“The Stench of Death is Horrible…”
“Israel’s image has been badly harmed. We must return to negotiations or find ourselves trapped in an endless cycle of violence.” –Yossi Beilin, Israeli peace negotiator and opponent of Sharon’s government. “UN aide calls Jenin scene horrifying,” Boston Globe, 4/19/02.
“They made Jenin into the capital of the suicide bomber, hiding behind the women, children, and old men, because they knew they could always scream ‘atrocity,’ and the world would always believe them. But no matter how often the media prints these lies, it does not make them true. No massacre occurred here, no atrocity, just the tragedy of war.” –Gideon Meir, senior official of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. “UN aide calls Jenin scene horrifying,” Boston Globe, 4/19/02.
“I am watching two brothers pull their father from the ruins, the stench of death is horrible. We are seeing a 12-year-old boy being dug out, totally burned. We have expert people here who have been in war zones and earthquakes and they say they have never seen anything like it… It is totally unacceptable that the government of Israel for 11 days did not allow search and rescue teams to come.” –Terje Roed-Larsen, UN Middle East envoy who helped hammer out the Oslo peace agreement. “Jenin camp ‘horrific beyond belief,'” BBC News Online, 4/18/02.
“As Israeli forces pursued militants, civilians continued getting in the way and dying as a result.” –James Bennet and David Rohde, reporters for the New York Times. “Jenin assault bitter lesson for 2 enemies,” The New York Times, reprinted in The Seattle Times, 4/21/02, A1.
“Just as everyone understands the children’s stones barely reach the soldiers and their jeeps, let alone injure them, we also know that bullets don’t make much of a dent in tanks. But they show that Palestinians have not given up their right to be free of military occupation, and some believe they may help prevent the Israeli soldiers from emerging from their metal-encrusted cocoons of safety during their excursions through city streets…
…The most convincing argument I’ve heard contends that Palestinians cannot win a conventional military battle, but they have to do what they can to show the occupiers that they will not be massacred laying down. If they are to be shot down, it’s going to be from a standing position. They have no other options.” –Lori Allen, writing from her besieged home in Ramallah. “Surviving the Israeli Invasion of Ramallah,” CounterPunch, 3/16-3/31/02, p. 1.
“This stupid war that we are waging, it’s awful. Killing people, as many as possible–there is no point in this. I can’t begin to explain to you what we are going through right now. We are doing something totally against what we believe in. For you, it’s a paradox. For us, it is killing us from inside… The Israeli propaganda says that we only shot at the houses that we needed to destroy. This is not true. I wish that it were only property that has been damaged.” –Sgt. Abi, a 24-year-old Israeli military reservist who commanded troops in the Jenin operation. “Israel’s reluctant reservists torn; ‘Brutal campaign’ weighs heavily,” San Francisco Chronicle, 4/18/02.
“They witnessed people digging out corpses from the rubble with bare hands. Meanwhile, no major emergency rescue operation has been allowed to begin. The destruction is massive and the impact on the civilian population is devastating. –UN Secretary General Kofi Annan describes the scene in Jenin witnessed by a UN fact-finding mission. “Annan Seeks Probe of Israelis at Jenin,” Washington Post, 4/19/02.
“I must say that the evidence before us at the moment doesn’t lead us to believe that the allegations are anything other than truthful and that therefore there are large numbers of civilian dead underneath these bulldozed and bombed ruins that we see.” –Prof. Derek Pounder, a British forensic expert and member of an Amnesty International team in Jenin. “Jenin ‘massacre evidence growing,'” BBC News Online, 4/18/02.
“We cannot stop terror this way. This brutal campaign will get us nowhere.” –Gai Rottenberg, an Israeli military reservist who participated in the Jenin operation. “Israel’s reluctant reservists torn; ‘Brutal campaign’ weighs heavily,” SF Chronicle, 4/18/02.
“My first reaction is that the US is not willing to exert real pressure while Sharon continues his programme. The US is giving him time to do what he wants to do.” –Ziad Abu Zayed, Palestinian Minister for Jerusalem affairs. “Arafat aide says Powell’s mission ‘a joke,'” The Irish Times, 4/19/02.
“In Washington, President Bush appeared to undermine his Secretary of State, Mr. Colin Powell, newly returned from his failed ceasefire mission. Mr. Powell seemed to sympathize with the Palestinian position that there could be no meaningful ceasefire effort while Israeli troops were deployed in and around Palestinian cities. Mr. Bush said that the Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Ariel Sharon, had ‘started withdrawing’ troops and was standing by an agreed ‘timetable,’ while Mr. Arafat would be ‘called to account’ if he did not work to thwart terrorism… Mr. Sharon was ‘a man of peace’ who ‘wants Israel to be able to exist at peace with its neighbor,’ Mr. Bush said. Mr. Bush also appeared to back the continuing troop presence in Bethlehem and around Mr. Arafat’s besieged Ramallah headquarters.” –The Irish Times, “The stench of death is over many places,” 4/19/02.
“It was a gallant effort. But in the end he took nothing and he brought back nothing.” –The Rev. Jesse Jackson comments on Colin Powell’s trip to the Middle East. “Annan Seeks Probe of Israelis at Jenin,” Washington Post, 4/19/02.
“In the United Nations earlier, diplomats said US ambassador John Negroponte threatened to veto an Arab proposal for a UN investigation into Jenin, which was coupled with a call for international monitors to be sent to the region.” –Agence France Presse, “International aid efforts and calls for probe grow over Jenin camp,” 4/20/02.