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Does IDF deliberately kill civilians?

To: Ha'aretz
Letter Editor 24 May 2004

Dear Editor!
Does IDF deliberately kill civilians?

Does IDF deliberately kill civilians? Amira Hass's "One step ahead of the bulldozer" (May 21) strongly suggests 'Yes' and when 'Israel's leading newspaper' tells the world that IDF intends to kill civilians, why shouldn't they believe? Europeans wouldn't go so far based on Palestinian sources. They may remember how Saeb Erekat lied that 520 Palestinian civilians were massacred in Jenin, while UN's committee found 52 killed, out of them 47 young male combatants.

Ninety percent of Hass' article cites the story of Mansour from Rafah, how a "large bulldozer rumbled over neighbors' home, and ...residents fled for their life". The Mansour family escaped death more closely, because the Israeli driver "blocked the entrance". "We were just a second from being killed - 50 persons, children, the elderly, women, all of us with our backs to the wall". Their life by mere luck "was saved by an iron ladder" - where 50 people descended, seemingly in that one second left.

Hass did not ask the story-teller one single question! Like: 'Were you not warned to leave the house?'. Only at the end, does she quote IDF briefly that "claims made by local residents about the demolition of houses are not correct." So, unchallenged by the journalist or the editor, one more blood libel against Israel can take off, backed by your prestige.

Today many people in Europe believe that IDF deliberately kills civilians, even children. The Swedish 'Expressen' called Rafah 'an Israeli massacre', while in the same place the US killing 40 at a wedding in Iraq an "accident". When asked, the editor said he knew the IDF deliberately targeted civilians. Rev. Margaret Oaken, Deputy Chairman of the Danish parliament, said in a conference that the Israeli Army murdered knowingly three times more Palestinian children than the Palestinians did by explosive belts!

Sadly, many international opinion makers have terrible views on Israel, based at least partly on one-sided reports which appear in Haaretz.


Endre Mozes

Chairman, Take A Pen

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