Operation Defensive Shield: Witnesses to Israeli War Crimes
Brand: Pluto Press

Operation Defensive Shield: Witnesses to Israeli War Crimes

  • Publish Date: 2003-08-20
  • Binding: Paperback

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On March 29, 2002 the Israeli army launched Operation Defensive Shield, the largest military offensive against Palestinian civilians since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. During the operation, the military used the most advanced weaponry at its disposal: Merkava tanks, Apache attack helicopters and F-15 fighter jets. When the operation ended on April 21, Israel had destroyed the Palestinian economic and social infrastructure, leveled large swathes of residential area, killed 220 people, injured hundreds more and arrested thousands.

This book documents these events through a collection of electronic witness narratives written by Palestinians who were under attack and by Israeli and international peace activists who witnessed the results of these attacks. Deeply moving and courageous, these narratives offer a uniquely powerful and intimate account of the daily reality for Palestinians who endured Ariel Sharon's military strategy, and the death and destruction that strategy has caused throughout the Occupied Territories.

Most important, the witnesses' voices bring to life the aggressive nature of this strategy -- they belie the noble motives ascribed to Sharon and those in his government and military who designed and carried it out. The editors argue that Operation Defensive Shield is a prelude to Israel's ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. They provide historical context, a chronology, and an analysis of the conflict that situates the horror of these days in their proper perspective.

Operation Defensive Shield: Witnesses to Israeli War Crimes is an essential record for those who want to understand what happened in the West Bank in the spring of 2002, and what it portends for the future of the region.

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