Israel Responds to Suicide Bomb with (American-made) F-16s

Following this morning’s horrendous suicide bombing, in which six Israeli civilians got killed, [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon…resorted to a not less than horrendous state exhibition of brute force – the first- ever use of Israeli Air Force fighter planes (American-made F-16) against Palestinian cities.

Following this morning’s horrendous suicide bombing, in which six Israeli civilians got killed, [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon with his Laborite allies Peres and Ben-Eliezer resorted to a not less than horrendous state exhibition of brute force – the first- ever use of Israeli Air Force fighter planes (American-made F-16) against Palestinian cities.

The F-16 is an enormously powerful weapon, especially in comparison with the Palestinians’ puny arsenal – but with little accuracy. As the military
commentator on the Israeli TV (Channel-I) remarked tonight, most of the twelve
Palestinians so far known to have been killed tonight were simple low-paid prison guards at the Nablus prison, which was heavily bombed.

That bombing was apparently ordered with the aim of killing a Hamas leader reportedly incarcerated in that prison, which the inaccurate overkill failed to achieve and which is in any case a highly questionable approach (to say the least).

There is no reason whatsoever to assume that use of such methods would in any way prevent further suicide attacks. On the contrary, historical precedent – Israel’s own and that of other countries – as well a simple common sense would suggest that it can only lead to further inflammation of an already highly-charged atmosphere.

Had the Sharon-Peres Government seriously desired to put an end to violence and break the cycle of bloodshed, an excellent diplomatic means was at hand in the past weeks – the Mitchell Report.

The Mitchell recommendations would require the Palestinian Authority to declare and effectively enforce a cease fire, while the Government
of Israel would accept and implement a reciprocal obligation to put a complete halt to the extention of settlements in the Occupied Territories.

The Palestinians expressed complete agreement to the deal; Sharon and his fellows are opposed.

The linkage between cessation of violence and cessation of settlement is an obvious and indispensable one. Settlement creation and extention is itself an extremely violent process, involving military bureaucrats arbitarily declaring
a certain parcel of Palestinian land to be "state land"; large military forces enforcing the decree, fencing off the land and excluding the former owners; and finally a group of settlers, composed of Jews only, coming to take up
possession and set up an armed community in the enclave behind the barbed wires.

In some places this process is accompanied by protests of the dispossessed, put down by force; in other places, the anger and frustration generated burst out in other, seemingly unconnected places.

The disgusting and terrible cycle of bloodshed, the endless sequence of retaliation upon retaliation and revenge upon revenge, cannot be ended without ending the occupation – says Gush Shalom, the Israeli Peace Bloc, in a press release sent simultaneously to the Israeli, the Palestinian and the international press.

GUSH SHALOM – pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 –

Author: Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc)

News Service: Activists List-4

URL: http://www.gush-shalom.org