On Curfews

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Posted by Jeff from bgp01107368bgs.wbrmfd01.mi.comcast.net ( on Friday, June 21, 2002 at 9:24AM :

Imagine being a Palestinian in the west bank. The Israelis impose a curfew in your village, but a rumor spreads that they have lifted it. Being hungry, around dinnertime, residents (men, women, children) flock to the market to buy bread and other food... the army opens machine gun fire on you and your family, killing your two children and injuring your neighbors and friends, who are all unarmed... just because you broke a curfew?

Now, imagine being an Israeli in a market...no curfews, but a Palestinian, maybe the father or mother of one of those children that died, comes into your market and detonates a bomb, killing himself and others, including your family members. It never ends.

"Who will save the war child baby, who controls the key?"
War Child, written by The Cranberries

Israeli Army Fires on Jenin Market, Three Killed
Fri Jun 21,10:15 AM ET

By Wael al-Ahmad

JENIN, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli tanks killed three Palestinians who mistakenly thought a curfew had been lifted on Friday in the West Bank city of Jenin.

Reuters Photo

AP Photo
Mideast Conflict
Israeli Helicopters Fired On Gaza City Targets (Reuters)
Hospital officials said a six-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl were killed along with the deputy director of the city's education department who was aged around 50.

Twenty-six people were wounded, they said.

Hours earlier, a Palestinian gunman killed five Israelis -- including three children and their mother -- in a West Bank Jewish settlement, prompting Israel to send tanks into the Palestinian-ruled city of Nablus.

The violence, including two suicide bombings that killed 26 Israelis, has complicated efforts to end nearly 21 months of conflict and prompted President Bush ( news - web sites) to delay his announcement of a new vision for Middle East peace.

The Israeli army said it fired two tank shells to warn away a group of Palestinians who violated the curfew in Jenin, and approached them as the troops searched for a bomb factory.

"As a result of the shooting three Palestinians were killed and 10 others were wounded. An initial inquiry indicates that the force erred in its action," an army statement said.

Palestinian witnesses and international peace activists in Jenin said people had emerged from their homes to stock up with supplies after tanks pulled back from the city center.

Rumors spread that the army had scrapped the curfew it imposed when it entered Jenin on Tuesday in what it said was an operation intended to seek out militants waging an uprising against Israeli occupation.

"The tanks left at 10 a.m. and people came out thinking the curfew was lifted. I was in the market buying vegetables when suddenly the tanks returned two hours later and started firing," an American peace activist, Rick Rowley, said by telephone.

Another peace activist, Irishman Jim Davies, said: "People panicked and suddenly everyone was running for cover."

A Reuters cameraman saw four corpses at the hospital. Hospital officials said the fourth was that of a boy killed when a building collapsed on Thursday night after Israeli forces blew up an unoccupied house next door.


Israeli troops pushed into Jenin, a city it describes as a "terrorist nest," after a suicide bomber killed 19 people on a Jerusalem bus. Another seven Israelis were killed in a suicide bombing at a bus stop in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

At least 1,411 Palestinians and 547 Israelis have now been killed since the Palestinian revolt began in September 2000.

Israeli troops shot dead a militant in the Gaza Strip who attacked them with hand grenades at a border crossing where Palestinian laborers gather for security checks before entering an Israeli industrial area.

Two of the workers were killed. Israeli forces also shot dead an eight-year-old Palestinian boy in a raid in the Gaza Strip after an Israeli was seriously wounded in an attack by militants near the Jewish settlement of Netzarim.

The army said the Israeli death toll in Thursday's assault on the settlement of Itamar was five -- a 40-year-old woman, three of her six children, aged between five and 15, and a security guard.

"The terrorist climbed a fence, entered one of the houses and opened fire at its residents," an army statement said.

Soldiers stormed the house and killed the gunman. Two other children in the house, which burned down after a bullet ignited a gas canister, were wounded by the gunman, the army said.


Violence raged despite an appeal by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat ( news - web sites) on Thursday for an end to militant attacks on Israeli civilians. Militant leaders rebuffed him.

Jordan's King Abdullah said in an interview published on Friday that Arafat had substantially lost control of militant groups and even worse violence lay ahead in the Middle East.

"What I can say is that over the years I always thought Arafat was capable of controlling Palestinian public sentiment and extremism," he was quoted as telling the Belgian weekly Le Vif/L'Express. "I think that is no longer the case today."

Arafat was quoted by an Israeli interviewer as saying he now accepted a peace plan put forward 18 months ago by then-U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Acceptance of the proposal -- made by Clinton a month before leaving office -- could indicate a shift in Arafat's position.

The plan does not include a right of return of Palestinian refugees to their old homes in Israel, a demand that has long been central to his negotiating stance.

-- Jeff
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