- A woman with her leg all but ripped off by a helicopter
rocket, the mangled remains hanging on by a thread of skin as she slowly
bleeds to death. A 10-year-old boy lying dead in the street, his arm blown
off and a great hole in his side. A mother shot dead when she ran into
the street to scream for help for her dying son. The wounded left to die
slowly, in horrible agony, because the ambulances were not allowed in to
- A terrible crime has been committed by Israel in Jenin
refugee camp, and the world is turning a blind eye. Colin Powell, the US
Secretary of State, visited the scene of a suicide bombing that murdered
six Israelis in Jerusalem, but he did not visit Jenin, where the Israelis
admit they killed at least 100 Palestinians. The Israel army claims all
of the dead were armed men, that it took special care to avoid civilian
casualties. But we saw the helicopter rockets rain down on desperately
crowded areas: civilian casualties could not have been prevented.
- The Israeli army sealed off the entire area around Jenin
yesterday, arresting journalists who ventured into it. That is because
they have something to hide in Jenin: the bodies.
- The Israeli army has told the Israeli courts that it
will not start burying the bodies until Sunday. But there are abundant
eyewitnesses who say they have already seen the soldiers piling the bodies
in mass graves. Hiding the bodies is what Slobodan Milosevic did in
- Either way, the Palestinians are not allowed to bury
their own dead, because Israel does not want the world to see what happened
inside Jenin refugee camp. The grieving have no way of knowing where to
find the bodies of those they have lost.
- For nine days, Jenin camp became a slaughterhouse.
thousand Palestinians lived in a square kilometre in the camp, a packed
warren of narrow lanes. Thousands of terrified civilians, women and
cowered inside their homes while the Israeli helicopters rained down
on them and tanks fired shells into the camp.
- The wounded were left to die. The Israeli army refused
to allow ambulances in to treat them, which is a war crime under the Geneva
Conventions. The Red Cross has publicly said people have died because
blocked the ambulances. Slobodan Milosevic is on trial in the Hague for
breaking the Geneva Conventions, while Ariel Sharon shakes Colin Powell's
hand for the television cameras. The Geneva Conventions are in tatters
- The Israeli authorities may be able to hide the evidence,
but they cannot silence the stories that have been pouring out of those
who managed to escape the carnage in the camp. These stories cannot be
verified yet, but there are scores of them, and many agree in details.
Fikri abu al-Heija was one of those who came out of the carnage in the
- "At the beginning the soldiers came and surrounded
the camp with tanks," he says. "There were two Apache
A rocket hit our house they were concentrating the rockets on the houses.
All the windows were broken by the explosions. All you could hear was
When the rocket hit the house, everybody gathered together on the lower
floors. A woman was with us from the second floor who had had her leg
cut off by the rocket. It was just hanging on by a little piece of skin.
We saw the ambulance coming for her but the soldiers stopped
- Six days after the attack, Mr abu al-Heija was captured
by the soldiers. "They made us take off our clothes and tied us in
groups of five with metal wire. As we were walking through the camp we
saw demolished houses, burning houses, bodies in the street. Every 10 or
20 metres there was a body. I recognised some. One was a cousin of mine.
His name was Ashraf abu al-Heija."
- The Palestinians have been writing all the accounts like
Mr abu al-Heija's down: they are not going to allow what happened at Jenin
to be covered up. The Independent on Sunday has seen these meticulous
notes, of which several copies have been made. There are records of
who used to live in the camp, and it will be possible to match the missing
with the accounts of the dead. The Palestinians say there are 200
- The names are coming out now: Mohammed Hamad, Nidal
Mustafa Shnewa. A man who asked to remain anonymous says he saw their
being put in a mass grave in the Haret al-Hawashin neighbourhood.
- Yusra Ahmad, a mentally disabled woman, was killed by
a helicopter rocket in her home. Her nephew Mufid Ahmad says he saw it
- Munir Washashi bled to death over several hours after
a helicopter round came through the wall of his home. When an ambulance
came for him, Israeli soldiers shot at it.
- Munir's mother, Maryam, ran into the street screaming
for help for her son and was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers.
her other son, told The Independent on Sunday he saw it all happen.
- The events of the last two weeks in Jenin will not go
away, however hard Israel tries to keep the refugee camp away from the
eyes of the world. For the Palestinians, this is the place where they
stood and fought, and where Palestinian fighters armed only with rifles
managed to hold off the Israeli tanks and helicopters for nine days. It
is also the place where at least 100 Palestinians were slaughtered by the