Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

"Jerusalem Tragedy / Israel bars UN rights panel / [Israeli] Policeman convicted of killing Arab escapes," July 3, 2008.

...from Sam Bahour at ePalestine

Dear friends,

Yesterday was tragic. The bulldozer rampage shocked all. Anyone could have been a victim. I personally use that road once a week. Our prayers are with all those that were killed or wounded, whomever they may be.

But that's not enough. If we care, really care, we must dig deeper. Let's at least ask before judging:

- Israel is 100% responsible for the security in the area where this tragic event took place and the place where the attacker lives. Why does Israel not blame itself to the same degree that it blames Palestinians when such events happen on the Palestinian side?

- Before rushing to raze the attacker's family house, without any due process, investigation, etc, would it not be prudent to assume that maybe, just maybe, this was a criminal act or an act of a madman, or have Palestinians been so dehumanized by Israel that even criminals are put on the pedestal of grand planning terrorists? By the way, my speculation is that this was an individual rampage, no more, no less, which makes it no less tragic for those killed or injured, but much less tragic for those that will be the victims of any knee-jerk raciest replies from the Israeli government.

- Since Israel is rushing to make it 'legal' to raze this attacker's home and strip his family of their Jerusalem residency status, etc, the question that begs asked is why Israel did not consider similar acts when an Jewish student extremist gunned down and murdered Israeli Prime Minister Rabin. Not only was this not considered, but Rabin's killer was allowed to marry and have a child while imprisoned.

- Will the world continue to only weep when Israelis are the victims, while totally ignoring the daily terror that is making Palestinians' lives equal to death?

- Will collectively punishing the attacker's family yield lessons learned from this tragedy in order to ensure it does not happen again, or will it only breed more hate?

No answers to these questions will or can justify the terrible events of yesterday, but addressing these may save both Palestinian and Israeli lives in the days to come.

Reading the two articles below give one a feel for the context of our times...if you care about this region and all the people in is time to worry, seriously worry, then act without delay!

No more comments needed,


"Israel bars UN rights panel from Palestinian areas," The Daily Star (Lebanon), July 2, 2008. AFP

AMMAN: Israel's government has barred a UN human rights delegation from visiting the Palestinian areas on a fact-finding mission, the leader of the group said on Tuesday.

"Israeli authorities did not allow us to visit the Palestinian territories," said Prasad Kariyawasam, head of the UN panel, adding that "no reasons were given by Israel because they do not recognize our mandate."

Kariyawasam told a news conference in the Jordanian capital, Amman, that despite the ban by the Jewish state, the committee has interviewed Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, and the Occupied West Bank, as well as Occupied East Jerusalem.

Some were interviewed by telephone as several witnesses were prevented from traveling to Amman or Cairo, he said.

"The international community has a moral and legal obligation to ensure that all international human rights and humanitarian law standards are fully implement at all times," Kariyawasam said.

The three-member panel, which has already visited Egypt and planned to go to Syria later on Tuesday, expressed serious concern about the conditions of Palestinians in the occupied areas. It warned against "the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, the grave situation in the Gaza strip, the impact of the separation wall on the human rights of Palestinian people, and the continuing settlements policy," according to Kariyawasam.

The UN and other international organizations say Israeli-imposed sanctions on Gaza, which has been ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement since last year, have increased poverty and destroyed the economy in the densely populated area.

"Such policies and practices affecting Palestinian people are a serious threat to self- determination of the Palestinian people and must be halted immediately," Kariyawasam said.

The panel - the UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories - will submit a report to the UN General Assembly later this year. - AFP



Efrat Weiss, "[Israeli] Policeman convicted of killing Arab escapes," YNET, July 1, 2008.

Border Guard police officer convicted of killing Palestinian teenager in Hebron flees before going to prison

Where in the world is Yanai Lalza? The police are attempting to locate Yanai Lalza, a Border Guard police officer who killed a Palestinian boy in Hebron. Lalza for supposed to begin serving his prison term last week but failed to report at the jail.

Despite the police's request, Lalza was not held in detention and was supposed to report to prison at the set date.

Lalza was sentenced to six and a half years in prison after being convicted of killing a 17- year-old Palestinian in December 2002. Lalza was convicted of manslaughter by the Jerusalem district court.

The incident in question, which involved Lalza as well as three other Border Guard officers, was videotaped. According to the indictment, the four police officers kidnapped the Palestinian teen and later threw him out of a speeding jeep.

The Palestinian teenager's head slammed against the ground and he was killed.

The judge in the case decided to impose a relatively lenient sentence on Lalza, citing his "difficult family circumstances."

Later, the unit of the soldiers involved in the incident was dismantled.,7340,L-3562796,00.html

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