We are not in danger of our lives, we will not be jailed in
      concentration camps, our livelihood will not be damaged and
      recreation in the countryside or abroad will not be denied to us.
      Therefore, the burden of collaboration and direct responsibility is
      immeasurably heavy.


      Who will protect the Palestinian people?
      Khalid al-Aqqad
      Maan News
      Aug 26, 2006

      The whole world, including instruments of international legitimacy,
      agrees that Israel must be protected. All institutions of
      international organizations prepare to protect Israel despite its
      wide-scale aggression against Lebanon. At the same time, the
      international organizations pay no attention to the atrocities which
      the Israeli military machine causes - in spite of international calls
      to protect the Palestinian people - against Palestinians.

      The US administration is now preparing a new international resolution
      which aims to modify UN resolution 1701 to reflect that Lebanon lost
      the war against Israel, regardless of the facts on the ground which
      clearly show that Israel did not win the battle. This American
      intention stems from their proposal, included in resolution 1701, that
      Hezbollah caused the conflict when they captured two Israeli soldiers
      and killed many others.

      At the same time, the US administration believes that Israel has the
      right to defend itself and protect its borders - whatever the cost to
      Lebanon, which in this war was about 1200 civilians killed , 15 000
      residential units destroyed and the complete bombardment of several
      towns. All this in addition to the destruction of the Lebanese
      agricultural and tourist seasons.

      As it does in Lebanon, the United States finds justifications for
      Israeli atrocities in Palestine by neglecting the suffering and agony
      of the Palestinians, caused by the continuous Israeli assaults
      including a blockade, assassinations and racial discrimination.

      More than 10 000 Palestinians in Israeli jails and millions of
      refugees fail to convince international multilateral organisations to
      take a single step to protect the Palestinian people. The world should
      fulfil their moral and legal responsibilities ascribed to the great
      countries through the UN founding convention.

      While Israel asked for international protection and every responsible
      party in the world responded, the Palestinian people are in greater
      need of protection. The war in Lebanon has proved once again American
      bias towards Israel which reached the level of a partnership. At the
      same time, the UN showed itself to be totally helpless when it failed
      to even protect its own employees from US-backed Israel.

      The war also proved that the Arabs can apply pressure and make the
      changes if they wish. This change can be achieved either by politics
      or by agreement to provide the Palestinian people with all means of
      support and steadfastness.

      The question remains: Will there be support for the Palestinian people
      or will they continue to fight on their own?

      Khalid Al Aqqad is a journalist.



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