An Israeli View From Within
Arafat's Compound

Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc)

The following article comes from Arafat's compound and was written by Israeli human shield activist Neta Golan, together with the journalist Ian Urbina. It is a most powerfull appeal for international intervention. We found it on it was published yesterday by Merip (Middle East Research and Information Project).
By Neta Gola
The lives of 120,000 people. The shelling of innocuous Palestinian civilian structures such as power plants, schools, and sewage facilities, is occuring at an alarming rate. Unarmed civilians are being killed practically on a daily basis.
There are also growing reports of Israeli troops raiding hospitals and firing on ambulances and journalists. These are grave breaches of international convention. The recent experience of American newspaper correspondent, Anthony Shadid, is hardly uncommon. First, he was shot while in a zone under full Israeli control. The area was quiet and there was no crossfire in which to be caught. Shadid was wearing the required signs on his back and front indicating that he was with the official press as he walked away from an interview in our building. Soon after Shadid arrived to the hospital, Israeli troops raided it with machine guns drawn. He was subsequently transferred for further medical treatment, and his ambulance came under fing calm and opening the way for peace negotiations. Only then can there be discussion of the status of Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees. Simply pulling the troops out of the recently invaded regions will not suffice.
It is not just the Palestinians and foreigners within the compound who have been calling for a full withdrawal. Even sectors within the Israeli military have put forward this option as the only chance for peace and security for the Israeli people. In a formal "Letter of Refusal" to Sharon, several hundred Israeli soldiers, most with combat experience, advocated a full withdrawal and have stated their unwillingness to serve in the West Bank or Gaza Strip.
But Sharon does not want to listen. And in the meantime we in the compound are left, not without fear, wondering whether the international community will allow the permanent expansion of the already illegal occupation and the exile if not assasination of the Palestinian leader.
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