Operation Defensive Shield: Witnesses to Israeli War Crimes

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Overview

On March 29, 2002 the Israeli army launched Operation Defensive Shield, the largest military offensive against Palestinian civilians since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. During the operation, the military used the most advanced weaponry at its disposal: Merkava tanks, Apache attack helicopters and F-15 fighter jets. When the operation ended on April 21, Israel had destroyed the Palestinian economic and social infrastructure, leveled large swathes of residential area, killed 220 people, injured hundreds more and arrested thousands. This book documents these events through a collection of electronic witness narratives written by Palestinians who were under attack and by Israeli and international peace activists who witnessed the results of these attacks. Deeply moving and courageous, these narratives offer a uniquely powerful and intimate account of the daily reality for Palestinians who endured Ariel Sharon's military strategy, and the death and destruction that strategy has caused throughout the Occupied Territories. Most important, the witnesses' voices bring to life the aggressive nature of this strategy — they belie the noble motives ascribed to Sharon and those in his government and military who designed and carried it out. The editors argue that Operation Defensive Shield is a prelude to Israel's ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. They provide historical context, a chronology, and an analysis of the conflict that situates the horror of these days in their proper perspective. Operation Defensive Shield: Witnesses to Israeli War Crimes is an essential record for those who want to understand what happened in the West Bank in the spring of 2002, and what it portends for the future of the region.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Always compelling, [Hamzeh's writing] movingly conveys these tragedies, and how, in a tight-knit society on a small patch of land, they are all inter-connected.'" —The Financial Times on Refugees in our Own Land
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745320649
  • Publisher: Pluto Press
  • Publication date: 6/20/2003
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.59 (w) x 8.79 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Muna Hamzeh is a Palestinian-American journalist and author who has been writing about the Palestinian issue since 1985. She is author of Refugees in Our Land: Chronicles From a Refugee Camp in Bethlehem (Pluto Press 2001). Todd May is Professor of Philosophy at Clemson University in South Carolina, and the author of five books of philosophy. He has been active in the Palestinian rights movement since 1988, and has also been involved in progressive struggles ranging from divestment from South Africa to gay rights.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Origins of an Israeli Military Strategy 16
2 Witnesses to Operation Defensive Shield 25
From "The Apocryphon Arcane" 25
The Israelis Took Over My House 28
International Activists of Act as Human Shields in Dheisheh Refugee Camp 31
Too Many Images to Process Now 35
The Auschwitz Logic 38
When Malek Called 40
IDF Attack Humanitarian Aid Convoy 43
"Pray for the Israelis Too" 46
An Encounter We Will Never Forget 49
An Israeli View from Arafat's Compound 53
In the Eye of the Storm 55
"There's a Terrorist Coming!" 58
Will Someone Please Stand Up? 62
"We Don't Kill Innocent People" 65
Convoy to Nablus: "This is OUR Land!" 70
"We Are Stronger Than You" 72
Jad was Found, but Dead 76
As Though We Are Slowly Dying 79
Massacre in Jenin, Deir Yassin Relived 82
Detention at Ofra Military Camp 85
What Happened at the British Council Building in Ramallah? 89
Cries of the Heart 91
In Times of War Crimes: The Banality of Evil 94
Searching for the Truth in Jenin 98
Jara Asks Whether the Soldiers Shoot at Birds 101
3 Effects of Operation Defensive Shield 109
4 US, European and Arab Responsibility 122
Epilogue: A Prelude to Ethnic Cleansing 154
App Selected Websites 171
App Selected Peace Groups and Associations 173
App Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Article 8, War Crimes 176
App Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide 179
Select Bibliography 185
Index 192
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