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- 05:12am Apr 3, 2002 EST (#1020
Israeli tanks take war into Manger Square
- 05:23am Apr 3, 2002 EST (#1021
Israeli tanks take war into Manger Square : Bethlehem :
Israeli helicopters fired deliberately for the first time into the
Christians call on US president to rein in Sharon as
army launches huge ground and air attack near holy sites
nun .... was shot and injured as she tried to bar the door of
her religious foundation to Israeli soldiers
64-year-old woman and her 38-year-old son - were killed by
Israeli fire at their homes in downtown Bethlehem
Israeli tank had been parked across the entrance to the Red
Crescent's ambulance station
"But we cannot get to the injured. One family called me
screaming down the phone that a relative had been shot and they
were worried that he was bleeding to death. All I could do was
apologise and explain that we could not reach them."
Bethlehem residents were deprived of water, electricity, food
and medical supplies, and that several religious institutions had
been occupied by troops and damaged.
"We call upon your Christian conscience. You are the only one
who can stop this tragedy immediately," the church leaders wrote
to Mr Bush. "We in return will play our part in mediating for the
peace and security of all the people of this land, both Israeli
and Palestinian." http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,677840,00.html
Israeli tanks put shrapnel into the belly of an Aussie lady ..
they don't care - they just fire on peace protesters.
- 05:28am Apr 3, 2002 EST (#1022
Dubya at a loss as crisis worsens By Roy Eccleston,
Washington correspondent April 03, 2002
GEORGE W. Bush claims he's fully engaged in the Middle East
process, but many scratch their heads.
Last Friday, for example, when the world reacted with horror to
the murder of 22 Israelis and tourists by a suicide bomber and the
retaliatory Israeli invasion of Palestinian territory, Bush worked
around his Texas ranch.
It is true there have been many bombings. But what made the
deaths at a Passover feast last week even more distressing was that
they derailed negotiations for a ceasefire that were very close to
Did Mr Bush hit the phones to other world leaders? No. Secretary
of State Colin Powell did the talking, and the US backed a UN
resolution early on Saturday morning calling for an immediate
ceasefire and the pullout of the Israeli forces.
By the time Mr Bush did reach for his phone list, the crisis was
two days old. And then, rather than backing the US's own position in
the UN for an Israeli pullout, he defended the decision to go in: "I
fully understand Israel's need to defend herself."
No wonder Jimmy Carter's national security adviser Zbigniew
Brzezinski says the Bush administration's policy has been one of
Yesterday it was on display again. The White House and State
Department are only a few Washington blocks apart, but judging by
their statements they might have been in different countries.
America's diplomats urged Israel forcefully to withdraw its
forces from Palestinian territory while Bush's spokesman said
Israeli forces should stay until there was peace in the region.
"We are gravely concerned at the situation in Ramallah and
other areas where Israeli forces are moving," said State Department
deputy spokesman Phil Reeker. "We deplore the killing and wounding
of innocent Palestinians. The risks of unintended confrontation and
escalation are significant."
The UN Security Council resolution at the weekend, Mr Reeker
noted, "calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces, and those are
critical steps that should be undertaken now".
Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer had a different view. He was quizzed
on apparent inconsistencies in the US support for the UN resolution
and Bush's weekend endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Did the US want Sharon to withdraw or not? Fleischer said the
resolution required a meaningful ceasefire as well as a withdrawal.
"So that's perfectly consistent with the President's view about
what needs to happen to create peace in the region that will allow
for Israeli withdrawal," Fleischer said. In other words, Israel
could stay until the terrorist bombings stopped – an interpretation
immediately rejected by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
The mixed messages underlined the lack of a cohesive view in
Washington about the best way to end the crisis in the Middle East.
Bush is facing a chorus of critics, including some Republicans, who
say he simply has to do more.
Bush rejects that, but he has devoted little political capital to
the issue. It almost seems as if he sees his mission as dealing with
the black-and-white evil of Osama bin Laden. The murky greys of the
Palestinian question are too vague, absorbing, and probably
"The problem," says Washington foreign policy analyst Jim
Lindsay, of the Brookings Institution, "is he has declared war on
terrorism. You can't always go out with B52s."
And that's the issue. It's one thing to apply the Bush
doctrine – under which those who support terrorists are terrorists –
to al-Qa'ida and another to try applying it to Yasser Arafat and
How can he criticise Sharon for attacking Arafat when the US has
just bombed Afghanistan to strike back at Osama bin Laden? While
Arafat may not be engineering the suicide bombings, there are very
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