Sunday, June 18, 2006

[imra] Daily digest - Volume: 2 Issue: 1421 (13 messages)

imra Sun Jun 18 02:20:13 2006 Volume 2 : Issue 1421

In this issue of the imra daily Digest:

ZOA President & Former Presbyterian Elder
Condemn Presbyterian Anti-Israel Efforts
PA PM Haniya Der Spiegel interview
- right of return non-negotiable
IDF targets Islamic Jihad terror cell
responsible for rocket attacks against Israel
Security sources: Weapons smuggling
from Egypt into Gaza has ballooned
Palestinian university president comes
out against boycott of Israeli academics
Peres repeats Arab flush toilet appeasment theory
Ze'ev Schiff: security of residents of communities near
Gaza deteriorated after the disengagement
Excerpts:Arab transformations outlook. 17 June 2006
Fatah enlists 5,000 for possible confrontation with Hamas
Senior Kadima member: Realignment not possible
Kassam rocket lands near a Sderot school causing damage;
none wounded
Hamas refuses to approve payment
for Israeli medical treatment of Palestinians


Subject: ZOA President & Former Presbyterian Elder
Condemn Presbyterian Anti-Israel Efforts

Zionist Organization of America
Jacob & Libby Goodman ZOA House, 4 East 34th Street, New York, N.Y. 10016
(212) 481-1500 Fax: (212) 481-1515

June 16, 2006

Contact Morton A. Klein at: (212) 481-1500

ZOA President and Former Presbyterian Elder
Condemn Presbyterian Anti-Israel Efforts

June 14, 2006 - Morton A. Klein, national president of the Zionist
Organization of America and William Devlin, former Presbyterian elder and
evangelical Christian leader, released the following statement:

"Leaders of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) are gathering this week in
Birmingham, Alabama. A central issue they will be considering is whether or
not to continue PCUSA policy to divest any PCUSA investments in Israel -
they call this: 'selected phased divestment.'

"Jewish groups including ZOA and evangelical leaders like Devlin who support
the state of Israel reacted strongly in opposition to the 2004 Presbyterian
Assembly's decision to 'initiate a process of phased, selective divestment'
in multinational corporations operating in Israel that the PCUSA claims are
impeding peace in the Middle East."

Klein and Devlin continued- "While we applaud those Presbyterian leaders who
see the injustice in the 2004 Assembly decision and seek to overturn it, we
condemn others who want to advance this biased and misguided attack against
Israel. The theme of the PCUSA conference is "so great a cloud of witnesses"
but it appears that when it comes to understanding that Israel is a just
society and the only democracy in the Middle East, the Presbyterians are
clearly lost in a cloud. Perhaps this august body, with their highly
educated clergy, have forgotten the promise of Genesis 12. Let's hope that
by the end of this conference, these ecclesiastical leaders will be directed
by common sense and join the side of the world community which supports

Morton A. Klein
William Devlin


Subject: PA PM Haniya Der Spiegel interview
- right of return non-negotiable

DER SPIEGEL Interview with Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya
DER SPIEGEL 24/2006 - June 12, 2006

"We Want Peace and Stability"

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya discusses Hamas's terms for peace
with Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas's plans for a referendum.

SPIEGEL: The Israelis are responsible for the occupation of the West Bank.
But your government is responsible for the threat to Israel's very
existence. You place demands that shake the state of Israel to its
foundations, the refugees' right of return, for example.

Haniya: Is there a statute of limitations on the rights of the refugees?
Doesn't the world see the suffering of millions of Palestinians who have
been living in exile around the world or in refugee camps for the past 60
years? No state, no home, no identity, no right to work. Doesn't the world
see this injustice?

SPIEGEL: The world does see these fates. But there have been many refugees
throughout history. Millions were forced to flee from their homes after
World War II. Nevertheless, the status quo was accepted in the interest of
peace. A return of those refugees would only have caused new suffering.

Haniya: The right of return is an individual right. No one who represents
the Palestinians, neither the various organizations nor the government nor
the president, has the authority to relinquish this right. Each refugee can
decide for himself whether he wants to return to his native country.

SPIEGEL: In other words, he can decide that he'd rather move to a new
Palestinian state and receive financial compensation for doing so?

Haniya: You expect the Palestinians to sell their native country, their
fatherland, for money?

SPIEGEL: No, but proposals must be realistic. In 1947 the United Nations
decided to give the Jewish people their own state. Israel's Jewish majority
would be jeopardized if 4 million Palestinians were to return.

Haniya: The right of return is mentioned in international resolutions, which
also contain the option of financial compensation.
[IMRA: Haniya no doubt knows that the option he refers to is the option of
the refugee - not of Israel, thus Haniya continues to demand the right to
destroy Israel from within via the return of refugees.]

SPIEGEL: According to opinion polls, 85 percent of Palestinians -- and even
72 percent of Hamas supporters -- would vote in favor of the prisoners'
initiative. Are you afraid of a defeat?

Haniya: Before the elections, the same opinion polls predicted we would
receive 18 percent of the vote. In the end we captured almost 60 percent.
These opinion polls are politically controlled.

SPIEGEL: That's also a popular argument in Europe among politicians who
refuse to accept the fact that they are in a minority.

Haniya: But we are not in a minority. We are a government that was elected
four months ago by the majority of the people.

SPIEGEL: But you weren't voted into office because of your struggle against
Israel. You were voted in because of corruption within the Fatah Movement
and high unemployment in the Autonomous Territories.

Haniya: Hamas has a worldview and a program, and people voted quite
consciously for that. This program includes both resisting the occupation
and criticizing corruption in the previous government. Hamas still has a


SPIEGEL: We were talking about your responsibility, not about Israel. If you
had information about a suicide bomber and had the power to stop him, would
you prevent him from carrying out his plans?

Haniya: We don't control the West Bank. The Israeli military is in charge
there. Our security forces have their hands tied. As long as the occupiers
remain on our soil, resistance is the legitimate right of our people.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Prime Minister, we thank you for this interview.

Haniya: Now I have a question. In addition to being prime minister, I am
also the Minister of Youth and Sports. I used to play football myself. What
do I have to do to receive an invitation from (German) Chancellor Angela
Merkel to attend the World Cup games?

SPIEGEL: For that to happen, you would also have to recognize Israel's right
to exist and renounce violence.

Haniya: Then I'd rather watch the World Cup on television.

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan


Subject: IDF targets Islamic Jihad terror cell
responsible for rocket attacks against Israel

June 16th 2006


IDF targets Islamic Jihad terror cell responsible for rocket attacks against

This evening, June 16th 2006, the IDF carried out an aerial attack against a
vehicle in northern Gaza carrying an Islamic Jihad terror cell responsible
for the launching of projectile rockets against Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian terror groups have launched over 120 rockets at Israel over the
course of the past week.

The Palestinian Authority is fully responsible for any attacks emanating
from the Gaza Strip. Unfortunately, it continues to take no action in order
to prevent the daily attacks against Israeli civilians.

The IDF will continue to act with determination and to employ all means at
its disposal to combat terrorists and their infrastructure, in order to
defend the citizens of Israel.


Subject: Security sources: Weapons smuggling
from Egypt into Gaza has ballooned

Security sources: Weapons smuggling from Egypt into Gaza has ballooned
By Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondent 17 June 2006

[IMRA: If Israel is clueless as to how many tunnels there are then why does
the Shin Bet think it has a handle on what is going through these tunnels?
Why "65 rocket propelled grenade launchers" and not 75? 200?]

Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee 10 days ago that weapons smuggling from Egypt into the Gaza Strip
has increased greatly since the Israel Defense Forces withdrew on September
12, 2005.

Diskin did not explain that most of the weapons are smuggled into Gaza
through the tunnels at Rafah, just like before the IDF pullout. Palestinian
security sources say smuggling has reached an unprecedented scope because
there is no preventive activity on the Palestinian side.

Contraband materiel has included 11 tons of TNT, 3 million rifle bullets,
some 10,000 rifles, 1,600 guns, 65 rocket propelled grenade launchers, 430
RPG shells and shoulder-launched missiles.

No Egyptian, Palestinian or Israeli official is currently willing to
estimate the number of tunnels operating in the Rafah region, but the
Egyptians report to Israel and the Palestinian Authority on tunnels exposed
nearly every week. Many other tunnels are thought to be operating.

The tunnels do not belong to a particular organization, but rather to
Rafah's major clans, which rent them out to the highest bidder. Young boys
for the most part are employed at very low wages to dig the tunnels. A month
ago a tunnel collapsed, trapping three diggers and killing one of them.

Besides weapons, the tunnels are used to smuggle electrical appliances,
drugs and cigarettes, as well as terrorists wanted in Egypt.


Subject: Palestinian university president comes
out against boycott of Israeli academics

Palestinian university president comes out against boycott of Israeli
By The Associated Press - Haaretz 17 June 2006

Israeli academics threatened by boycotts have received support from an
unlikely source: the Palestinian president of Al-Quds University.

"If we are to look at Israeli society, it is within the academic community
that we've had the most progressive pro-peace views and views that have come
out in favor of seeing us as equals," Sari Nusseibeh told The Associated
Press. "If you want to punish any sector, this is the last one to approach."

Nusseibeh acknowledged, however, that his is a minority viewpoint among his

Britain's main academic association recently called on its members to
consider boycotting Israeli professors, and a top Canadian labor union voted
in favor of divestment from Israel.

The 69,000-member National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher
Education in Britain, censuring Israel for "apartheid" policies.

"It just reminds people that somehow Israel is always singled out, that
we're the case study," David Newman, a professor of politics and government
at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Be'er Sheva, said.

Israel has been targeted by numerous boycotts throughout its history,
ranging from weapons embargoes to product blacklisting to the blocking of
Israeli web sites.

But the latest resolution by the British association, encouraging a boycott
of Israeli academics, touched a raw nerve in the Jewish state.

"I wonder why not China, why not Chile, why not Burma, where the human
rights issue is far, far worse than here," Newman said.


Subject: Peres repeats Arab flush toilet appeasment theory

[IMRA: Again Mr. Peres asserts that Arab aspirations to destroy Israel can
be neutralized by economic development and trade links. This theory
doesn't explain how so many wars took place in Europe between countries that
were major trading partners.]

Peres: Israel and Palestinians closer than ever to peace deal
By The Associated Press Haaretz 17 June 2006

Vice Premier Shimon Peres said Saturday that Israel and the Palestinians
were closer to peace than they've been in the past 50 years.

"The distance between us is the shortest it's been for the last 50 years,"
Peres said at one-day security summit in the Central Asian nation of
Kazakhstan. "The distance is very short, but the speed is very slow."

Peres said rather than focusing on political stumbling blocks to peace, they
should turn their attention to economic issues, which might be easier to
solve and could lead to political solutions.

"Perhaps instead of solving the political border issue, why not try to
construct the relationship on the basis of economic relations," he said.
"Maybe we can come to an economic peace before we come to a political peace.
Then maybe political peace will come later."

On Friday, Peres said that Israel will soon hold talks with Palestinian
Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

"In a very short while, we shall start to talk with him," Peres said in an
interview with foreign media in Kazakhstan.

Peres said Abbas was a viable negotiating partner who was legitimately
elected by his people. He said Palestinians must choose between the path of
compromise that politics offers and the "uncompromising" road of religion.

Abbas is locked in a power struggle with Hamas, which defeated his Fatah
party in legislative elections in January. The dispute has triggered
factional fighting. Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel's destruction, has
refused to cave in to calls by Western donor nations to renounce violence
and recognize Israel, despite growing hardship.

Abbas has pressured Hamas to accept a proposal that implicitly recognizes
Israel. Abbas has endorsed the plan as a way to restart peace talks and lift
the crippling international sanctions that have rendered the government
unable to pay salaries that sustain one-third of the Palestinian population.

"Foreign support won't come to a party which opposes peace, which doesn't
recognize Israel," Peres said on the eve of an international conference of
heads of state and other leaders in Kazakhstan. Participants are expected to
discuss security and other issues of mutual concern. A delegation from the
Palestinian Authority is attending.

Visiting France this week, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would set
its borders with the Palestinians unilaterally if peace talks stay stalled.

"The plan is inevitable, it will be implemented, hopefully by agreement, but
it will be implemented," he told reporters after meeting French President
Jacques Chirac.

Olmert also insisted that he would never cede Israeli sovereignty over
Jerusalem's Temple Mount, revered as a holy site by Jews and Muslims.
Olmert's aides have said previously that his withdrawal plan would include
some mainly Arab areas of East Jerusalem.

Peres: Iran will cooperate on nuclear talks Peres said Friday he believes
Iran will eventually cooperate in nuclear negotiations with an emerging
coalition of nations that is trying to get Iran to abandon its suspected
development of nuclear weapons.

Peres also said Iran will suffer deepening poverty and isolation if it
spurns international appeals for it to halt its nuclear activity.

Noting that Iran's population had more than doubled in the past 15 years,
and that unemployment and drug addiction were worsening as the country
devotes huge resources to military development, Peres said he doesn't think
the Iranians "have much of a choice."

"Their choice is to keep the country poor and their arsenal rich. It cannot
go on forever," he said. "The speeches are very impressive, but the reality
is very depressive."

Peres' comments ahead of an international conference in Kazakhstan came as
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in Shanghai that a six-nation
incentive package aimed at getting his country to halt uranium enrichment
was a step forward in resolving the dispute.

"Generally speaking, we're regarding this offer as a step forward and I have
instructed my colleagues to carefully consider it," Ahmadinejad said Friday
after meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Ahmadinejad's remark was the highest-level sign that Iran was preparing to
negotiate over the package of incentives backed by the United States, three
European countries, Russia and China. The proposal called for negotiations,
with the U.S. to take part, and other incentives on the condition that Iran
freeze its uranium enrichment program.

A nuclear-armed Iran, Peres warned, would pose a grave threat to efforts to
prevent other countries as well as terrorists from trying to acquire nuclear

"If Iran will have a nuclear bomb, there will be many other countries that
follow suit," Peres said. He declined to say whether Israel would favor
military action if international talks with Iran fail.

"Iran is a world problem. We don't want to make it into an Israeli problem,"
he said. "Let others decide."

Iran denies accusations by the U.S. and others that it is seeking to develop
nuclear weapons, saying its program would only generate energy.

Peres planned to attend a summit in Almaty on Saturday of heads of state and
other leaders. The group of about two dozen countries and international
organizations is called the Conference on Interactions and
Confidence-Building Measures in Asia. It last met in 2002.

Iran was expected to send a high-ranking official from its Foreign Ministry
to the meeting, but Peres indicated that a meeting was unlikely.

"For the time being, they want to destroy rather than negotiate," he said in
a reference to the Iranian president's call for Israel to be wiped off the




NICOSIA [MENL] -- Iran and Syria have signed a defense cooperation agreement
that would include the Syrian procurement of Iranian missiles, air defense
systems and main battle tanks.

Officials said the agreement, signed on Thursday, stipulated the formation
of a Supreme Defense Commission and the expansion of defense industrial
cooperation between Damascus and Teheran. They said Iran has offered
numerous weapons as well as the establishment of defense production
facilities in Syria.

"They [Iran and Syria] stressed the strengthening of mutual ties and the
necessity to preserve peace and stability as well as the elimination of
weapons of mass destruction from the region," an Iranian Defense Ministry

The agreement was signed by visiting Syrian Defense Minister Hassan Turkmani
and his Iranian counterpart, Mostafa Najar. Turkmani, who completed a
four-day visit, said the pact was aimed against Israel and the United
NOTE: The above is not the full item.
This service contains only a small portion of the information produced daily
by Middle East Newsline. For a subscription to the full service, please
contact Middle East Newsline at: for further details.


Subject: Ze'ev Schiff: security of residents of communities near
Gaza deteriorated after the disengagement

The IDF on a tightrope
By Ze'ev Schiff Haaretz 16 June 2006

So far, the IDF has failed in its war against the rocket launchers in Gaza.
Here and there, launching crews are struck. Sometimes, innocent civilians
are also hurt, as happened this week, when a vehicle carrying missiles was
struck in the heart of Gaza City. On the other hand, the IDF has managed to
eliminate neither the workshops where the rockets are made nor the lathes,
both of which are limited in number. The rocket warehouses and the engineers
who design the rockets have not been hurt.

The result is that the security of residents of communities near Gaza,
including Sderot, deteriorated after the disengagement.
One can understand the demonstrators and justify them. Who among those in
the rear would bring their children and families to live in communities that
are routinely shelled, where the difference between being hit and being
saved is a matter of luck? The IDF did not properly anticipate this
development, whose significance is an erosion of Israel's deterrent power
against those who use rockets. What should bother us are the lessons that
will be learned by Hezbollah, which controls an enormous array of rockets
deployed in Lebanon. The failure to deal with the Qassam rockets is an
invitation to Hezbollah to provoke Israel. ...


Subject: Excerpts:Arab transformations outlook. 17 June 2006

Excerpts:Arab transformations outlook. 17 June 2006

+++THE DAILY STAR] (Lebanon 17 June '06 :"Eliminating corruption, from the
By Rami . Khouri
" 1950 - 2000 ... $1,000 billion (1/3) of Arab national wealth has been
stolen by corrupt officials
and private sector accomplices"

"the sad legacy of Arab corruption ... can be attacked by its own sons
and daughters"
The past decade suggests that any Arab transformations into well-governed,
productive, non-corrupt states will happen through some combination of four
political dynamics: foreign pressure or armed intervention to change
regimes, as in Iraq; mass indigenous peaceful democratic transformations
with a strong Islamist tone, as in Palestine; populist mass street
demonstrations, as in Lebanon; or quiet pressures exerted by respected
establishment figures working from within the system, to be confirmed.
The most low-key and slowest means of change quiet pressures exerted
by respected establishment figures. ...vital to transforming corrupt systems
into democratic and accountable ones. Entrenched Arab regimes that control
large budgets and armies ...Ultimately ... will not be able to resist the
insurrectionary dissent and challenge of their own elites...of principled
conviction who refuse to acquiesce in the prevailing mismanagement and
militarization of the Arab world, and who instead demand decency and
The truly historic development in the Arab world these days is that elites
and street activists alike are standing up and publicly, explicitly,
repeatedly challenging existing governments and their military control
. . ....director general of the (Arab Anti-Corruption Org.) AACO,... gauged
the magnitude of the corruption problem, ...quoted studies indicating that
accumulated Arab income in the period 1950-2000 was estimated at $3,000
billion.......$1,000 billion of Arab national wealth has been stolen by
corrupt officials and private-sector accomplices...
... large-scale, systematic corruption in Arab private and public sectors
has thwarted competition, increased project costs, and chased the most
qualified people out of labor markets. The organization views corruption as
a "disease" that damages the ethics and value structures of societies, and
retards sustained economic and social development.
. . .The organization initially will focus on raising public awareness of
the importance of combating corruption and protecting public resources and
interests; promoting a culture of transparency; and, motivating citizens and
civil society organizations to participate actively in anti-corruption
activities, including ongoing monitoring activities.
...the sad legacy of Arab corruption and mediocrity can be simultaneously
attacked by its own sons and daughters from above and below.

Sue Lerner - Associate - IMRA


Subject: Fatah enlists 5,000 for possible confrontation with Hamas

Fatah enlists 5,000 for possible confrontation with Hamas

By Avi Issacharoff Haaretz 18 June 2006

The Preventive Security Forces in Gaza and other centrist Fatah forces under
the command of Mohammed Dahlan recently recruited over 4,000 young
Palestinians to their ranks in anticipation of a potential confrontation
with Hamas.

About 2,500 men volunteered for the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and Al-Asifa
in the southern Gaza Strip, while the remainder will serve as rank-and-file
soldiers in the Preventive Security Forces.

Dahlan's Preventive Security Forces is in the front lines of Fatah's
fighting with Hamas. A few of the forces' senior officers have been killed
or injured recently in defensive actions. In the most recent incident, Hamas
militants ambushed the forces' local commander in Khan Yunis, Rifat Kulab,
shooting and wounding him. They later went to his home and set it on fire.

In the past two months, two groups, of 750 fresh recruits each, underwent
basic training at the force's Tel al-Hawa base before being absorbed into
the new "operational force" that is under the authority of the preventive
forces. Rashid Abu Shabak, one of Dahlan's closest friends, is the commander
of the preventive forces.

An additional 800 young men from the northern Gaza Strip - Beit Lahia, Beit
Hanun and the Jabalya refugee camp - were absorbed into an independent force
that will become the Fatah's reserve unit. They were also trained at Tel

The largest new force was created in the southern Gaza Strip, in the Rafah
and Khan Yunis area. Al-Asifa ("the storm," which took its name from Fatah's
military force of the 1960s-'80s) is under the command of Abd Al-Rauf
Barbah, an officer from the Preventive Security Forces who is considered a
"very colorful" figure in Gaza. He recruited 1,500 young men who underwent
basic arms training. His forces were not, however, involved in the battles
near the force's headquarters in Rafah, which Hamas attempted to take over.

Rumors are circulating in Gaza concerning the source of the funds for
training the new soldiers, but neither it nor the exact connection of Dahlan
to the new military frameworks is clearly defined. All the commanders are
thought to be close to him. But he denies all connection to the activities
of the preventive forces or to Al-Aqsa. However, the Hamas posters in Gaza
denouncing the former commander's continuing connection to the forces speak
for themselves.

Palestinian sources say the recent signups are not connected to the
reinforcement of Abbas' presidential guard.

Meanwhile, talks between Fatah and Hamas on the prisoners' document, which
calls for Israel's return to the '67 borders, are continuing. The speaker of
the Palestinian Legislative Council, Sheikh Aziz Dweik, said Saturday that
the organizations could reach an agreement within two days.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Saturday that the
talks were held in a very positive atmosphere and expressed his hope that a
resolution would be possible within a few days.

Other senior Hamas leaders also said extensive efforts are being made to
resolve the crisis between the two organizations.

Hamas parliament member Yunis Al-Astal said he expects the formation of a
Palestinian national unity government within the coming days.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas described the atmosphere
in the most recent negotiations between the sides as "very positive." He
said there has been significant progress made on several points that were in

Haniyeh said there are "marathon meetings" being held in order to solve the

Shlomo Shamir adds: "[Hamas] say they're besieged, but Arafat [and Fatah
were] besieged ... but never did anything to provoke civil war, and we never
stopped salaries either," Dahlan said Friday in an interview published
yesterday in The New York Times, in which he described last Wednesday's
meeting between Abbas and Haniyeh.


Subject: Senior Kadima member: Realignment not possible

Kadima member: Realignment not possible
Attila Somfalvi YNET 06/18/2006 00:14,2297,L-3264044_3089,00.html

A senior Kadima member told Ynet "if you believe the realignment plan is
feasible and we can annex three Israeli settlement blocs unilaterally -
forget about it."

Other Kadima members said the world would not permit Israel to determine its
borders unilaterally.

"Israel will implement the plan, but there will be no final and recognized
borders; this would make the move futile" one member said.


Subject: Kassam rocket lands near a Sderot school causing damage;
none wounded

Kassam rocket lands in Sderot; none wounded Staff, THE JERUSALEM POST Jun. 18, 2006

A Kassam rocket, launched from the northern Gaza Strip, landed near a Sderot
school early Sunday morning.

No one was wounded but damage was caused.


Subject: Hamas refuses to approve payment
for Israeli medical treatment of Palestinians

Lack of funds deprives Palestinian children of bone marrow transplants
By Avi Issacharoff Haaretz 16 June 2006

[The Hebrew version -
"The Palestinian Ministry of Health says that Israel should pay for the
treatment of the sick "since they are the occupiers". Regarding the
decision of the ministry not to issue commitments it was relayed that this
was a decision of principle since Israel cannot set for the Palestinians
that they will be treated only in Israel (the amount deducted from the tax
revenue can only be transferred to Israeli hospitals). " ]

HEBRON - Mustafa Ahmaro, two and a half, from Hebron, was released from the
hospital three days ago. He was hospitalized for 17 days to receive
preventive treatment for lymphoma. Dr. Ghassan al-Banura, his doctor from Al
Husseini Hospital in Beit Jala, told Haaretz that "Mustafa's condition is
greatly improved and he seems to have recovered. However, Mustafa must
undergo a bone marrow transplant so that the disease does not recur." But
Mustafa will not be able to undergo that transplant soon. It is not
performed at hospitals in the territories, and no backer has been found to
pay for the $40,000 transplant in Israel or overseas.

Mustafa is in relatively good shape, but 27 other Palestinian children are
not as fortunate, according to the records of Akhram Samhan, who is in
charge of outpatient care at the Palestinian Health Ministry. They are in
urgent need of a bone marrow transplant, and there is no one to pay the
hospitals in Israel.

Until a few weeks ago, the Palestinian Health Ministry covered the costs of
bone marrow, liver and kidney transplants for children. According to Health
Minister Basim Naim of Hamas, the ministry's coffers are empty because of
the economic siege on the Palestinian Authority. But the truth is more
complicated than Naim and human rights organizations like to admit. Since
Hamas came to power, the PA has not transferred money directly to Israeli
hospitals. So the Israeli government takes the funds from the taxes that it
collects on the PA's behalf and transfers them to those hospitals. But,
according to a senior Palestinian official, the Hamas government has other
priorities right now: It needs the tax revenues to pay Israel for
electricity, gas and fuel. "Patients are less important at the moment," he

Mustafa's father, Mohammed, is in a desperate bind: "We can't pay the amount
required. We appealed through various channels to PA Chairman Abu Mazen
[Mahmoud Abbas], Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and other senior officials.
None got back to us with an affirmative answer. I asked for an entry permit
to Israel so I could go with him to the hospital, but the Israel Defense
Forces liaison office informed me that I am prevented from entering for
security reasons. They agreed to allow Mustafa's mother into Israel, but
among us, a woman does not go to another town by herself."

Jumana Alfahouri, 2, a leukemia patient from Hebron, is in worse condition.
She was initially hospitalized at the local Alia Hospital, where she was
administered pain killers. Then she was moved to Hadassah University
Hospital, Ein Karem, but every day, her condition worsens and her treatment
costs rise. She needs an urgent bone marrow transplant.

Quite a few volunteer organizations, mostly Israeli, have come to the
children's aid, notably activists from Keshev - the Center for the
Protection of Democracy in Israel, and the Peres Center for Peace, which has
helped pay for the treatment of some 2,500 Palestinian children at Israeli
hospitals. But since the PA stopped its coverage, the Peres Center cannot
defray the transplant costs on its own.

Adults are no better off. Dozens of adult patients are also waiting for
coverage pledges from the Palestinian Health Ministry in order to undergo
transplants and even operations to remove growths that can only be performed
at Israeli or overseas hospitals. The pledges are not forthcoming.

Several of these patients talked with at the office of Azmi al-Shiyukhi,
secretary general of the Popular Resistance Committees. Nadia Rahur, 37,
married with five children, has a cancerous growth in her head and cannot go
to Israel for an operation. Maher Shuhada, 56, has leukemia and needs
special treatment only available abroad. Shiyukhi explains that "many others
might simply die. Beside the ones we're fighting for, there are those who
have given up." Shiyukhi is critical of both the Israeli and the Palestinian
governments. "Your decision to besiege Hamas hurts the simple folk first of
all. But our government must also understand that they may want jihad and
'resistance,' but treating sick people - that's the real jihad. Our
government must take responsibility and take care of its citizens."


Subject: IMRA Subscription Info

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

For free regular subscription:
Subscribe at no charge:

For free daily digest subscription:
Subscribe at no charge:

For a copy of all reports distributed for a given day please send a
message to:


End of [imra] Daily digest - Volume: 2 Issue: 1421 (13 messages)

No comments: