US President George Bush has stressed he had
received a timetable for the
withdrawal of the Israeli forces from the Palestinian cities, but he did not
talk about attaining progress in the mission of his secretary of state Colin
Powell which lasted for ten days in the region.
Bush commended the Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and once again
described him as "a man of peace," but the chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb
Oreikat strongly rejected Bush's description of Sharon, saying that this title
is "an award for the state terrorism and the war crimes practiced by Sharon
against the Palestinian people." UK Parliament member Gerald Kaufman
had denounced Ariel Sharon as a "war criminal" the UK daily the Guardian
While Bush was meeting with his secretary of state Collin Powell to be
briefed on the results of his mission, the Israeli warplanes and Apache and
F-16 planes were bombarding a village near Nablus and the bombardment
resulted in killing three Palestinians. The Israeli occupation forces also
broke into several villages in Jenin and Toulkarem areas and Abu Deis
university near Jerusalem and started large scale inspection and mopping up
News reports said that the Israeli forces which inspected the houses of
these towns one by one, arrested more than 50 Palestinians and took them
to unknown places, noting that the number of Palestinian detainees since the
beginning of the invasion until now reached 7,000 detainees many of them
are put in Atsyout camp in the Negev desert.
The Israeli defense minister Benjamin Bin Aliazer said that the Israeli
will continue breaking in operations and the imposition of the siege on the
The spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry Jadoun Maer said that the
Israeli forces totally destroyed Jenin camp but he denied that the Israeli
forces had committed crimes. This was in reply to the UN special envoy in
the region Terry Rod Larsen, who described what the Israeli occupation
forces in Jenin camp after he had visited the camp as an "unbelievable
People coming from the occupied Palestinian territories and experts at
UNRWA said that they found in Jenin camp internationally banned
weapons and bullets of 5 mm caliber used by the Israeli occupation forces
against the Palestinians.
Jordanian medical sources said that one of the wounded who was admitted
in one of the Jordanian hospitals was hit by a uranium depleted bullet.
The Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres said that the Israeli military
operations will not solve the problem of the Palestinians.
Peres said in a statement to the Israeli radio that "our military operations
the West Bank will not solve the problem and we have to find a political
outlet for this problem." Peres continued that the issue of the Nativity church
which he described as very grave and called for lifting the siege from the
For his part the chairman of Jerusalem municipality Ehud Olmert admitted
the failure of the security measures which are applied in Jerusalem in
preventing the Palestinian resistance men from reaching set aims and
carrying out operations inside the city.
Meantime, Palestinian sources on Thursday denied the withdrawal of the
Israeli occupation forces from Jenin camp in the West Bank and stressed
that the camp is still under occupation and is under an Israeli siege. The
Monte Carlo radio correspondent in the occupied Palestinian territories said
that what the Israeli forces are doing is just a redeployment of some of its
military vehicles in some parts of the camp from one place to another.
The European Union has supported the request of the Arab states that the
UN Security Council adopt a resolution calling for the UN to investigate
into the destruction carried out by the Israeli occupation forces in Jenin
The spokesman for the European Commission for foreign affairs told
journalists that there should be an international investigation to this effect
and that the European Union will agree on that immediately. The Arab draft
plan called for lifting the siege from the Nativity church in Bethlehem as well
as the siege on Ramullah in the West Bank and it described what happened
in Jenin camp as "massacres."
The VISIE Foundation