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 Badly needed to stop the massacre in Palestine

      Since he took office, last year, everyone who knows the history of Ariel Sharon has expected that a terrible thing was going to happen in Palestine. However, a massacre on the scale of Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Beirut, in 1982, has not happened yet. Instead, the Sharon government of Israel conducted smaller-scale massacres, like the one in Balata and Jenin refugee camps in the previous 48 hours, which claimed 23 deaths and 230 injuries among Palestinian refugees. The total Palestinian deaths, since the beginning of the Intifadha, have amounted to more than 1,057. The injured totaled about 17,934, about 10,000 of whom have been crippled forever. The numbers of Palestinian houses, installations, businesses, and trees that have been destroyed by Israelis are so big that they are hard even to document. Israelis, also, lost about 310 lives and about one thousand injuries. However, Israeli state and settler terrorism against the Palestinian people has reached a point that even Palestinian women started to carry out suicide bombing missions. Palestinians are retaliating after every Israeli air raid or assassination. Israelis are retaliating after every Palestinian retaliation.

     America's intervention is badly needed to stop the on-going massacres. Only America can and should do that because Israelis use American weapons and American money to kill and injure Palestinians and destroy their towns, villages, refugee camps, and fields. Israelis should understand that their dreams of swallowing Palestine and forcing Palestinians out of it are over. They have to recognize and coexist with the Palestinian people as neighbors, not as enemies to be killed everyday. If the Sharon government does not listen, America can stop the $4 billion in annual military and economic aid to the aggressive state. Can this happen? Yes, it can, and there was a precedent. In 1991, the Bush (Sr.) administration refused to grant loan guarantees to the Shamir government, which led to its collapse. America also needs that stand, now more than any time before, to show the Arab and Muslim worlds that it does not follow the Israeli policy in the Middle East.

Hassan El-Najjar, 3/3/02 


Dr. Hassan A. El-Najjar is the Editor of and author of  "The Gulf War: Overreaction & Excessiveness." (2001).