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Under the pretext of fighting Hamas:
Israel launches all-out war on Islamic institutions in the West Bank
Palestinian Islamic leaders have called on Arab and Muslim states as well as "all human beings who believe in justice" to strongly condemn an ongoing Israeli campaign against Islamic civilian institutions throughout the occupied West Bank. The Israeli army on Tuesday, 8 July rampaged through the northern town of Nablus, raiding schools, businesses, charities, sport clubs and a major medical center. Eyewitnesses said as many as 130 Israeli military vehicles and armored personnel carriers stormed Nablusís downtown shortly after forces loyal to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas were ordered by the townís nominal governor Jamal Muhesen to return to their barracks and stay there until a further notice...
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Under the pretext of fighting Hamas:
Israel launches all-out war on Islamic institutions in the West Bank
From Khalid Amayreh in Nablus
Learning aids trashed at this Nablus school by IOF soldiers
July 9, 2008
Palestinian Islamic leaders have called on Arab and Muslim states as well as "all human beings who believe in justice" to strongly condemn an ongoing Israeli campaign against Islamic civilian institutions throughout the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli army on Tuesday, 8 July rampaged through the northern town of Nablus, raiding schools, businesses, charities, sport clubs and a major medical center.
Eyewitnesses said as many as 130 Israeli military vehicles and armored personnel carriers stormed Nablusís downtown shortly after forces loyal to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas were ordered by the townís nominal governor Jamal Muhesen to return to their barracks and stay there until a further notice.
Thousands of American-trained Palestinian "national security forces" are stationed in Nablus, but their tasks are confined to fighting anti-Israeli activists, particularly members of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad organizations.
The targets of the latest Israeli rampage include a girl school, which was thoroughly vandalized, an important medical center which offers free or semi-free health services to the poor and the unemployed, a commercial mall, a recreational center, and an insurance company and the offices of a number of NGOs.
One of these NGOs is the Nafha Society which monitors Israeli treatment of Palestinian political and resistance prisoners in Israeli jails and detention camps.
Local sources said crack soldiers and Shin Beth agents confiscated dozens of computers and other office equipment as well as undisclosed sums of cash. The soldiers also seized a large amount of furniture. The Shin Beth is Israelís chief domestic intelligence agency which effectively controls all aspects of Palestinians in the West Bank. The operation which began shortly after midnight lasted for nearly four hours, witnesses said.
Before leaving the city, Shin Beth officers gave proprietors written statements informing them the ownership of their businesses and property had already been transferred to the Israeli army.
The statement also warned that any Palestinian venturing to enter the closed premises would be imprisoned for a minimum of five years.
The Israeli army claimed the targeted businesses and the medical facilities were part of Hamasís civilian infrastructure and might have been involved in transferring money to the movement.
However, proprietors and PA officials vehemently deny the charges, saying they were ordinary businesses and institutions functioning within the confines of the law.
A co-owner of a commercial department-store the Israel army said it confiscated and ordered closed down told reporters that "they are punishing us for being religious."
"In any country in this world, people are innocent until proven guilty. Here, in the so-called only democracy in the Middle East, they arrest us, they destroy our homes, they confiscate our property and destroy our businesses, even without talking to us.
"So what is the difference between Israel and Nazi Germany," said the man who asked that his name remain anonymous lest he be arrested.
The man who was visibly angry said "we are a religious people, we pray and we give charity and fast during the month of Ramadan, but we have nothing to do with Hamas or any other organization. Destroying our businesses and ravaging our lives on the mere suspicion that we might be affiliated with Hamas is a dirty criminal act."
War on Islam
One officials at the Tadamun Medical Center, which was closed down and confiscated, accused the Israeli state of waging an all-out war on Islam similar to the war the Third Reich declared on Jews during the Second World War.
"I call upon all Muslims and Arabs in the world to respond to this naked aggression on Islam and Muslims. Israel is simply seeking to destroy Islam. They want to destroy our mosques, they want to destroy our life, they want to obliterate the Islamic religion from Palestine," said Munir S. Hanbali.
"The terrorist state claims that Hamas is the target. Donít you believe these lies. Their target is the very religion of Islam, because Islam is the last-remaining obstacle impeding the liquidation of the Palestinian cause by Israel."
Hanbali called on the governments of Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Mauritania and Turkey as well as other states that value justice and humanity to immediately sever ties with "this criminal entity which murders children and starves them to death and then claims to do this on behalf of western civilization."
"I tell these Arab and Muslims countries ' shame on you.í You are watching these vile criminals destroy the Palestinian community slowly and step by step while you are looking on as if what is happening in Nablus and Hebron were happening on a distant planet.
"Wake up! Kick their ambassadors out of your country. Show them that you care about Palestine."
Hani al Masri, a prominent journalist and columnist from Nablus, opined that the Israeli rampage in the city was aimed at provoking Hamas to "break the truce in Gaza."
"Israel wants to show that the relative calm in Gaza doesnít mean that Israelís hands will be tied up in the West Bank. Israel simply doesnít want the Palestinians to have a moment of peace."
Al-Masri said while the Israeli crackdown on Islamic institutions would undermine the "public service sector," in the city, it would also increase public sympathy and support for Hamas.
"And it would also hurt the image of the PA because the very same institutions targeted by Israel last night have also been targeted by the Palestinian Authority.
"This would make people think that the PA and Israel are colluding and collaborating against Hamas in broad daylight."
Hamas itself accused the western-baked regime in Ramallah of conniving with Israel to destroy the Palestinian society in order to enable Israel to impose capitulation on Palestinians and liquidate the Palestinian cause.
"Hamas strongly condemns the unprecedented Zionist crimes against the Palestinian society and its economic interests and civilian constitutions," said a statement distributed by Hamas Tuesday.
The statement accused the PA of collaborating and closely coordinating with the occupation forces.
"Even their food will be confiscated"
On Monday, the Israeli newspaper Haíaretz quoted an Israeli army spokesman as saying that the occupation army will target Islamic charitable and educational institutions in the West Bank.
The spokesman said the purpose of the occupation army campaign against Islamic institutions was to strengthen the American-backed PA and weaken the Palestinian Islamic opposition.
"We are talking about strengthening the moderate elements, that is the Palestinian Authority, but actually the PA has little control over the area. The Palestinian public prefers Hamas, because they are less corrupt and more efficient."
The spokesman bragged about targeting boarding schools, health care centers, charities "and even soup kitchens and orphanages.."
"Dozens of associations were shut down and food confiscated."
Earlier this year, the Israeli occupation army carried out a particularly draconian campaign against orphanages and boarding schools in Hebron, closing several institutions and leaving thousands of orphans and poor children un-catered for.
The confiscated objects included several buildings, school buses, office furniture, educational aids, classroom seats, sewing machines, clothes and shoes.
Many of the items seized by the Israeli army from the Hebron institutions, including children clothes, kitchen appliances, refrigerators, food and dairy products and computers, were later found at a waste dump outside the settlement of Kiryat Arbaía.
The campaign was widely condemned by human rights organizations. However, Israelís guardian-ally, the United States, supported the Israeli measures.
However, as usual in such circumstances, Israeli flew in the face of the world, saying that "no country can tell Israel what to do. We do what we want."
The visibly vindictive campaign against Palestinian institutions such as schools, hospitals, orphanages and businesses is generating a lot of hatred for Israel and Jews among a people who already have been through more than 41 years of a Nazi-like military occupation.
Nael Salameh is a Palestinian businessman from Nablus. He says that Israel is behaving like a mad bull.
"An army that targets soup kitchens and orphanages and ordinary businesses doesnít differ much from gangsters and common criminals. A state that behaves like gangsters and criminals will not live for long."
Salameh said Israel was pushing the Palestinian people to the edge.
"Besides, who says that the suicide bomber is the product of the Palestinian society and culture? It is not.
"The suicide bomber is first and foremost an inevitable by-product of Israelís Nazi-like terror and cruelty against the Palestinian society. This is what the world ought to understand."
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