Israeli Death Squads Kill Mother, Her Three Children and Two Others

Washington, DC – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) today described the killing of a mother and her three children by Israeli military death squads in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank as “an appalling atrocity which calls the starkest attention to the depths of inhumanity being reached between Israelis and Palestinians.” Bushra Abu Kweik, whose husband, Hussein, is an activist in the Hamas movement, had just picked up her three children, ages 8, 14 and 17, when her pick-up truck was blown to bits in an apparent assassination attempt by the Israeli military. Two others, a four-year old child, Shaima al-Masri, and 16 year old youth, Arafat al-Masri, in another car were also killed in the attack.
ADC President Ziad Asali said “these brutal and senseless murders by a state acting to enforce its military occupation over millions of captive people demonstrate how little human feeling remains between Israelis and Palestinians. When we have reached the stage where a state can coldly and deliberately take the lives of unarmed women and children driving home from school, there is almost no empathy left to speak of.” “Over 1,000 Palestinians, mostly unarmed civilians, have been killed in the past 17 months,” Asali pointed out. “Hundreds of them have been children, cruelly cut down by occupation troops. On at least 60 occasions, Israel’s death squads have murdered its political enemies in the name of enforcing occupation, and at least 34 bystanders have also been killed in the process.”
“We are well aware that Israeli civilians too have been brutally killed,” Asali continued, “in attacks on discos and pizzarias that also cannot be justified or excused.” Asali said that “the extreme and worsening violence in recent days, especially this henious crime in Ramallah today, ought to be a wake-up call to Israelis that their violent attempts to enforce their rule over 3 million Palestinians living under occupation only make a bad situation increasingly worse. Sharon’s policy of seeking to break the will of the Palestinians by military force has been a disaster for both peoples.” Asali concluded by asking “when will the Israelis face the fact that the occupation has to end? That their troops must return to their own country and allow the Palestinians to live in freedom in their own land? How many more innocent children on both sides have to die before this simple reality is understood?”
Israel’s response to a recent Saudi peace initiative was to reject the plan outright and launch a major attack on refugee camps, killing dozens of Palestinians. Infrastrcuture Minister Avigdor Lieberman has called for “devastating shelling assaults against Palestinian markets and commercial centers.” Prime Minister Sharon has vowed to greatly increase the number of Palestinian casualties and told the Knesset “We first have to give the Palestinians a very heavy blow, before we can talk peace.”

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