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Some Facts About Rafah

With the world media still focusing on the number of PLO Arabs killed during Israel’s campaign against terrorists in the Rafah refugee camp, some facts are being conveniently left out. For instance:

The deterrent fire aimed near demonstrators marching toward Tel el-Sultan in Rafah refugee camp on Wednesday, a result of which eight Palestinians were killed, was the last resort in preventing the armed Palestinians within the crowd from attacking soldiers and isolating an undercover unit from the rest of the troops, Brig.-Gen. Shmuel Zakai, Gaza division commander, told reporters at a briefing Friday.

Zakai said that the tank commander could not see the demonstrators from where he was positioned and that the army had no intension of directing any fire towards the marchers.

However he said that the army had received reports of the planned march and the intention of armed men to mingle among demonstrators, and conveyed messages to Palestinian officials asking them to prevent the demonstration from taking place.

Since Operation Rainbow was launched in Rafah, some four days ago, a total of 5 buildings have been demolished, 40 terrorists have been killed and scores arrested, he said.

He added that Palestinian footage of destruction in the area showed many of the buildings they claim to have been demolished in the four-day operation were in fact destroyed over the course of the past three and a half years.

Describing the Palestinian reports of the destruction in Rafah following IDF activity as a “well-oiled propaganda machine”, Zakai declared that none of the residents were suffering from starvation, and that in cases where water and electricity were cut off, crews immediately began repairing the damage.

Regarding footage of plowed up roads, Zakai said these were the result of terrorists placing bomb underneath the road surface and covering them up with asphalt, so as to detonate as troops entered the camp. Similarly, many of the damaged houses documented by Palestinians are a product of powerful explosives placed by terrorists inside the walls of houses to harm IDF troops searching the area.

And there’s more:

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been calling since Monday for “women, children and elderly” to stand in front of Israeli bulldozers and tanks in Rafah even though the PA knew Rafah was the site of armed battles between the Israeli army and Palestinian terrorists.

Israel has apologized over the past two days for injuring and killing civilians during Wednesdayís fighting. The civilians were hurt during the Israeli army operation to search for terrorists and missiles that the PA has smuggled from Egypt.

As PMW has reported in the past, the PA consistently urges civilians to put themselves on the front lines in these military situations. In this case, the PA-controlled daily newspaper called specifically for “women, children and elderly” to enter the fray. The PA intentionally placed civilians on the battlefield, and is ultimately responsible for their fate.

The following is from an article in Mondayís PA daily, in which the PA called for “women, children and elderly” to make an ìimpassable barrierî in Rafah. The call was answered, and thousands of civilians marched into the heart of the battle, thus setting the stage for the accident.

“Ashraf Jumaa, principal of the Abu Iyad school for organizational staff in Rafah, said to Al-Ayyam that the [civilian] march Ö will be an impassable barrier for the occupation bulldozers, and will prevent their progress to the Rafah neighborhoodsÖ He called for all the citizens women, children and elderly – to participateÖ He demanded of all the citizens of the Rafah district, who left their homes and abandoned them, to return to those homes and to stay in themÖ to cause the failure of the occupation’s plansÖ” [Al-Ayyam, May 17, 2004

Of course, don’t expect this to be reported by the likes of Reuters or AP anytime soon. They are too busy bemoaning the “slaying” of PLO Arabs, even when they happen to be “militants.”

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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