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Someone forgot the script

The Arab propaganda line has been that Israel has been massacring poor innocent civilians in Jenin, that without provocation Israel just decided to destroy the town (or "refugee camp," whichever sounds worse). This has been repeated so frequently that many members of the media were convinced that massive war crimes had taken place -- admittedly, aided by the fact that Israel wasn't letting independent observers into the town -- and any story to the contrary was described as pro-Israel bias.

So how do people explain this article in the Egyptian based Al-Ahram Weekly? It describes the Palestinian behavior in Jenin, approvingly, perhaps not realizing the significance:

Omar admits he is one of only a few dozen fighters not to emerge either dead or in plastic handcuffs from the fiercest battle waged by the Palestinians during the Israeli army's invasion of the West Bank.

Of his group of 30 gunmen, only four escaped from the camp on Wednesday, after the Palestinian arsenal ran dry. Most of the others were shot dead.

"Of all the fighters in the West Bank we were the best prepared," he says. "We started working on our plan: to trap the invading soldiers and blow them up from the moment the Israeli tanks pulled out of Jenin last month."

Omar and other "engineers" made hundreds of explosive devices and carefully chose their locations.

"We had more than 50 houses booby-trapped around the camp. We chose old and empty buildings and the houses of men who were wanted by Israel because we knew the soldiers would search for them," he said.

"We cut off lengths of mains water pipes and packed them with explosives and nails. Then we placed them about four metres apart throughout the houses -- in cupboards, under sinks, in sofas."

The fighters hoped to disable the Israeli army's tanks with much more powerful bombs placed inside rubbish bins on the street. More explosives were hidden inside the cars of Jenin's most wanted men.

Connected by wires, the bombs were set off remotely, triggered by the current from a car battery.

This was not the Israeli army vs. Palestinian civilians, with Israel deliberately knocking down buildings for no reason; it was Israel fighting against a Palestinian militia, which the Palestinians creating the "booby traps" that Israel accused them of placing, thus forcing the IDF to knock down buildings in self-defense.

I'll wait to see the "international community" retract the claims of Israeli war crimes. But I won't hold my breath.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 19, 2002 12:05 PM.

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