Israel in the News Jul/Aug 2002
Dr. Zangen speaks out: ‘I couldn’t stand the lies’
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been accused of massacring Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp when soldiers went after terrorists there. Dr. David Zangen, a senior pediatrician at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, was in Jenin, treating both Israelis and Palestinians. He was so infuriated by the charges that he called the Israel Army Radio Service and later spoke to the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv. Following are excerpts from Ma’ariv.
“I was incensed . . . with these lies. I was there during the fighting, and I saw close up what was happening. I know that the IDF did everything it could to prevent civilian casualties. It is clear to everyone that if the IDF had resorted to aerial bombardment or heavy artillery, we would have completed [our mission] in the refugee camp within half a day, without suffering any casualties on our side. We did not adopt that policy, and we took risks in the fighting, in an attempt to rescue those innocent civilians that were caught up in the battles.
“IDF soldiers did not enter the Jenin hospital, and ensured that the hospital could operate without disruption. . . . The Palestinians hid there in the knowledge that we would not enter. . . . The descriptions of the smell of the bodies in the refugee camp are also exaggerated out of all proportion. A week after the fighting, I walked around the camp without a mask, with journalists from all over the world, and there was no smell. The journalists knew this, but all of a sudden, they claimed that there was a stench in the camp from bodies that had not been evacuated. Twenty-five bodies were found altogether, and most of the bodies were those of the terrorists.
“If you were to enter the camp, you would find that only a few dozen homes were destroyed. These were homes that were booby-trapped for the purpose of killing soldiers. This was a fortress of terrorism. Two hundred terrorists wired up the camp with booby-traps.
“We found photo albums with pictures of children wearing explosive belts; studio photographs of future shahidim [martyrs], children aged between 16 and 18, who want to kill Israelis in suicide attacks. All the homes in the refugee camp are covered with wall-to-wall pictures of martyrs. It is unbelievable. These [martyrs] are their heroes. Their aim was to carry out suicide attacks against the IDF soldiers. If there were innocent civilians in the area, they were either the hostages of the terrorists or collaborators.
“The soldiers fought without harming civilians. This was noticeable in every place and on every level. I was moved by the sight of soldiers conducting themselves in such a dignified and moral manner. Most of us are reserve soldiers; we are not hotheaded people, and we were all very careful. I was impressed by the great care exercised by the IDF in avoiding civilian casualties— especially with regard to children.
“I am infuriated by the claims of a massacre in Jenin. The paramedics and I risked our lives to treat the wounded Palestinians. As well as the wounded, we also treated the sick. The Palestinian doctors did not come to their aid, and we could not leave them without medical treatment. The Palestinian doctors were unable to reach a girl who had an attack of appendicitis. The soldiers brought the girl over to us and we treated her. In another case, a youngster came to us with a neck wound. We saved his life, in spite of his Islamic Jihad tattoo. We tried to provide full treatment for every Palestinian, and I am proud of it. We acted in this way to avoid civilian casualties.”
Hodi Broker from Haifa, a 30-year-old teaching assistant from Technion University, who served as a paramedic in a field hospital, also talked about the treatment of the Palestinians: “An elderly person who was wounded in the refugee camp came to us. We treated him, and we wanted to send him back to Jenin, but there was nowhere for him [to receive treatment]. The Red Crescent [Arab version of the Red Cross] refused to take him. We took pity on him and we transported him to a hospital in Israel. I hope he is well.”
Palestinians murder 5-year-old in her bed
ARUTZ-7—Five-year-old Danielle Shefi of Adura was killed when a terrorist entered her home and shot her as she lay in her bed. Photographs of the little girl’s bedroom show her Mickey Mouse sheets soaked with blood. Danielle’s grandfather, Kiryat Arba resident Yitzchak Ben-Hevron, is a survivor of the 1929 pogrom in which 67 Jews were slaughtered in Hebron by their Moslem neighbors.
Her father, Yaakov, later said tearfully, “I was in the neighbor’s house at the time, and when I heard that terrorists were shooting in the rooms in my house, I thought I was alone in the world. The reason why I still have a wife and two children is because of the bravery of my wife [who hid the two other children, aged 1 and 4; they were lightly hurt].
While many international news media have stopped calling Palestinian terrorists by their real name and use the word gunmen instead, the Web site WorldTribune.Com has gone one better: It uses the word insurgents. Here is how it reported Danielle’s death:
“Palestinian insurgents have resumed insurgency attacks against Israeli communities in the wake of Israel’s pullback from its military campaign in the West Bank. Palestinian insurgents entered a Jewish settlement south of Hebron and killed at least four people and injured seven others on Saturday.”
‘Get rid of Arafat’ says Muslim sheikh
Sheikh Abdul HadiPalazzi, a leading Muslim religious thinker and secretary-general of the Italian Muslim Association, has told Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to get rid of Yasser Arafat by either executing him or jailing him.
WorldNetDaily.com has reported that Palazzi asked Sharon to continue Israel’s campaign “against the boss of terror until the day when the Egyptian criminal Abdel Ra’uf al-Kobdah [a.k.a. Yasser Arafat]” is gone for good.
Palazzi, whose beliefs for a Muslim are very non-Orthodox, also believes in Israel’s right to exist and says there is “no such thing as a ‘Palestinian,’” calling it “a PR fiction, a Madison Avenue fantasy.”
UN backs Arabs’ ‘armed struggle’ against Israel
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has passed a resolution supporting the Palestinians’ “armed struggle” against Israel.
Resolution #2002/8, drawn at the Commission’s 58th session, strongly denounces Israel while championing the “rights” of the Palestinians. The Commission said it “reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.”
It made no mention of the Palestinian terrorist suicide bombings or the fact that Israel provides costly electricity, water, and sewerage for the Palestinians.
PLO tortures Arabs held in PLO jail
ARUTZ-7—Some of the 120 Arab prisoners freed recently from a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) jail by the Israel Defense Forces say their captors tortured them. Many of the prisoners, held on charges of cooperating with Israel, describe being hung upside down for days, having cigarettes extinguished on their bodies, and other such treatment.
Some said they were beaten unconscious and slashed with knives and shards of glass, while others said they were forced to sit in raw sewage for days. Arab human rights groups have failed to condemn the torture of the prisoners.
In other recent incidents, Arabs suspected of working with Israel have been brutally murdered by PLO gangs. In some cases, the victims’ bodies were dragged in the street and hung upside down in public squares.