News Release

Crisis in Middle East: Interviews Available

JOEL CAMPAGNA
Program coordinator on the Middle East and North Africa for the Committee to Protect Journalists, Campagna said today: “We are outraged by the Israeli army’s continuing attacks against journalists. Today’s incident in Ramallah, in which the army fired stun grenades and rubber bullets at reporters, is reprehensible. On several occasions in recent days, the Israel Defense Forces have opened fire on, or in the direction of, working journalists, in a clear effort to intimidate journalists reporting in the West Bank. These actions must cease and we call on the IDF to lift the restrictions now in place on media access to several towns and cities of the West Bank.”
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MARTY ROSENBLUTH
The Amnesty International USA country specialist for Israel, the Occupied Territories and the Palestinian Authority, Rosenbluth said today: “While Israel says that its killings of civilians are ‘unintentional,’ the fact of the matter is that they are inevitable. If you fire a TOW missile into a residential area, you know that civilians are going to be killed as a result of that. The Israeli military has fired at ambulances and medical workers, preventing them from helping the wounded. Amnesty of course condemns attacks by Palestinian groups on Israeli civilians. Since September of 2000, at least 1,200 Palestinians and more than 300 Israelis have been killed. The U.S. government is probably violating the Arms Export Control Act by continuing to provide billions of dollars in weapons to Israel, since it is clear U.S.-made weapons have been used offensively and to commit human rights violations; the failure to investigate this is definitely a violation of that law. The international community should act immediately to deploy international observers.”

Several U.S. citizens with the International Solidarity Movement remain inside Palestinian refugee camps and towns that are under siege by the Israeli army. They are trying to protect Palestinian civilians and provide relief, and are witnessing events. For more information, contact: AMANDA REAM adream@mindspring.com, and ERIC LAURSEN laursene@earthlink.net, www.palsolidarity.org

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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; Norman Solomon, (415) 552-5378