|Al-Ahram Weekly Online
25 April - 1 May 2002
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
'Beyond all limits'ISRAEL'S invasion of the Palestinian territories is "barbaric" and the Israeli leadership is "labouring under delusions of military force," according to President Hosni Mubarak. In an address to the nation yesterday, commemorating the 20th anniversary of Sinai Day, Mubarak devoted most of his speech to lambasting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government for its defiance of international law and reason, reports Nevine Khalil. "[Israel's] practices represent gross infringements of all norms, laws and legitimacy, and demonstrate a lack of any clear vision for peace. [Israel] is living in an illusion that military force will win security for itself," Mubarak told the world.
25 April marks the day when Israeli forces completed their withdrawal from Sinai, except for Taba, the last disputed patch of occupied Egyptian territory. The Taba issue was litigated at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) where it was decided that the resort town fell within Egypt's borders, not Israel's.
"Israel has gone beyond all limits by laying siege to the Church of the Nativity, by violating human rights in all Palestinian areas -- especially at the Jenin refugee camp -- and by attempting to cover up evidence ... (of the) horrendous crimes perpetrated by the Israeli Defence Forces," said Mubarak. He also described as "groundless" Israel's claim that the Palestinian "legitimate right to resistance" is really terrorism. The president said that Tel Aviv is using this argument "to avoid being accused of state terrorism" against Palestine.
Mubarak continued that Israel was also "taking advantage of some international powers' reluctance to perform their role in order to [serve their own] interests." Mubarak clearly hinted that America and European powers were failing to pressure Israel to take the road to peace.
"We must all be vigilant and rational, close ranks and unite our efforts, in order to besiege the forces of aggression for the sake of a just, balanced and comprehensive peace," he said.
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