Sunday, October 26, 2003
The Guardian "reports" (using the term loosely) that Israel is requiring Palestinians living near its border fence to obtain permits to continue to live there:
The Israeli military has ordered thousands of Palestinians living near the steel and concrete "security fence" through the West Bank to obtain special permits to live in their own homes.

Palestinian officials said the order breached a pledge by Israel to the UN security council a fortnight ago that the barrier would not change the legal status of those who live near it, and was another step towards the annexation of tens of thousands of hectares of Palestinian land.
While I'm not a huge fan of "special permits" and "closed military zones," given the willingness of Palestinians abuse whatever breaks Israel gives them, to go and murder Israeli citizens, I won't get all to upset at this latest "humiliation" endured by the Arabs. And as to the Palestinian officials' complaint that Israel broke its promise to the UN -- well, I have no idea what Israel promised, but since the UN oh-so-forcefully condemned the wall anyway, I'd say they are pretty much absolved of any obligations.

It should be noted that the Israelis consider this nothing but a temporary measure. The Guardian mentions this -- in the next-to-last paragraph:

An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Jonathan Peled, said the order was temporary and not a change in legal status. "What Gillerman promised the security council stands. Legally speaking there is no change in status because it is a temporary decree," he said.
Note that this is the concluding paragraph in the story. So why did I say "next-to-last"? Because the Guardian felt compelled to include this little totally unrelated tidbit:
The Israeli army is to launch a military police investigation into the shooting of Tom Hurndall, a British peace activist, by a soldier six months ago.
I know nothing about this incident, so I suppose I should refrain from commenting on it. Still, with that final paragraph, the Guardian drops all pretense to objective journalism, and goes from being a none-too-subtle editorializer to an all-out anti-Israel propaganda rag. The killing of Hurndall had nothing whatsoever to do with the permit story; it was only thrown in to give an example of the evil Israelis shooting peaceful British peace activists. How typical. And how sickening.

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