In the last 2 weeks, the mass media has been flooded with news about the Israeli release of 250 Palestinian prisoners. As a matter of fact, the propaganda exercise started 4 weeks ago on the 26th of June when this article from Reuters announced:
"Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Monday he was ready to free about 250 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to help President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction."This piece of alleged "Goodwill" got a lot of space in the electronic media, as the various reporters were beside themselves in praising Israel's sincerity for peace with this generous offer.
As it happened the prisoners to be released were all Fatah fighters, people who belong to Mahmoud Abbas security forces. The very same forces that have been supported and armed by the U.S. and Israel, against the democratically elected government of the Palestinians. As an example of the despicable nature of Abbas and his band of sycophants, consider the words of Abbas' right hand man, Mohhamed Dahlan, in a July 13th, 2003 letter to then Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz:
"Be certain that Yasser Arafat's final days are numbered, but allow us to finish him off our way, not yours. And be sure as well that ... the promises I made in front of President Bush, I will give my life to keep."
Dahlan closed his letter to Mofaz with:
It remains only for me to convey my gratitude to you and the prime minister [Ariel Sharon] for your continued confidence in us, and to you all respect."Which of course makes us wonder just how many others of Dahlan's ilk have been directing the Palestinian cause, and for how long...
As it happened the Zionists' long term efforts aimed at splitting the Palestinian factions up has paid off and support for the Israeli Stooge Abbas is now forthcoming from all quarters. AIPAC, the US, The EU and Israel have all shown their support for him, while agreeing to isolate the Hamas controlled Gaza strip even further and giving the green light to further the genocidal killings of Palestinians in the concentration camp that Gaza has become.
It is known that Israel routinely kidnaps and imprisons Palestinians so as to use them later as bargaining pawns and for publicity stunts such as the one currently in view. This routine kidnapping is so common that the number of Palestinians detained constitutes approximately 40% of the total male Palestinian population in the OPT.
To put the release of the 256 Fatah fighters that has been tooted worldwide as a sign of goodwill in perspective, here are some figures for the first 3 weeks of the 4 week period. The figures exclude so called "militants", who have been killed and injured:
July 12 - July 18, 2007
The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR), based in Gaza, published its weekly report on the Israeli violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the period between July 12 - July 18, 2007. During the reported period, soldiers carried out 22 invasions, killed one resident, injured four and kidnapped 33.
July 5 - July 11, 2007
The Palestinian Center For Human Rights, based in Gaza, published its weekly report on the Israeli violations in the occupied Palestinian territories in the period between July 5 and 11, 2007. During the reported period, Israeli soldiers shot and killed eleven Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and one of the West Bank". A total of 30 Palestinians, including 25 civilians, were injured in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Twenty of the injured were shot during an Israeli invasion to Al Boreij refugee camp, in the Central Gaza Strip.
Ten civilians were abducted by the army in the Gaza Strip during the reported period.
A total of 69 residents were kidnapped, including two who were shot and injured by the army, and three Palestinian civilians were taken prison at Israeli military roadblocks.
The army carried a total of two invasions in the Gaza Strip during the reported period and bulldozed 200 Dunams of agricultural land.
Israeli troops carried 36 invasions into the West Bank during the reported period, and continued to impose full siege.
June 28 - July 4, 2007
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), based in Gaza, published its weekly report on the Israeli violations in the occupied Palestinian territories in the period between June 28 and July 4. During the reported period, ten Palestinian were killed and 27 were injured.
Israeli troops carried a total of 31 invasions in the West Bank and three in the Gaza Strip.
Also, soldiers kidnapped 92 residents, including nine children, in the occupied West Bank. Six residents were kidnapped at roadblocks and border crossings.
Twelve Palestinian residents, who were receiving treatment in Egypt, died after the Israeli authorities closed the Rafah border crossing and continued the total isolation of the Gaza Strip. The 12 residents died at the Egyptian side of the Crossing.
To sum up for this 3 week period period:
23 Palestinians were killed and another 12 died as a result of a closed border
61 Palestinians were injured
204 Palestinians were abducted or kidnapped
If we extrapolated these figures based on 3 weeks to what is likely for a 4 week period, we end up with:
47 killed, 81 injured, 271 abducted or kidnapped and 122 invasions.
So, in other words, during the 4 week propaganda offensive promoting Israels goodwill by releasing 256 prisoner a further 271 have been detained and 47 killed.
Currently there are 10,756 Palestinians held prisoner in Israeli dungeons, while 1 Israeli is held prisoner. Figures are from March 31 2007 and are unlikely to be less by now.
Instead of sympathetic words about Israels 'goodwill' there should be an international outrage at the fascist genocide of the Palestinians happening in real time in Israel as we speak.