The results of the special operation of the Defense Forces of Israel in Jenin refugee camp were exposed to the public eye today. The things that Israeli Brigadier-General Ron Kitrey said, were shocking.
“There are apparently, hundreds of people killed in Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin,” – the general said in the interview to the army radio station. He did not, of course, think about the consequences of his statements. The reaction from the world community was immediate. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said there should be international peacemakers dispatched to the Middle East for settling the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. This was reported by the British Sky company. The reaction of the European and Arab leaders is not known at present moment, but one may not doubt in its anti-Israeli direction. There are too many of those people, who consider Israel’s position extremely blatant.
Israelis tried to correct the general’s mistake, but it was too late. The press-service of the Israeli Defense Forces reported that the general made a mistake, it was a slip of his tongue, he wanted to say that there were hundreds of killed and wounded people in Jenin area. The exact number of the killed people is not known, that is why it was too early to talk about a big number of the killed.
Palestinian authorities asserted that the number of the killed people exceeded 500, whereas the losses of the Israeli army were 23 people. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned yesterday that the operation on the West Bank would continue until the terrorist infrastructures are totally destroyed. He said that the troops would remain in Palestine’s largest cities – Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah and Bethlehem.
Sharon is conducting negotiations in Jerusalem today with the US Secretary of State Colin Powell. The latter insists on the completion of the Israeli operation and on the resumption of dialogue with Palestinians. Despite Sharon’s objections, he is going to have a meeting with the head of the Palestinian autonomy, Yasser Arafat, who is still blocked in his Ramallah residence.
The events in Jenin are another trump card for Arafat at negotiations with Powell; Jenin is now compared to Sabra and Shatila. Israel is responsible for the massacre in those Palestinian refugee camps, killing thousands of innocent civilians. America is being forced to run tough policy regarding Israel, but the recent events in Jenin do not leave much to choose from. When Israel withdraws its troops, when it is possible to conduct negotiations, then there will be an opportunity to re-consider the position. America is blowing against the wind, when it is supporting Israel, and this will go on and on, until the world community changes its negative attitude towards Israel.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign