A Palestinian suicide bomber set off explosives outside a central Jerusalem hotel this morning, killing himself andlightly hurting two bystanders. The explosion followed two days of the most ferocious air assault by Israel since thestart of the intifada 14 months ago. Yesterday, two Palestinians were killed and 150 injured when U.S.-made IsraeliF-16 jet dropped a large bomb on a Palestinian security service building in a residential area of the Gaza Strip.Apache helicopters destroyed Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s three personal helicopters in Gaza City.
Over the weekend, suicide bombers killed 26 Israelis and wounded nearly 200. Hamas claimed responsibility, and saidthey were revenge for Israel’s assassination 11 days ago of the Hamas military commander in the West Bank.
In the United States, many may be wondering why some Palestinians would go so far as to kill themselves in order toinjure or kill Israeli citizens. The mainstream U.S. media doesn’t convey the brutal occupation of Palestine by theIsraeli military.
For example, Switzerland today opened an international conference to examine whether Israel is violating the GenevaConventions on warfare by its occupation of Palestinian territory. The meeting of nations that have signed the 1949treaties on the conduct of war is expected to conclude that Israel is breaching the accords, and to call on Israel torespect the agreement on the treatment of civilians in occupied territory and allow independent observers to monitorthe situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The United States is boycotting the meeting, claiming it is"counterproductive."
U.S. papers also seem to be boycotting the meeting — there is no mention of it in today’s New York Times_,_Washington Post, L.A. Times or Chicago Tribune.
Today, we have a rare opportunity to go to the Gaza Strip to hear about the conditions there for ourselves. We arejoined right now by James Longley, an American documentary filmmaker who traveled to Gaza last spring to record thedaily life of Palestinians. He brings us exclusive footage that Americans rarely get to see or hear, from hisupcoming film, "Gaza Strip." We are also joined on the telephone in Gaza City by Mohammed Mohanna, who is producer ofthe upcoming documentary "Gaza Strip," and who is the cameraman who filmed Arafat’s helicopters burning and thebombing of the Palestinian security compound yesterday.
- James Longley, U.S. documentary filmmaker who went to the Gaza Strip this spring to record the daily lifeof Palestinians. His documentary, "Gaza Strip," is in progress.
- Mohammed Mohanna, line producer for the upcoming documentary, "Gaza Strip," and the cameraman who capturedthe footage of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s helicopters burning in the Israeli attack two days ago.