Israel/Palestine: Repression stepped up

Submitted by AWL on 6 April, 2003 - 7:31

"The people of Jenin and the Jenin refugee camp are living in a tragic and suffocating situation, while the world is turning a blind eye..."
The report, from Palestinians in the West Bank and forwarded to us by Israeli peace activists, talks of "complete and strict curfew".

"The Israeli occupation forces are continuing to occupy a large number of private homes, taking the inhabitants as human shields to protect
themselves...

"They attack ambulances [and] prevent municipality workers from... collect[ing] waste and repair[ing] damaged electricity and water supplies".

As the war in Iraq intensifies, there is a real risk that Ariel Sharon's Israeli government will attempt even more brutal measures, including wholesale expulsions of Palestinians from the West Bank.

For now they are stepping up the repression and pushing ahead with the wall they are building in the West Bank, turning it from the 1967 border far into Arab territory at some points.

Israeli and Palestinian activists are protesting. A demonstration against the war in Iraq has been called for 2 April in Tel Aviv, and one in support of the Israeli army "refuseniks" for 11 April, also in Tel Aviv.

Meanwhile the much-trumpeted US "roadmap to peace" remains unpublished. The Israeli Government is pressuring the US adminstration - in which ultra-right-wing "hawks", as contemptuous of Palestinian feelings as they are of Iraqi, now hold the upper hand - into reducing its "two states" formula into a plan for little more than Palestinian bantustans.

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