Voice of Palestine justifies murder of 7 year old girl in Israel

June 18, 2003

CONTENTS

1. "Voice of Palestine justifies murder of 7 year old on toll road labels her 'settler'" (IMRA and Michael Widlanski, June 18, 2003)
2. "Girl, 7, killed after shots from W. Bank hit inside Israel" (Ha'aretz, June 18, 2003)
3. "Israeli girl killed, fuelling cycle of violence" (Reuters, June 18, 2003)
4. "US troops kill two Iraqi protesters" (Reuters, June 18, 2003)
5. "Britain: Attack on western city 'matter of time'" (Reuters, June 17, 2003)
6. "Suicide bomber caught in Nablus" (Jerusalem Post, June 15, 2003)
7. "EU threatens Hamas with 'consequences'" (Jerusalem Post, June 15, 2003)
8. With tears in his eyes, US ambassador told Sharon: My cousin was murdered in attack"
9. Palestinian students recreate paradise to show what awaits 'martyrs'" (By Mohammed Daraghmeh, May 10, 2003)


PALESTINIAN STUDENTS RECREATE PARADISE TO SHOW WHAT AWAITS “MARTYRS”

[Note by Tom Gross]

I attach 9 articles about Palestinian glorification of terror and other matters, with summaries first. Please note the last article (from last month) about the model of the paradise awaiting suicide bombers, mounted at the West Bank's largest university, An Najah "to raise students' morale". It is complete with goldfish, "brightly plumed green and yellow birds," quotes from the Koran, and air-conditioning.

1. "Voice of Palestine justifies murder of 7 year old on toll road labels her 'settler'" (IMRA and Michael Widlanski, June 18, 2003). Abu Mazen's Voice of Palestine radio today justified the murder of seven-year-old Noam Leibovitch when her family vehicle was attacked by terrorist fire last night as it exited the Trans-Israel Highway (toll road 6) near the Kibbutz Eyal junction (inside the Green Line). The family lives near Haifa. Noam's five-year-old sister was also seriously wounded in the attack. The gunmen reached the highway from PA controlled Qalqilyeh and left tracks indicating a safe return to PA territory after the attack. Voice of Palestine said a "settler" had been killed in an act of "resistance." It should be noted that reports concerning the proposed "cease-fire" indicate that soldiers and "settlers" can be murdered during the cease-fire period.

2. "Girl, 7, killed after shots from W. Bank hit inside Israel" (Ha'aretz, June 18, 2003). A seven-year-old Israeli girl was killed and a second child and an adult were wounded in a shooting attack near the Kibbutz Eyal interchange. The second child was seriously wounded.

3. "Israeli girl killed, fuelling cycle of violence" (Reuters, June 18, 2003). Palestinian gunmen killed an Israeli girl on a road near the West Bank, feeding a cycle of violence that has battered a peace plan U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell will try to rescue in a new Middle East visit. (Note Reuters uses the tired and inaccurate phrases "cycle of violence," "tit-for-tat Israeli-Palestinian attacks," etc, in this article.)

4. "US troops kill two Iraqi protesters," (By Hassan Hafidh, Reuters, June 18, 2003). [The Protesters were throwing stones. Will Bush condemn or ask for restraint?] [Note Reuters writes: "At least 41 American soldiers have been killed in a spate of attacks in and around Baghdad since President Bush declared major combat in Iraq over in early May." Reuters fail to say that sixteen of those were killed in attacks and the rest in accidents. This in stark contrast to the kind of statistical presentation they make of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.]

5. "Britain: Attack on western city 'matter of time'" (Reuters, June 17, 2003). A terror attack on a major Western city using chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) technology is "only a matter of time," the head of Britain's domestic intelligence service MI5 said Tuesday.

6. "Suicide bomber caught in Nablus" (The Jerusalem Post, June 15, 2003). Israeli security forces arrested a Palestinian en route to carry out a suicide attack.

7. "EU threatens Hamas with 'consequences'" (The Jerusalem Post, June 15, 2003). In a statement, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana condemned Hamas' latest terror attacks and threatened the organization with "consequences".

8. Headline, June 15, 2003, in Yediot Ahronot (Israel's highest circulation newspaper): "With tears in his eyes, US ambassador told Sharon: My cousin was murdered in attack. American Ambassador Dan Kurtzer now connected to Israel in blood: His cousin, Anna Orgal, was killed in Jerusalem attack."

"U.S. ambassador's cousin among victims of Jerusalem bus bombing, State Department says" (Associated Press, June 15, 2003). A cousin of the American ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer, was among the 17 people killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber in an attack on a bus last week, the State Department said Sunday. Anna Orgal, daughter of Holocaust survivors, was related to Kurtzer through his mother.

9. "Palestinian students recreate paradise to show what awaits 'martyrs'" (By Mohammed Daraghmeh, May 10, 2003). "Plastic trees, goldfish swimming in a generator-powered fountain, posters of the dead on the wall: This is a model of the paradise Islamic militants say awaits those killed in fighting with Israel, including suicide bombers. The display at the West Bank's largest university, An Najah, was assembled by supporters of the violent Hamas group who said they wanted to raise students' morale after 31 months of fighting with Israel... Stairs from the open graves led down into the paradise section. A small generator pumped water through a fountain into a channel where goldfish swim. Brightly plumed green and yellow birds chirped in cages suspended from plastic trees. The floor was strewn with soft sand and plastic flowers. Pictures of the bombers and quotes from the Quran, the Islamic holy book, covered the wall. Paradise also was air-conditioned, a telling contrast to the sweltering summertime West Bank."

-- Tom Gross



FULL ARTICLES

VOICE OF PALESTINE JUSTIFIES MURDER OF 7 YEAR OLD

Voice of Palestine justifies murder of 7 year old on toll road labels her "settler"
(Courtesy, IMRA and, Michael Widlanski)
June 18, 2003

Michael Widlanski is an expert in the Arab media and a lecturer at the Rothberg School of the Hebrew University. The following are some of his observations regarding Abu Mazen's Voice of Palestine's coverage of the murder of seven-year-old Noam Leibovitch when her family vehicle was attacked by terrorist fire as it exited the Trans-Israel Highway (toll road 6) near the Kibbutz Eyal junction (inside the Green Line). The family lives in the religious youth village Yamin Ord located in northern Israel near Haifa. Noam's five-year-old sister was also seriously wounded in the attack. The terrorist reached the highway via a storm sewer in the PA controlled Qalqilyeh and left tracks indicating a safe return to PA territory after the attack.

"Voice of Palestine radio's number one achorman, Nizar al-Ghul opened his Wednesday morning 7:30 am morning news round-up by citing the Israeli "invasion" of Qalqilyeh. In the third sentence of his report he cited "the death by shooting of a female Israeli settler" [Arabic: "Maqtal 'ala rasass mustawtinna isra'iliyya"]. Al-Ghul did not actually connect the "death by shooting of the female Israeli settler" with the invasion of Qalqilyeh, from where the shots were fired into Israeli territory.

There was no mention of official Palestinian condemnation of the murder nor even vague disapproval of the timing of the attack."

It should be noted that reports concerning the proposed "cease-fire" indicate that soldiers and "settlers" can be murdered during the cease-fire period. The Palestinian definition of "soldier" is anyone who served in the IDF, thus allowing the murder of adult males.

 

GIRL, 7, KILLED AFTER SHOTS FROM WEST BANK HIT INSIDE ISRAEL

Girl, 7, killed after shots from W. Bank hit inside Israel
By Ran Reznick and Amos Harel
Ha'aretz
June 18, 2003

An seven-year-old Israeli girl was killed and a second child and an adult were wounded in a shooting attack at around midnight Tuesday near the Kibbutz Eyal interchange, close to the Green Line border with the West Bank.

The second child was seriously wounded, and the adult with them, believed to be their father, was lightly hurt.

The seven-year-old was critically wounded in the attack, but died despite efforts by Magen David Adom rescue workers.

The three were in a car driving to the town of Kochav Yair when they came under fire from the direction of the nearby West Bank city of Qalqilyah. The car then collided with a second vehicle.

Until now, the Qalqilyah area has been relatively quiet for some time. On Monday, however, a unit of undercover Border Police officers arrested the head of the Hamas military wing in the city.

Two hurt by mortar fire in Gaza

Two workers suffered light shrapnel wounds Tuesday morning from mortar shells fired at the Gush Katif settlement bloc in the Gaza Strip.

The two, who were involved in defense work in the area, were evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva.

 

ISRAELI GIRL KILLED, FUELLING CYCLE OF VIOLENCE

Israeli girl killed, fuelling cycle of violence
By Jeffrey Heller
Reuters
June 18, 2003

Palestinian gunmen killed an Israeli girl on a road near the West Bank, feeding a cycle of violence that has battered a peace plan U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell will try to rescue in a new Middle East visit.

The attack on a car near Kibbutz Eyal in central Israel late on Tuesday was launched shortly after Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas failed in another bid to persuade militants to call a truce with Israel.

Medics said the dead girl was aged seven and identified two people wounded in the attack as her five-year-old sister and father. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting which the army said was carried out by Palestinians.

"We have re-emphasised that resistance is a legitimate right of our people," Mohammed al-Hindi, a senior Islamic Jihad official, said after Abbas sat down with representatives of 13 militant factions for three-and-a-half hours in Gaza City.

Ismail Abu Shanab, a senior leader of Hamas, said a ceasefire was still under discussion and the group, which attended Tuesday's meeting, might hold its own talks with Abbas on Wednesday.

More than 50 people have died in tit-for-tat Israeli-Palestinian attacks since Abbas, U.S. President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon affirmed a peace "road map" at a summit in Aqaba, Jordan, on June 4.

Facing the prospect of the collapse of the most ambitious Middle East peace plan in more than two years, the United States said Powell would come to Israel on Friday to mediate.

Sharon has ruled out concessions unless Abbas subdues Hamas, a fundamentalist Islamic group at the forefront of suicide bombings that have killed scores of Israelis since the start of a Palestinian uprising for statehood in September 2000.

Abbas has been seeking to avoid confrontation with militants that could lead to a Palestinian civil war.

The road map, which mandates a crackdown on militant groups along with Israeli troop pullbacks in the West Bank and Gaza, charts a path towards creation of a Palestinian state by 2005.

 

U.S. TROOPS KILL TWO IRAQI PROTESTERS

U.S. Troops Kill Two Iraqi Protesters
By Hassan Hafidh
Reuters
June 18, 2003

[Will Bush condemn or ask for restraint?]

A U.S. soldier fired into a crowd of Iraqi protesters outside the headquarters of the U.S.- led administration in Baghdad Wednesday, killing two people.

The shooting occurred when a U.S. military convoy passed through a crowd led by up to 2,000 former Iraqi soldiers who were protesting at their having been sacked by the new U.S. administration. "There is no god but Allah, America is the enemy of Allah," the crowd chanted in the fierce midday heat. "Down, down USA."

U.S. military officials said a U.S. soldier had fired in self-defense after the convoy was pelted with rocks and two Iraqis were injured and later died. "Both men who were evacuated died of their wounds," Lieutenant Colonel Richard Douglas said. The complex is the former palace of toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The sacked Iraqi soldiers were disgruntled over losing their jobs when U.S. administrator Paul Bremer dissolved Saddam's armed forces last month.

Bremer's drive to destroy the legacy of Saddam's Baathist rule has laid off up to 400,000 Iraqis who worked in the now-disbanded armed forces, security services and information and defense ministries, with no prospect of reintegration.

"We were in a peaceful demonstration asking the U.S. to give us our salaries," Abdul-Rahim Hassan, a former soldier, told Reuters. "We were not fighting them, but suddenly they started shooting at us."

ROCKS HURLED

U.S. Army Captain Scott Nauman, whose men were guarding the compound, told CNN television that Iraqis on the other side of the street had been throwing rocks for nearly an hour before the shooting, but no one had been hurt until the convoy arrived.

"The personnel (Iraqis) on the other side of the street swarmed the convoy, shaking the vehicles, breaking out windows, throwing rocks at extremely close range to the personnel in that convoy.

"(They) felt threatened understandably as their vehicle was swarmed and windows broken out and they fired shots then directly into the crowd and injured two personnel...To me it appeared to be in self-defense."

The captain said his men had fired warning shots over the crowd at the same time. Asked if there had been shooting from the crowd, he replied: "No, not to my knowledge."

Before the shooting the demonstrators had beaten passing United Nations and television vehicles with their shoes and assaulted a Reuters television crew and other reporters outside.

Critics say the sweeping policy of sacking the soldiers fails to distinguish between the hard men who enforced Saddam's cruel orders, the many who joined the party out of expediency and some who genuinely believed in its Arab nationalist ideology.

They say the policy has created a large pool of armed and resentful unemployed who may turn to crime or to fighting the U.S.-led occupation, perhaps as part of a Baathist underground.

Nauman said the demonstration was the fourth by Iraqi soldiers in the past few weeks and that officials had set up a meeting with some of the protesters for later Wednesday.

At least 41 American soldiers have been killed in a spate of attacks in and around Baghdad since President Bush (news web sites) declared major combat in Iraq over in early May.

 

“ONLY A MATTER OF TIME”

Britain: Attack on western city 'matter of time'
By Andrew Cawthorne
Reuters
June 17, 2003

A terror attack on a major Western city using chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) technology is "only a matter of time," the head of Britain's domestic intelligence service MI5 said Tuesday.

Eliza Manningham-Buller said violent extremists were becoming more sophisticated in developing such non-conventional threats thanks to help from "renegade scientists."

"We are faced with the realistic possibility of some form of unconventional attack. That could include a CBRN attack," she told a conference in London on countering terrorism.

"Sadly, given the widespread proliferation of the technical knowledge to construct these weapons, it will only be a matter of time before a crude version of a CBRN attack is launched at a major Western city," she added.

The MI5 head was not referring to any specific new threat and was only repeating previous warnings from intelligence sources. But such blunt words in public from a senior secret service official are rare.

Manningham-Buller, who took over MI5 late last year as only the second-ever woman head, said intelligence showed rogue scientists had been helping groups including al Qaeda, blamed for the September 11 attacks against the United States.

"We know that renegade scientists have cooperated with al Qaeda and provided them with some of the knowledge they need to develop these weapons," she said, without saying where the scientists were from.

As the closest ally of Washington, Britain sees itself as a likely target and last month erected a concrete barrier round parliament in the latest high-profile security measure.

Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda and groups linked to its network have, however, carried out no successful bomb attacks on Western soil since September 11, 2001, focusing instead on easier targets in Kenya, Bali and, recently, Saudi Arabia and Morocco.

The British MI5 head said the discovery of traces of the deadly toxin ricin in a London flat in January was a sober warning: "It demonstrates that interest in unconventional weapons."

But she warned against panic over the CBRN threat, as radicals still prefer old-fashioned bomb attacks.

"Before we become unduly alarmist it would be worth noting that the bomb and the suicide bomber remain the most effective tool in the terrorist arsenal," she told the conference at London's Royal United Services' Institute think-tank.

 

SUICIDE BOMBER CAUGHT IN NABLUS

Suicide bomber caught in Nablus
The Jerusalem Post
June 15, 2003

Security forces arrested a Palestinian en route to carry out a suicide attack, media reports said.

The terrorist was captured in the West Bank city of Nablus amid reports of numerous intelligence warnings about plots to carry out attacks against Israel.

Attack threats have grown in the past week following Israel's botched targeted attack on Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi, in which he was injured and eight other people were killed last Monday.

The following day 17 people were killed in Israel when a Hamas bomber blew up a bus in Jerusalem.

 

EU THREATENS HAMAS WITH “CONSEQUENCES”

EU threatens Hamas with 'consequences'
The Jerusalem Post
June 15, 2003

In a statement, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana condemned Hamas' latest terror attacks and threatened the organization with "consequences".

"In Aqaba there was a clear commitment to end terrorism and violence," the statement notes, "And full support for the Roadmap. Those choosing another path will face consequences. The EU will discuss this issue with a view to finding ways to end external support to Hamas.

"Terrorist activities must cease immediately. I would like to encourage Hamas and other groups to follow the offer by the PA and accept a total cease-fire, with the objective of allowing the immediate and full implementation of the Quartet Roadmap."

 

U.S. AMBASSADOR TOLD SHARON: MY COUSIN WAS MURDERED IN ATTACK

Yediot Ahronot
June 15, 2003

American Ambassador Dan Kurtzer now connected to Israel in blood: His cousin, Anna Orgal, was killed in Jerusalem attack.

 

U.S AMBASSADOR’S COUSIN AMONG VICTIMS OF JERUSALEM BUS BOMBING

U.S. ambassador's cousin among victims of Jerusalem bus bombing, State Department says
By Ian Deitch
The Associated Press
June 15, 2003

A cousin of the American ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer, was among the 17 people killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber in an attack on a bus last week, the State Department said Sunday.

Anna Orgal, 55, was buried Thursday at a cemetery outside Tel Aviv, and Kurtzer attended the funeral, the Yediot Ahronot newspaper reported.

The U.S. Embassy confirmed that Kurtzer's cousin was killed in the Jerusalem attack, but a statement did not release the relative's name.

"The ambassador deeply appreciates the expressions of sympathy he has received. In deference to the privacy of the grieving family in Israel, we will not be commenting further," the Embassy said in a statement read by Brooke Summers, a State Department spokeswoman in Washington.

Kurtzer, an observant Jew, became ambassador in Israel in July 2001 after serving as ambassador in Egypt.

Orgal, daughter of Holocaust survivors, was related to Kurtzer through his mother, who was a cousin of Orgal's father, the paper reported. Kurtzer was in close touch with the family, the daily said.

After the funeral, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met with Kurtzer to offer his condolences, the paper said, describing the meeting as emotional. Israeli officials refused to comment.

The bomber, from the militant Hamas group, blew up the bus Wednesday afternoon. Among the victims was an immigrant from Cleveland, Alan Beer, 47. Sarri Singer, 30, daughter of New Jersey State Senator Robert Singer, was wounded.

 

PALESTINIAN STUDENTS RECREATE PARADISE TO SHOW WHAT AWAITS “MARTYRS”

Palestinian students recreate paradise to show what awaits 'martyrs'
By Mohammed Daraghmeh
May 10, 2003

Plastic trees, goldfish swimming in a generator-powered fountain, posters of the dead on the wall: This is a model of the paradise Islamic militants say awaits those killed in fighting with Israel, including suicide bombers.

The display at the West Bank's largest university, An Najah, was assembled by supporters of the violent Hamas group who said they wanted to raise students' morale after 31 months of fighting with Israel.

The university a hotbed of Palestinian nationalism and a Hamas stronghold said it officially opposes bombings but didn't want to stifle the students' views.

Israel complains that the Palestinian Authority and many Palestinian institutions systematically incite violence against the Jewish state. Stopping incitement is one of the Palestinian Authority's obligations in a U.S.-backed peace plan presented last week.

As part of the so-called "road map" to peace, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas also would have to crack down on militant groups, including Hamas, that have carried out scores of suicide bombings in recent years, killing hundreds of Israelis.

However, support for militants is still running high among ordinary Palestinians embittered by Israel's tough measures, including travel bans and military strikes, in the current round of fighting.

Palestinian Muslims widely believe that suicide bombers and others killed fighting Israel will spend eternity in paradise, in the company of 72 virgins. That promise has been used as a recruiting tool, relatives of some of the bombers have said.

The model paradise on display at An Najah, which has 10,000 students, was titled "The Victory of the Just." Organizers said it was meant to illustrate the rewards for carrying out attacks on Israel.

The display, which closed Thursday after a weeklong run, did not ignore the fact that death precedes paradise.

Those wishing to enter the room housing paradise had to walk through a candlelit passage with 26 mock graves. Each "grave" contained a green shroud and a photo of one of 26 An Najah students killed in the conflict with Israel, including six suicide bombers.

Stairs from the open graves led down into the paradise section. A small generator pumped water through a fountain into a channel where goldfish swim. Brightly plumed green and yellow birds chirped in cages suspended from plastic trees. The floor was strewn with soft sand and plastic flowers. Pictures of the bombers and quotes from the Quran, the Islamic holy book, covered the wall.

Paradise also was air-conditioned, a telling contrast to the sweltering summertime West Bank.

Hundreds of students filed through the exhibit, some returning again and again. An Najah University would not permit the exhibition to be photographed.

"I have never seen anything like this in all my life," said Abdel Aziz Mohammed, a third-year Arabic studies major. Mohammed said that the exhibit helped him realize "the fate of the fighters" after they blow themselves up among Israelis. "I looked at their pictures, I felt them talking and smiling. They really are in their heaven," he said.

Missing from the display of heaven were the 72 virgins. Organizers said they weren't sure how to depict them. "We don't know what (heavenly) virgins look like," said one of the organizers, a Hamas member and engineering student who only gave his first name, Ahmed. Also, he said, "We don't want people to think we are dying for women. We are dying for God."

Mustafa Abu Sway, an Islamic scholar at Al Quds University in the West Bank, said the Quran is intentionally vague about paradise because it is impossible to grasp its infinite nature.

"Paradise is usually described as something the eye has never seen. It is the same and not the same," Abu Sway said.

Ahmad said exhibit organizers had consulted with Islamic authorities, who said it was "legitimate to represent heaven in a way that shows people what awaits them at the end of life."

University official Sami Keilani said An Najah opposes suicide bombings but did not oppose the exhibition.

"As an institution we believe in pluralism," he said. "We give the students a wide room for theoretical pluralism and we take a neutral position toward the debate among the students."

Ahmad said the display was meant as a response to those criticizing the armed uprising against Israel. "We tell them that they are not wasting their lives. Even if they do not achieve victory in their lives, they gain paradise," he said.

He denied that the exhibition was an incitement to violence.

"We are students, not part of the military wing (of Hamas)," he said. "We ... want to raise morale."


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.