Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Gush Shalom on Provocation in Ramallah

In case you missed this, even as Ehud Olmert was meeting Egypt’s Hosni Moubarak, a deadly raid and blatant provocation was being conducted in the heart of downtown Ramallah. Four people were killed (the J-Post reports it was six Palestinians) and reports of between twenty and thirty wounded, as well as destruction of shops and cars in this latest senseless Israeli infraction, all poorly justified in the name of “stopping terror”.

See also Desert Peace who features a post from Sam Bahour that gives a valuable first hand experience account. Also recommended is Richard Silverstein’s piece over at Tikun Olam.

Gush Shalom Press Release 05 January 2007

English |עברית

The deadly raid in Ramallah is an aggressive and dangerous provocation. This is not the way to build a cease-fire, nor anyway helpful to advance peace.

At the very hour when the Prime Minister of the State of Israel held with the President of Egypt a meeting, which is supposed to bring us back on the route to peace, somebody had decided to send soldiers, bulldozers and helicopter gunships to conduct a deadly midday raid into Ramallah. The largest Israeli force to enter this city in the past four years conducted a prolonged gun battle in Ramallah’s main square, in front of international TV crews, and killed four Palestinian inhabitants. It was an act of heavy-handed aggression which immediately wiped out Olmert’s so-called “gestures” to President Abu Mazen (none of which, incidentally, was carried out).

Either somebody deliberately intended to create a deadly provocation, or it was an unbelievable show of stupidity and incompetence. In both cases, the dire result is the same, as is the conclusion: this is not the way to build a ceasefire, and certainly not the way to advance towards peace. If the deadly IDF raids into the West Bank cities are not stopped, there will also be no quiet in Sderot and on the Gaza Strip border, and all of us will sink deeper into the abyss of hatred and bloodshed.

For further information: Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson [email protected]

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3 comments on “Gush Shalom on Provocation in Ramallah

  1. Richard Silverstein
    5 January, 2007

    I’ve written about this incident too (see link). I also link in my post to a scathing column by Yossi Sarid for Haaretz in which he says that the IDF essentially rule the country & that they feel no fear in deliberately subverting Olmert’s peace overtures with such a raid.

    Had no idea the Post was reporting six dead. NYT is also reporting 4, though that doesn’t mean much.

    Love the Heine drawing. It’s such a hopeful one considering how awful things are right now.

    Wish I could get yr feed working for me at Israel Palestine Blogs. For some reason, WordPress rss plugin I’ve installed isn’t taking to your feed though I can read it perfectly well using any regular rss reader.

  2. peoplesgeography
    5 January, 2007

    Thanks Richard, and I appreciated reading your post and have linked to it. It’s interesting that you caught from the J-Post too that it is entirely possible that Olmert and even Peretz were not informed that this was going to take place by the IDF West Bank Commander. If true, it sure seems to accord with Yossi Sarid and the observation that, unlike other countries that endeavour to be a democracy with a military, Israel is a military calling itself a democracy. As you say, the entire country is in effect under military rule. This spells disaster for Israeli citizens and Palestinians alike.

  3. servant
    6 January, 2007

    It is impossible for me to think at such granular levels whether the political controls the military or vice versa in this instance or in any other. In the long history of things, when peace seems to be near, someone has always managed to provoke Palestinians into acting against their own interest. Does it really matter whether it’s the political layer or the military layer? Israel is an evil country both politically, socially and militarily.

    I’m one who holds my fellow citizens responsible for American atrocities that are going on Iraq (and soon Iran) and they always try to wiggle out of it by saying “no one knew” or “no one can control a few bad applies” or “yeah but” or “Kerry wasn’t that great either” or whatever the excuse is.

    The people of the United States are the ultimate authority for who runs our government and I’m not going to let them get lost in the crowd when it goes bad. We elected this son of a [expletive deprecated] and we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves.

    Now in Israel the level of self delusion is even worse. A Palestinian looking over the wall (if there is any place to look over the wall) cannot tell whether he’s been shot by Labor or Likud. The result is the same.

    Sorry for the rant. I just think too much focus goes on the leadership and not on the will and wants of the people who drive them.

    Have a good weekend.

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