Shimon Peres acknowledges massacre in Jenin (fwd)
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Wed Apr 10 13:56:10 MDT 2002
Wednesday, April 10, 2002 Nisan 28, 5762 Israel Time: 03:17 (GMT+3)
Last update - 09:40 09/04/2002
Peres calls IDF operation in Jenin a 'massacre'
By Aluf Benn and Amos Harel, Ha'aretz Correspondents
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres Peres is very worried about the expected
international reaction as soon as the world learns the details of the tough
battle in the Jenin refugee camps, where more than 100 Palestinians have
already been killed in fighting with IDF forces. In private, Peres is referring
to the battle as a "massacre."
IDF officers also expressed grave reservations Monday over the operation in
Jenin. "Because of the dangers," they said, "the soldiers are almost not
advancing on foot. The bulldozers are simply 'shaving' the homes and causing
terrible destruction. When the world sees the pictures of what we have done
there, it will do us immense damage."
"However many wanted men we kill in the refugee camp, and however much of the
terror infrastructure we expose and destroy there, there is still no
justification for causing such great destruction."
Peres, who is feeling increasingly isolated in the government - Sharon added
three hardline ministers to his cabinet Monday - believes Arafat is still
irreplaceable at this stage.
He does not regard the documents that Sharon presented Monday in the Knesset as
a "smoking gun" that irrefutably proves that Arafat was directly linked to
ordering terrorist activity. And Israel's isolation of the Palestinian leader,
he believes, only enhanced his prestige and turned him into the key player.
Despite his harsh criticism, however, and his belief that Labor will not be
able to remain much longer in the government, Peres is in no hurry to quit. He
is telling his closest associates that after the fighting ends and
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has visited, the decision will be made. If
Powell presents a political plan, Labor will want to fight for it in the
> > (*) a reminder from Haaretz, 25.1.2002:
> > "In order to prepare properly for the next campaign, one of the highest
> > Israeli officers in the territories said not long ago, it's justified and
> > in fact essential to learn from every possible source. If the mission will
> > be to seize a densely populated refugee camp, or take over the casbah in
> > Nablus, and if the commander's obligation is to try to execute the mission
> > without casualties on either side, then he must first analyze and
> > internalize the lessons of earlier battles - even, however shocking it may
> > sound, even how the German army fought in the Warsaw ghetto".
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