Wednesday, January 17, 2007

OP-ED: Palestinians welcome Halutz resignation by Mohammed Mar'i

OP-ED: Halutz to La Hague not to Home
By Mohammed Mar'i
(Arab American Media Services. Permission granted to republish.)

(Ramallah, Occupied Palestine)-- Bad news to hear that Dan Halutz, Chief of Staff of Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) just only resigned. The Palestinians who suffered from his brutal and bloody of targeted killings policy preferred to see him judged for the war crimes he committed since 2002.

Halutz who participated in the Israeli wars against Arab countries since 1968 was the first chief of staff to come from Israeli Air Force. During his tenure as Air Force Commander between 2000-2004, Halutz approved and oversaw operations that caused the death of many Palestinian civilians, including numerous children.

His appointment to chief of staff in February 2005 aroused harsh opposition amongst Israeli left-wing people and human rights organizations because Halutz said that he "slept well at night" in an interview after the targeted killing of Hamas military chief Salah Shehadeh in 2002 by dropping a one-ton bomb on his resident, even though 14 innocent women and children were killed during the attack.

Halutz also added in an interview with Ha'aretz: "If you want, despite this, to know how I feel when I release a bomb, then I'll tell you – I feel a slight hit in the plane as a result of the bomb being released. A second later it's all over, and that's it. That's what I feel." What morals are these?

Despite the fact that Halutz, who is married with three children, executed the disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip in August 2005, but the happy days and calm nights of freedom of Gazan families didn't live long. Under Halutz commandment, the Israeli artillery shills killed 24 of Athamneh family in Beit Hanoun. The (IOF) said in an investigation report that the shill missed its direction. Under his commandment also, the shills of Israeli Navy killed 8 of Ghalia family on Beit Lahia peach leaving Huda, whose tragic photo weeping her killed father shocked the whole world, alone.

Under his commandment the (IOF) erased hundreds of Jabalya houses leaving thousands of Jabalian families homeless in search for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and to combat weapons smuggling from Egypt.

Implementing the Israeli "war on Palestinian terror", Halutz imprisoned West Bank residents in cantons. He turned their life to hill while waiting to bass at the (IOF) checkpoints and roadblocks that close the entrances of Palestinian cities.

Halutz confiscated the most fertile Palestinian agricultural land to build the Separation Wall. He surrounded and later demolished Jericho prison to detain Ahmed Saadat, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and four other members of the group who assassinated the Israel Minster Rahavam Zeevi in a Jerusalem hotel in 2001 although the were serving their imprisonment sentence according to Palestinian law and the prison was controlled by American and British supervisors.

Whereas the wide majority of Palestinians consider their conflict with Israel exceeds Halutz, but they prefer to see him sued as a war criminal in La Hague International Court.

(Mohammed Mar'i is a freelance Palestinian journalist based in Ramallah, Occupied Palestine. He can be reached at