>  Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2000 08:49:41 -0500 (EST)
>                            and
>             "Things are going from bad to worse,
>             and that is the way they will continue."
>                          Palestinian in Hebron
>  MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 11/07:
>     The Israelis are pursuing the same macro policy they have pursued for
>  decades
>  now -- crush and subjugate the Palestinian people one way or another,
>  dispossessing
>  them of most of their lands and resources, controlling their movements and
>  associations.
>     Regardless of what the Israelis actually say in public, permanently
>  subjugating
>  and controlling the Palestinians is what Zionist policy has really been
>  about
>  for a very long time.  Sometimes it is pursued by the "liberals",
>sometimes by
>  the "conservatives"...you know the routine by now.  Whether General Barak,
>  General Sharon, or General Rabin for that matter...the policy twists and
>  but the overall direction and purpose remains the same.  What happened
>  the Gulf War at Madrid, and then in Oslo, was a continuation of this
>  policy, not a change from it.  Camp David II was meant to be the
>  of this process, permanently disenfranching the Palestinians by agreement
>  their own leadership, forever putting them onto "autonomous" reservations
>  a deceptively non-existent "Statelet" that nevertheless much of the world,
>  even many Palestinians, would accept because of Yasser Arafat's
>"signature" on
>  an "end the conflict" agreement.
>     So far it hasn't worked.  Arafat didn't follow through, even after
>  so many agreements indicating he would.  In the end he probaby decided his
>  doing
>  so would lead to his own demise, and that of his entourage of corrupt
>  businessmen
>  and cronies, once his own people realized what the "end game" for Arafat
>  had become.
>     The following two articles help explain part of the strategy the
>  are now pursuing to further collectively punish and inflict pain as they
>  continue
>  to try to twist the Palestinian people into submission.
>            as Israeli blockade puts stranglehold on jobs,
>                foodstuffs and other vital supplies
>                   By Eric Silver in Jerusalem
>  [The Independent - 7 November]:  The Jericho casino, the Holy Land's only
>  gaming house, closed last week.  Since it opened two years ago, 2,500
>  have lost (and occasionally won) hundreds of thousands of dollars every
>  at its roulette wheels and fruit machines. Most were Israelis, driving
>  the bare, scarred canyons of the Judean wilderness across an unmarked
>  into the Palestinian state-in-the-making.
>  A month ago, when the Palestinians launched their second intifada, an
>  uprising this time with guns as well as stones and petrol bombs, gamblers
>  played safe and stayed at home. The tables were deserted, the 184 rooms in
>  the luxurious hotel next door empty.
>  The Austrian company which manages the casino will not say how much it is
>  losing. Nor will Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority, which takes 30 per
>  cent of the profits in taxes. The 2,000 employees, mostly Palestinian, do
>  know whether they will keep their jobs. As the violence escalates, it
>  as if it will be a long time before the punters return.
>  The Austrians can afford to sit out the mayhem. The Palestinians, whose
>  economy is being held to ransom by their Israeli foes, cannot.
>  The closure Ehud Barak imposed at the end of September prevents 125,000
>  labourers getting to their jobs in Israeli building sites, farms, hotels
>  factories. It blocks the export and import of materials and produce. At
>  most severe, it prevents movement of goods and services between
>  communities.
>  Salam Fayyad, an economist who represents the International Monetary Fund
>  the West Bank and Gaza, is predicting a recession, which could set the
>  Palestinian economy back for years. "The crisis," he said, "is having a
>  dramatic impact on a very small economy for which an open-trade system is
>  essential. The closure isplacing a stranglehold on the economy and on its
>  future prospects."
>  The Palestinian Economy and Trade Ministry estimates that the siege cost
>  least $346m (?239m) in its first month. United Nations economists in Gaza
>  it at $250m.
>  Either way, it blew a huge hole in an economy that was finally starting to
>  take off. Unemployment tripled overnight to 30 per cent. Farmers and
>  manufacturers are losing almost $2m a day in exports, to Israel and the
>  world.
>  Mohammed Hassan Shamlay, a chicken farmer from the West Bank village of
>  Haris, lost $10,000 during October. He was trapped in a double bind. He
>  couldn't get the feed he buys from Israel, and he couldn't send his fowl
>  market in neighbouring Arab towns. "If it goes on like this," said Mr
>  Shamlay, a burly man in his late forties, "I'll go out of business."
>  He will not be alone. The Palestinian economy has few natural resources,
>  apart from its manpower, brainpower and a fragment of a land which is not
>  exactly flowing with milk and honey. Most of its firms are small-scale
>  enterprises. They manufacture furniture and textiles, but not machinery.
>  process foodstuff, much of it imported.
>  Bethlehem and Jericho make money from hotels and restaurants, especially
>  beforeChristmas, but the tourists are not coming. "All our groups have
>  cancelled," said Olof Jurva, manager of Bethlehem's Jacir Palace, a
>  InterContinental. He expected 60 per cent occupancy this autumn, but all
>  rooms are empty. His 200 local staff are working two-weeks-on,
>  Seven bars and three of the hotel's four restaurants are closed.
>  Labourers who work in Israel take home an average of $28 a day. That is
>  double what they would earn in the West Bank or Gaza but it still leaves
>  precious little to save for a rainy day.
>  Businesses may be better off but their cushion is limited too. And the
>  Palestinian banks cut off credit two weeks ago,to individuals and to
>  compa-nies, for fear that loans might never be repaid.
>  Soon, consumers will stop buying more than staple necessities. Firms will
>  off workers. Shops will have to slash prices to tempt people back. The
>  recession will gather pace. "The demand effect is very likely to be
>  devastating," warned the IMF economist, Salam Fayyad. "It won't be long
>  before you'll see shops closed or working shorter hours."
>  Israeli bureaucracy is not making things easier. More than 900 truckloads
>  Palestinian territories, are stuck at the Israeli ports of Haifa and
>  So are 1,000 new and used cars. At the same time, Israel is delaying the
>  monthly transfer of about $30m in tax revenue paid by Palestinian workers
>  importers. Saeb Bamya, director-general of the Economy and Trade Ministry,
>  accuses Israel of trying to bring the Palestinian Authority and the
>  Palestinian people to their knees. "They are ready to use any instrument
>  their hands," he said. "They want to put us in a very critical situation
>  political reasons."
>  The Israelis do not deny wielding the economic weapon. "We are not trying
>  starve them out," said a government spokesman, "but we are using any means
>  convince the Palestinians to stop the violence. There is a struggle going
>  Palestinians versus Israelis, and Israel is entitled to take every measure
>  defend itself."
>                     By Alan Philps in Hebron
>  [The Telegraph, UK, 6 November]:  YASSER ARAFAT yesterday accepted an
>  invitation
>  from President Clinton to visit Washington on Thursday for further peace
>  as Israel said that the Palestinian leader was trying to halt the
>  Yasser Arafat has ordered  a cessation to the Palestinian fighting.
>  However, the Israelis said that despite Mr Arafat's efforts it could take
>  more time before the firing ceased in the West Bank and Gaza. Speaking on
>  Israel radio Ephraim Sneh, deputy defence minister, referring to a truce
>  brokered on Thursday by the former prime minister, said: "After the
>  understandings with Shimon Peres, orders were given by him [Arafat] to
>  the gunfire. But as things stand now this order has had only partial
>  not the full effect we expect."
>  But the announcement of continuing talks - the Israeli Prime Minister,
>  Barak, will meet Mr Clinton on Sunday - did not inspire hopes among many
>  Palestinians as two more people were shot dead and 42 injured in protests
>  against the Israeli presence.
>  In the divided city of Hebron the mood was downbeat. Jaudat Jaradat, a
>  Palestinian caretaker in an Israeli school, sat in the Ahli hospital. Mr
>  Jaradat said: "Things are going from bad to worse, and that is the way
>  will continue."
>  His daughter, Ghazala, 14, is in intensive care after being shot in the
>  of the head by the Israeli army on Saturday as she walked home from
>school. A
>  doctor said: "If she survives, there will be paralysis in the upper and
>  limbs, and mental retardation."
>  Ghazala - gazelle in Arabic - is an exceptional victim of the conflict
>  because she is a girl. Almost without exception, the stone-throwers, and
>  occasionally armed militiamen, wounded or killed by the Israeli army are
>  male. Girls, particularly in strictly Islamic Hebron, do not throw stones.
>  At the Ahli hospital, they can recall only two females out of 220
>  in Hebron so far. She was hit by a rubber-coated steel bullet but in her
>  the rubber surround barely made any difference. X-rays show that the
>  splintered the skull behind the ear and forced the bits into her brain.
>  The bitter irony is that Ghazala and her classmates were sent home early
>  because of trouble brewing between youths from the nearby boys' school and
>  the Israeli army. The head teacher even escorted the girls over the road.
>  one denies that the boys were throwing stones at the soldiers.
>  The girls were walking home in groups of 20 to stay out of trouble,
>  to her father. He said: "This is not an accident. The soldier aimed at her
>  head. If they were trying to control protesters, why didn't they at least
>  at the legs? My daughter in any case was just walking home from school."
>  The army spokesman said: "There was a clash near the school and the army
>  using rubber bullets. We don't know exactly what happened. Of course we do
>  not intentionally hit girls in the head. We are still investigating."
>  comes from a family who are hardly rabble-rousers. The father is such a
>  valued employee that the school where he works has secured him a pass so
>  he can come to work even when the borders are sealed for security reasons.
>  When the Voice of Palestine radio reported prematurely that Ghazala was
>  her 24-year-old cousin, Hamed, rushed to the scene to vent his anger. A
>  firebomb was thrown at an Israeli jeep. He was shot in the liver by a live
>  round. Yesterday, he was in the bed opposite Ghazala.
>  Two more Palestinians were shot dead yesterday in the Gaza Strip,
>  to Palestinian figures. This brings the death toll in five weeks of
>  to 173. Both sides want to pull back from the brink but that does not mean
>  peace is around the corner. As Mr Jaradat said, normal life will mean that
>  girl can walk home from school without running into armed soldiers.
>        MiD-EasT RealitieS  -  www.MiddleEast.Org
>        Phone:  202 362-5266    Fax:  815 366-0800
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