The killing of Israelis, harassment of journalists by Arafat resumes

September 18, 2002

CONTENTS

1. Harassment of journalists barely reported in western media
2. "Members of Palestinian security services abduct three Italians in Gaza Strip" (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 18, 2002)
3. "Al Aksa brigades claim responsibility for Mevo Dotan shooting" (AP, Sept. 18, 2002)
4. "Israeli victim identified as 67-year-old man from Ma'aleh Adumim" (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 18, 2002)
5. "French court orders release of Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon" (AP, Sept. 18, 2002)



HARASSMENT OF JOURNALISTS BARELY REPORTED IN WESTERN MEDIA

[Note by Tom Gross]

I attach five items:

1. "Members of Palestinian security services abduct three Italians in Gaza Strip" (Jerusalem Post, September 18, 2002). This is an example of the kind of threats and harassment of western journalists (usually those who do not toe the Palestinian line) by Yasser Arafat's security forces. It occurs often but is rarely reported on in western media, nor criticized by western human rights groups.

2. "One dead, two hurt in suicide bomb attack in northern Israel" (AP/Jerusalem Post, September 18, 2002). This is the first "successful" suicide attack since August 4. The dead man is in addition to the suicide bomber. According to Israel's Channel 2 TV, the victim was a policeman who approached the bomber (who then detonated the device) thus stopping him from blowing himself up next to a crowd of civilians.

In addition to the suicide bomb, at least two other Israeli civilians have been murdered at random today.

3. "Al Aksa brigades claim responsibility for Mevo Dotan shooting" (AP, September 18, 2002). In a phone call to the Associated press, the al Aksa terrorist group, formed by Yasser Arafat since the start of the Intifada, boasts about its latest murder of an Israeli civilian this morning.

4. "Israeli victim identified as 67-year-old man from Ma'aleh Adumim" (Jerusalem Post, September 18, 2002). A murdered Israeli man was left in a Palestinian garbage dump.

[Some media are also reporting on the deaths of two Palestinians today, coupling them with the two murdered Israelis. Some western and Arab media fail to note that one of the dead Palestinians was shot by Israeli troops in his car after he attempted to attack Israelis with an AK-47 assault rifle, and the other dead Palestinian, 28-year-old Ashraf Alawneh, was severely beaten and then shot in the chest by Palestinians who suspected him of collaborating with Israel.]

5. "French court orders release of Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon" (AP, September 18, 2002). Maurice Papon, responsible for deporting Jews to Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps, was freed today only three years into his sentence for crimes against humanity. Last year, Papon wrote in a letter to France's justice minister that he felt neither "regrets or remorse" for his acts.

-- Tom Gross




FULL ARTICLES

THREE ITALIAN CITIZENS AND FORMER PA OFFICER ABDUCTED IN GAZA

Members of Palestinian security services abduct three Italians, former PA officer in Gaza Strip
The Jerusalem Post
September 18, 2002

Three Italian citizens and a former Palestinian security officer were abducted at the Tufah checkpoint in the Gaza Strip last night, according to a statement by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser.

Two Italian journalists, an Italian student, and a former PA officer were abducted by members of various Palestinian security services, including a militant with the Palestinian Authority Military Intelligence and the Abu Rish wing of Fatah, the press release stated.

 

“PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS HAVE ONCE AGAIN SET OUT ON A BLOODLETTING OF THE ISRAELI PUBLIC”

One dead, three hurt in suicide bomb attack in northern Israel
The Associated Press and Jerusalem Post
September 18, 2002

A suicide bomber blew himself up Wednesday afternoon at a busy intersection outside the Israeli-Arab city of Umm el Fahm, killing one person and wounding three, police and media reports said.

It was the first suicide attack in Israel in six weeks.

The blast went off during afternoon rush hour on the Wadi Ara Highway, outside Umm el-Fahm, which is several kilometers from Afula.

According to Channel 2, the bomber detonated his explosives while standing on the highway, after police approached him because he was suspiciously weaving between trucks on foot.

The explosion killed the bomber, one other person, and wounded two people, an official with Magen David Adom said.

Witness Mohammed Akbariyeh said he was sitting in a restaurant near the bus stop when the blast went off.

"Suddenly, we heard a huge explosion. The ground just flew upward. We ran to the spot. We saw a police car which had been damaged from the rear. One policeman wounded and another man also wounded. The body of the terrorist was simply cut in two," Akbariyeh told Israel Radio.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

David Baker, an official in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office, said that "Palestinian terrorists have once again set out on a bloodletting of the Israeli public."

It was the first suicide attack since Aug. 4 when a bomber blew himself up on a bus at the Meron junction outside Safed in northern Israel, killing himself and nine Israelis, and wounding 50 people.

 

AL AKSA MARTYRS BRIGADE CLAIM RESPONSIBILITY FOR ROADSIDE SHOOTING

Al Aksa brigades claim responsibility for Mevo Dotan shooting
The Associated Press
September 18, 2002

The Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility Wednesday for a roadside shooting attack in northern Samaria that killed one Israeli and wounded another.

The Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigade, a militia linked to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction, claimed responsibility in a telephone call to The Associated Press.

 

BODY FOUND IN GARBAGE DUMP OF 67-YEAR-OLD MAN

Israeli victim identified as 67-year-old man from Ma'aleh Adumim
The Jerusalem Post
September 18, 2002

The victim whose body was found this morning in a garbage dump in east Jerusalem is identified by Israel Radio as 67-year-old Ma'aleh Adumim resident David Buhbut. The body was found in the Palestinian village of el-Azariya.

 

FRENCH COURT ORDERS RELEASE OF NAZI COLLABORATOR MAURICE PAPON

French court orders release of Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon
The Associated Press
September 18, 2002

A French appeals court ordered the release Wednesday of Maurice Papon, a former police chief imprisoned for his role in deporting Jews to Nazi death camps, his lawyer said.

Papon, 92, has been serving a 10-year prison sentence since 1999 for complicity in crimes against humanity. Papon was the highest ranking French official sentenced for collaboration with the Nazis. His six-month trial, the nation's longest, reopened painful memories about France's wartime collaboration.

His lawyers have repeatedly asked that Papon be released from La Sante prison in Paris because of his age and ill health, and his case has sparked an ongoing debate in France about jailing the elderly.

The former Vichy official had triple coronary bypass surgery several years ago and had a pacemaker implanted in January 1999.

Lawyer Jean-Marc Varaut, who announced the court's decision, said his client "will be freed by the end of the day." Lawyers for the former Vichy official filed a new request for his release over the summer, based on a new provision in French law that allows prisoners to be freed if two independent doctors agree they are suffering from a fatal illness, or their long-term health is endangered by remaining behind bars.

A French judge rejected the request July 24, which Papon's lawyers then appealed.

Another of Papon's lawyers, Francis Vuillemin, said: "It is a crucial moment in his life." "It is a great victory. He is totally free to come and go," the lawyer said.

Jewish groups have vehemently opposed Papon's liberation. Before the ruling, French President Jacques Chirac had turned down three requests to pardon Papon.

Papon, who led the Bordeaux area police during the Nazi occupation of France, was convicted in 1998 of complicity in crimes against humanity and sentenced to 10 years in prison for signing orders that led to the deportation of 1,690 Jews from Bordeaux from 1942-44.

Most of those deported went on to Auschwitz, and all but a handful died.

Papon fled to Switzerland after his conviction, but was arrested and began serving his sentence in October 1999. Last year, he wrote in a letter to France's justice minister that he felt neither "regrets or remorse" for his acts.


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