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Palestinians face terror

Issue No. 1758

Palestinians face terror

ELEVEN YEAR old Khalil al-Mugrabhi was shot dead by Israeli snipers while playing near his home in Gaza last week.

He was the 510th Palestinian murdered by Israel since the "intifada" or rebellion began last September.

The intifada is against Israel's oppression of Palestinians. Israel has shot people in cold blood, and bombed and bulldozed Palestinian homes and buildings.

A month ago Israel's right wing prime minister called a "truce". Yet the daily routine of Israeli violence has continued, and in recent weeks has grown worse.

Israel claims it is acting in self defence. Yet five times as many Palestinians have been killed as Israelis during the intifada.

Fierce fighting erupted in the West Bank city of Hebron last week between Israeli troops and Palestinians, including forces of the Palestinian Authority, which has some limited control over parts of the West Bank and Gaza.

Israeli tanks entered a Palestinian-controlled part of Hebron, and armed right wing Israeli settlers went on the rampage in the city. Elsewhere in the West Bank Israeli forces seized a Palestinian area of the town of Nablus for a time.

The Israeli army also bulldozed 26 Palestinian houses in Gaza last week, leaving dozens of people homeless.

The Israeli army claimed the homes were uninhabited. Yet as the bulldozers approached dozens of people living there had to flee for their lives. Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon, says he is committed to talks with the Palestinians, and has sent his son to meet Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat.

But there are signs that Israel could be preparing even more savage repression. Some ministers and army leaders are pushing for what the US Washington Post newspaper calls "a devastating military attack aimed at liquidating Yasser Arafat and destroying the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and the West Bank".

Sharon and some in the Israeli regime fear the response from both Palestinians and elsewhere. One Israeli military source told the Washington Post that their great fear was doing "something that will make the whole world against us".

That is all the more reason why everyone should stand in solidarity with the Palestinian intifada.

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Sat 21 Jul 2001, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1758
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