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Monday, October 7, 2002
Propaganda at its best - texts of Palestinian reports on "Gaza Massacre" + IMRA comment

Propaganda at its best - texts of Palestinian reports on "Gaza Massacre" +
IMRA comment

2:00 - 3:00 AM. The IDF is inside the heart of an area controlled by the
radical Islamic terrorists that is used continuously for the staging of
terror attacks against Israeli targets. As the IDF forces start moving out
they come under fire. And since the armed Palestinian forces in the area
are not wearing uniforms of the Palestinian Authority's security services
they are what B'tsellem calls "civilians". And B'tsellem will continue to
call them "civilians" no matter how many people they kill.

This isn't New Year's Eve and Khan Unis isn't "the city that never sleeps".
It is now around 3:00 AM and there has been considerable shooting and the
IDF is moving back down the streets. The stores are closed. School isn't
opening for hours. This is a Hamas neighborhood - there are no bars to visit
at 3:00 AM and there's no all night cinema or bowling alley.

In a word: not exactly the time or circumstance for someone to be taking a

They are definitely furious. And it is understandable. The Palestinians
think they have a God given right to murder Jews. And when Israel defends
itself and goes after the murderers its a violation of the very laws of

When the shooting started this time the IDF opted to put the lives of its
men over public relations considerations and swift and decisive action was
taken to silence the enemy fire.

A massacre? If the IDF was out to slaughter people this morning the dead
would be in the triple digits.

The Palestinians know that. But "massacre" makes a great headline.

And so, as Israel Television Channel Two's military correspondent reported,
besides the mother of a terrorist who go killed that early morning the rest
of the B'tsellem "civilians" were not choirboys. People who chose to do the
wrong thing at the wrong time.

Hopefully there won't be a need for it to happen again.

But that isn't up to Israel. Its up to the Palestinians. The rules of the
game are simple for the genuine civilians: don't get in the way of the IDF.]


#1 Israel Commits another Gaza Massacre, Kills 12 Civilians

7 October 2002
Palestine Media Center - PMC

Amidst fresh international efforts to pacify the exploding situation in the
occupied Palestinian Territory, Israeli Apache gunships awaited tens of
Gazans to gather up close to a local hospital before thrusting at least one
missile onto the crowd, killing 12 and injuring more than 100 civilians.

The carnage that has left 12 civilians murdered is one of the highest single
Palestinian casualty tolls in recent weeks, which has struck a blow to a new
drive by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana to push for
efforts to calm the escalating situation.

In Monday's pre-dawn hours, columns of tanks backed by the US-made
helicopters raided the heavily - condensed al-Amal residential neighborhood
in the Gaza Strip, witnesses and medical sources said.

The Israeli missile attack came at the end of the four-hour incursion.
Residents said people came out into the streets when they heard the tanks
pulling out, but two Israeli helicopters remained overhead, and one of them
fired the missile at the heart of the crowd sending body parts and
splattering blood across the ground.

Troops also dispersed indiscriminate fire towards Nasser Hospital west of
Khan Younis, where hundreds of people had gathered to learn about the fate
of relatives after the incursion, witnesses said.

Four more people were wounded by machine gun fire opened by Israeli
occupation troops towards the hospital, including a 14-year-old boy hit in
the neck and a paramedic wounded in the chest.

Wires say the raid began in the early hours of Monday, when infantry troops,
combat engineers and more than two dozen tanks and armored vehicles rumbled
into the poverty-stricken Gaza Strip neighborhood.

According to Israeli sources, after a single missile was fired at a house in
the area, and as troops began to pull out of the area several hours later, a
helicopter fired a second missile which struck a crowd of Palestinians who
had ventured out of their shelters and gathered when it appeared the troops
were withdrawing, witnesses said.

The missile strike came at the end of the four-hour incursion. Residents
said people came out into the streets around 4:30 A.M. when they heard the
tanks pulling out, but two helicopters remained overhead, and one of them
fired the missile, Reuters reported.

Doctors at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis confirmed 12 people had been
killed in the raid and around 150 were wounded, 25 of whom were in critical
condition. Of the dead, eight were reported to have come from the missile
strike alone.

Two other Palestinians, including a 50-year-old woman, were killed by
Israeli gunfire during the incursion, Dr. Mohammed Abu Dallal said, while at
least eight more "were killed as a result of the missile fire."

Faced with another devastating atrocity, Abu Dalal appealed for more doctors
and supplies to help treat the large numbers of casualties, saying a state
of emergency had been declared in all Gaza's hospitals and called upon
citizens to donate their blood.

Following are the names of nine of the victims: 22 year-old Ihab Khalaf, 17
year-old Jamal Muhareb, 19 year-old Usama 'Abdin, 24 year-old Haitham Abu
Al-Naja, 40 year-old Abdelfatah Al-Slot, 45 year-old Rahimah Abu Shamala,
Ahmad Al-Asstal, Ayman Ssaqer, and Mohamad Al-Asstal.

One witness, 29-year-old Abed Oeda, said he was parking his car near the
scene when the missile struck. "I heard a huge explosion," he said, "and
people were wounded and bleeding on the ground in front of my car."

"It was a difficult and terrifying night. Children were crying and women
were screaming. The gunfire was random from the ground and the sky," said
Mohammed Abu Moa'amar, 22, who crowded into a room of his house in al-Amal
with other family members seeking shelter from the offensive, Reuters

"We stood together as if we were frozen," he said.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment on the carnage. Israeli
military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity to AP, claimed the
operation in Khan Younis was limited and not a large-scale invasion.

This however was not the first time Israel carries out such atrocities in
the caged-in Gaza Strip, last July, an Israeli F-16 fighter jet thrust
missiles onto a residential area, killing 14 Palestinians, 9 of whom were

The massacre brought a hail of vehement condemnation on Israel and an
international outcry, which echoed for weeks after the onslaught.

Senior Palestinian negotiator Sa'eb Erekat, denouncing the carnage with rage
apparent, called on the international community to protect the Palestinian
People, and stressed the raid was timed to disrupt the visit of Javier
Solana to the region.

"Every time we witness efforts to revive the peace process and put it back
on track, like those being exerted now by Solana, the Israeli Government
moves to conduct such war crimes and murder innocent civilians because the
end game of the Israeli government is to resume full occupation of the Gaza
Strip and the West Bank," Erekat said.

Similarly, Khan Yunis governor Hosni Zourab denounced the missile strike,
calling it "another part of the series of massacres and aggression against
our people that are being committed by the Israeli occupation."

Sha'ath: Khan Younis Massacre is a "Criminal Attack"

"This is a criminal message signaling a threat to the Europeans and all
those working for the sake of peace in the world."
October 7, 2002
Palestine Media Center-PMC

PNA acting minister of planning and international cooperation, Dr. Nabil
Sha'th, condemned the massacre committed by Israeli occupation troops
against Khan Younis's residents on Monday, which claimed the lives of at
least 13 innocent civilians and injured dozens, as a "criminal attack".

At a press conference held at the Palestine Media Center (PMC) in Ramallah
on 07 October 2002, Dr. Sha'ath started, "today's attack was a comprehensive
attack against the city of Khan Younis, where Palestinian crowds were bombed
while trying to find shelter from the intensive Israeli shelling."

The minister said the number victims has reached 14 according to ICRC's
figures, adding that the number of wounded, according to Palestinian medical
sources, has reached 150.

"We have asked the ICRC, in particular its head Mr. Jacob Kellenberger, to
present to Israeli 'defense' minister Ben Eliazer, the red cross demand to
immediately stop the ongoing Israeli criminal attack on Khan Younis," he
pointed out.

"This dangerous escalation, whose victims were innocent civilians who
escaped their homes because of the intensive shelling by Apache Gunships, is
in violation to the Fourth Geneva Convention and United Nations resolution
1435, which demands Israeli withdrawal to the pre-28 September lines," he

He also pointed out to the timing of the heinous carnage.

"This a crime aimed at sabotaging any Palestinian effort to achieve a
declaration of siege fire, leading to a complete Israeli withdrawal. and is
aiming at the destruction of every attempt that the Palestinian People and
their leadership have engaged in with the international community to reach a
cease fire that would bring us back to the peace process," he added.

The minister also pointed out that "this new massacre concurrent with the
continuous Israeli aggression in the West Bank."

In addition, Sha'ath said that Javier Solana, EU's Secretary-General and
High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, "must
understand the Israeli message [sent] by attacking Gaza, just hours after he
had concluded his visit there."

"This is a criminal message signaling a threat to the Europeans and all
those working for the sake of peace in the world," he said

He also warned that, "this a criminal attack against the Palestinian
People," can be seen as "a gradual escalation into a full onslaught on the
Gaza Strip."

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