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Intense memorials for October 2000 arab victims and for Druze soldier killed in Joseph's Tomb battle

10 years later and the feelings are still very intense- two defferent memorials were held today for the events which marked the begining of the second Intifada:
Thousands of people flock to Galilee town of Kafr Kanna for main rally marking killing of 13 Israeli Arabs at October 2000 riots. Participants carry flags of Palestine, signs reading, 'We shall not forget, we shall not forgive.'
At the end of the rally around 20 participents hurled stones at Israeli cars.
At same time Hundreds of people took part in memorial ceremonies marking a decade since the death of Druze soldeir Madhat Yousef, which was left by the IDF to bleed to death after being wounded in action guarding Joseph's Tomb 10 years ago. ceremony attended by captive soldier Gilad Shalit's mother, Aviva. His brother Mehdi reads letter for Shalit, asserting same leadership who abandoned Madhat is abandoning Gilad

Published: 10.01.10

Thousands of people flocked to the Galilee town of Kafr Kanna on Friday afternoon to attend the main rally marking the 10th anniversary of the October 2000 events, which left 13 Israeli Arabs dead.

The participants carried flags of Palestine, pictures of the riots' victims and signs reading, "We shall not forget, we shall not forgive," "With blood and fire we'll redeem our martyrs," and "Defense Minister Barak, how many have you murdered so far?"

At the end of the event about 20 participents hurled stones twords israeli cars. there were no injuries. the violence siezed only after the village elderies intervined and police forces were deployed to prevent escalation.

The rally was attended by the entire Israeli Arab leadership, Knesset members, the victims' relatives, extreme left-wing activist Tali Fahima and actor and director Mohammad Bakri.

The brother of one of the victims, Muhammad Hameisi, addressed the rally's participants, saying that "60 years have passed and the Arab population is still in the midst of an existence struggle. We shall not withdraw. We will always remain on this land."

The event was held on the backdrop of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's latest statements on a land exchange. "I'm telling Lieberman, the one who says that the Arabs must be transferred, that it won't work. We own the land, we are the salt of the earth, you go back to Russia," said Hameisi, who lost his brother Rifat a decade ago.

Muhammad Zeidan, head of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, addressed the foreign minister's remarks as well.

"I get the feeling that Lieberman will lead the State to destruction," he said. "The same Lieberman who views us as enemies, we say to him today: 'You fool, if you think we live like in 1948, you're wrong. We are the ones making the decisions and we have decided there will be no transfer. If you don't like it, it’s your problem.'"

MK Talab El-Sana warned against the eruption of another intifada, "as the circumstances are repeating themselves, both in the diplomatic arena – the failure of the negotiations, the ongoing Zionist attack on the al-Aqsa Mosque, the police's hostile perception of the Arab public, the distress and disappointment among the Arab public, and the extreme-rightist and aggressive government ruling Israel."

He called on the Palestinians to work for internal peace and unite against "the Netanyahu-Lieberman-Yishai government."

'Open wound likely to become cancerous growth'

Meantime Hundreds of people took part on Friday in memorial ceremonies marking a decade since the death of Madhat Yousef in Beit Jan. The ceremonies were launched under the title "A decade of pain and shirking responsibility." Captive soldier Gilad Shalit's mother, Aviva took part in the memorial.

Yousef was wounded in battle in Nablus as he guarded Joseph's Tomb, and he bled to death as he lay there for hours. The IDF relied on the Palestinians to evacuate the wounded soldier, and thus did not send in a rescue team.

Many of the speakers at the memorial ceremony connected between the abandonment of Yousef in the field and the government's inactivity in securing the release of Shalit.

Mehdi Yousef, Madhat's older brother, read a letter to Gilad Shalit written as if it were from his slain brother.

"Gilad, my brother, If I could send you good news, if I could tell you that there are leaders here with values, if I could tell you that there are other commanders and ministers here than those who abandoned me, I would do so. I can tell you that the will release you, and your release is closer than ever. This is the will of the people who understand values, and not deals.

"You were wounded and kidnapped while fulfilling your duty to the country, guarding its borders and citizens. The country has violated its duty towards you because the people do not want a Madhat Yousef 2."

Mehdi continued on elsewhere in the letter, "Even if the country's leaders close their eyes, the people will not let them do so. A country that presumes to be a military power unlike any other will liberate you, release you with all means necessary. We just need leadership – leadership with values.

"If there had been a courageous leader who understands values on October 1, 2000, like the leader who will secure your release, you would already have children that would make our parents happy, instead of the sorrow and pain that will be with them forever."

Chairman of the Shalit release campaign, Shimshon Liebman, said at the memorial, "Madhat's death has become a stain on the IDF's and Israeli society's moral identity card. His death has become a warning sign to us, to our forces, to our belief in not abandoning soldiers in the field that guides us unlike our neighbors.

Liebman added, "Our moral force stems from the place in which we are willing to do everything in order to not to leave a fighter in the battlefield or in captivity."

Knesset Member Arieh Eldad (National Union) called for a state commission of inquiry to be established to investigate the circumstances leading to Madhat Yousef's death.

"This case is an open wound in the IDF and Israeli society. If a wound remains exposed for years, it is liable to turn into a cancerous growth," said MK Eldad.

"The time has come for everyone who was there, from the division commander who today serves as the deputy chief of staff to the prime minister via Defense Minister Ehud Barak to rise up and say: 'We made a mistake. We learned our lessons.' However, this simple action is not happening. In the past 10 years, not enough has been done by the decision makers of that time to repent for the sin. The same decision makers are currently sitting at the regime's helm."

Organizing the event was the group Al Tafkir, which was established following the incident at Joseph's Tomb. Singer Ruhama Raz, whose sister Miriam was murdered in a terrorist attack on the Bus 405 en route to Jerusalem, performed at the event. The terrorist responsible for the attack that claimed her sister's life is slated to be released in a prisoner swap deal for Shalit.

Raz said, "The lesson from Madhat's death has not been learned. If it had been, Gilad would already be home. The State of Israel is not so weak; it knows what to do with these terrorists after it releases them.",7340,L-3962490,00.html,7340,L-3962531,00.html,7340,L-3962512,00.html

Click to view image: 'Thousends participents at "October 2000" memoria'

Click to view image: 'Actor Mohammad Bakri at rally '

Click to view image: 'MK Tibi'

Click to view image: ' Druze soldier Madhat Yousef.'

Click to view image: 'Aviva Shalit with Madhat's family '

Click to view image: '76e906700063-1_wa.jpg'

Added: Oct-1-2010 
By: aydeo
Middle East
Tags: October 2000 events, Israeli Arabs, memorials, Madhat Yousef, Joseph's Tomb
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