Thursday, April 26, 2007

What cease-fire?

Amira Hass

about making and breaking a cease-fire spares the Palestinians from
having to admit the failure of their Qassam missile publicity stunts.
Proposals to widen the cease-fire to the West Bank sidestep any need
for an inter-Palestinian debate on the destructive uselessness of a
suicide-based `armed struggle.`

`Cease-fire` is yet another
hollow term, showing that the Palestinian representatives - elected or
not, Hamas or Fatah or Palestine Liberation Organization-Tunis, from
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the last spokesman of
the Al-Aqsa Martyrs` `Brigades` - keep falling into the traps set for
them by the politics of Israeli occupation.

Talking for and
against the cease-fire fits in with the distorted picture of reality
that Israel has been constructing since September 2000, of two
symmetric, fighting sides - in which the Palestinians are the
aggressors and Israel, attacked, defends itself and retaliates.

the Saturday and Sunday before the Palestinians `broke the cease-fire,`
Israel Defense Forces soldiers killed nine Palestinians. Among them was
a 17-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy and a policeman who was on the
roof of his house and was not involved in any `battle.`

At 5
A.M. on April 21, an IDF force attacked Kufer Dan, near Jenin. The
force took over a few houses and turned them into shooting posts. Most
of the fire was aimed at a certain house in a western neighborhood.
Mohamed Abed, 23, was shot and killed on the roof of another house. The
soldiers said they had detected an armed man and shot him. Palestinian
sources say Abed was unarmed and merely wanted to check what was
happening outside.

Between 9 P.M. and 10 P.M. on Saturday, an
IDF force attacked the Jenin refugee camp - a routine activity.
Military vehicles surrounded the Bargheesh family`s house. One member
of the family, who is an Islamic Jihad activist, is wanted by Israel.
According to media reports, the IDF said its forces had called on the
family to come out of the house and `for un unclear reason the girl
remained inside.`

This is not true, people in the refugee camp
say. The parents and their daughter, Bushra, were all at home when she
was shot in the head and killed. Camp residents believe the soldier who
shot the schoolgirl dead had fired from a distant shooting post. The
wanted brother was not found.

On Sunday at 10 A.M., an IDF
force raided the village of Deir Abu Masha`al, north of Ramallah,
blocked all the entrances and imposed a curfew. Youngsters, including
Khaled Zahran, 15, threw stones at the soldiers. The soldiers fired
back. Zahran was wounded in the abdomen and died later.

of those killed were Islamic Jihad and Fatah gunmen. They were killed
in Jenin and Nablus, in routine raids. Nobody bothers to check any more
when exactly these raids took place and whether they were intended to
effect an arrest or to carry out a death sentence without trial.

sixth person killed was a Gaza municipal employee, aged 43, who was in
his car in Beit Hanun when it was struck by an Israeli missile on
Saturday night. According to Palestinian sources, he was not a
`military` activist. Half an hour earlier, another missile missed three
Islamic Jihad activists.

But even if none of the nine had been
killed, there would have been no cease-fire on Saturday and Sunday,
just as there was no cease-fire last week and in the weeks before that.
Because the military occupation, even when it does not kill, is Israeli
fire, which has not ceased for 40 years - regardless of the
Palestinians` reactions or lack thereof.

Israeli fire includes
the Civil Administration`s every refusal of a permit to build a
Palestinian house, every person who is denied passage from Gaza to the
West Bank, every shekel of tax money that is not transferred to the
Palestinians, every roadblock in the West Bank, every dunam of land
stolen since June 1967, and every settlement - old or new, big or
small, within the Israeli consensus or not. Neither the Qassams nor any
negotiations process has managed to stop this Israeli fire.

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