SIR – Though the Palestinian Arabs are hardly blameless, Israel has resisted a two-state solution all along beginning with the murder in 1948 of the UN peace emissary, Prince Folke Bernadottee, undoubtedly by the Sterne Gang.
In Katamon quarter, the Count's cream-coloured Chrysler was stopped at a roadblock. From a jeep stepped two men in Israeli army uniforms, carrying Sten guns. While US Colonel Frank Begley (a UN observer who drove the Count's car) grappled with one of the men, the other looked into the car, recognised the Count, shoved his gun through the window and started shooting.
The bullets went straight through the ribbons on Bernadotte's uniform. Said General Lundstrom, who sat beside him, but escaped injury: ‘There was a considerable amount of blood on his clothes, mainly around his heart.’
Also hit (17 times) was Colonel Andre P Serot, a French member of the UN truce mission. He was killed instantly.
Bernadotte, still breathing, was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died. The assailants got away in their jeep.
The count had proposed: ‘Adherence to the principle of geographical homogeneity and integration, which should be the major objective of the boundary arrangements, should apply equally to Arab and Jewish territories, whose frontiers should not therefore, be rigidly controlled by the territorial arrangements envisaged in the resolution of November 29th.’
While the statistics giving the percentage of Palestinian land occupied by illegal Israeli settlements are likely accurate, these give a distorted picture of the reality. The whole of the 'territories' remaining to the Palestinians is in lockdown and under military occupation.
If proof of this is needed, it lies in the back pages of the book, ‘Refusnik! Israel's Soldiers of Conscience,’ edited by Peretz Kidron – a book about Israeli conscripts who refuse to serve in the 'territories'. The borders are closed and any Palestinian contact with the outside world must be conducted through Israeli agents.
Peaceful attempts to run this blockade by various relief ships have been blocked by boarding parties of Israeli soldiers who have killed passengers, some shot in the back. The waters lying off the coast of the Gaza strip are claimed by Israel which has also monopolised the agricultural water of the region.
The USS ‘Liberty,’ a defenceless US surveillance ship, which ventured into these offshore waters, was attacked and sunk by Israeli aircraft without a murmur. The Gaza strip, acknowledged as a useless piece of desert land, was originally a desolate camp into which displaced Palestinians were herded after their farms and lands had been taken over by Israelis.
The Palestinians which were pushed into this camp and into Jordan and the Lebanon have no right of return. However, the resident Palestinians do have a legal right to resist. Their resistance however routinely earns them a collective punishment in the shape of Israeli artillery shells lobbed indiscriminately into Gaza City.
This is a more realistic description of the situation in the West Bank, Gaza, and the occupied 'territories' (and waters) than the one presented (disingenuously, I think) in The Southern Star by Frank Adam.