NATO Bombs Tel Aviv

Owen Jones owen_jones at
Tue Oct 3 15:44:26 MDT 2000

 Tuesday October 3 5:57 PM ET

 Bombing Campaign Commences Against Israel

 By John Jackson, Associated Press Writer

 TEL AVIV (AP) - NATO aircraft have begun the threatened bombing campaign
against Israel Tuesday in response to the six-day massacre of Palestinians
conducted by Israeli troops, a spokesman for the military alliance confirmed

 The bombing campaign began after a last-ditch peace mission failed on
Monday, as Israel turned down the NATO ultimatum to withdraw all troops from
Palestinian majority areas, and to allow an international peace keeping
mission access to the country.

 There are reports of heavy bombardment across the Israeli capital, Tel
Aviv, with the centre suffering the brunt of the bombing, as aircraft target
military units engaged in the massacres of peaceful Palestinian protestors.
Israeli state radio is claiming large numbers of civilian casualties.

 UN Security General Kofi Annan made an emotional plea for restraint on all
sides. "This problem can only be solved on the basis of international law,"
he said at a New York press conference shortly before the bombing began. "I
ask all sides to show respect for civilians in this conflict."

 Yesterday evening, a US delegation left Tel Aviv after failing to secure a
last-minute agreement from the Israelis.

 "I can confirm that we have made no progress," US chief diplomat Richard
Holbrooke had said yesterday. "I see no basis for talks to continue with Mr.

 Meanwhile the Israeli government fiercely denounced the NATO intervention.

 "This is an unprecedented intervention into the internal affairs of a
sovereign nation," an official stated. "No country has the right to dictate
how another must treat its citizens." He also expressed anger at the use of
the German military in a reference to the Holocaust.

 The crisis began last Thursday after Israeli hard-liner Ariel Sharon
visited the Old City of Jerusalem, in a direct provocation against the
Palestinians. Peaceful demonstrators were then fired on by Israeli troops,
leading to massive casualties. Dozens of protestors have been killed over
the course of the past few days.

 In a solemn broadcast to the nation, US President Bill Clinton made a
passionate defence of the air war.

 "Barak is responsible for a gross human rights violation, which constitutes
a massive violation of international humanitarian law," he said. "We cannot
stand back at the dawn of this new century and allow genocide to escape
punishment. Last Friday, we gave Israel an ultimatum. On Monday they refused
to withdraw their troops. Today we had no choice but to go to war to save
the lives of innocents."

 Disturbing reports have been emerging from Israel of a mass incarceration
of Palestinian males aged between 16 and 55. It is feared that thousands of
males are missing, and their fate is still unknown.

 NATO spokesman Jamie Shea also revealed the brutal treatment of
Palestinians at the hands of Israel.

 "Men, women and children are been fired on and killed in cold blood. Tens
of thousands are forced to live in refugee camps in utter squalor. The most
basic rights assigned to a human being are denied of them by the Israeli
regime. Their land is under military occupation. Are we right to bomb? I
think so."

 Sources within NATO have expressed the hope of the alliance that this will
be a short war, but with Israel showing little sign of bowing to
international pressure, the air war may be prolonged.

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