the "Over My Dead Body" project
Middle East Peace Resource
The Diary of Pain and Hatred is a chronological log of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict recorded over a two month period, from mid May to mid July 2003. Its purpose - by representing daily events succinctly within a longer chronicle - is to allow the overall patterns that structure the conflict to come to the fore, and prevent them from being annulled by individual events, however horrific or tragic they may be. The Diary is as objective an account as possible - it does not take sides, or rather, it takes the side of peace and coexistence against that of war and exclusion. The Diary is not a tool for indictment, despite the harsh news it bears. From the pit of pain and lamentation, it wishes to be a voice for reconciliation, by obliging each side to see "what they have done to us" in parallel with "what we have done to them".

After nearly three years of the Second Intifada, each side has retreated into a fortress of trauma, in which human thought has been drowned out by the frenzy of extremists on both sides. Each claims a monopoly on suffering and a vindication for violence, based upon the unquenchable malevolence of the other. The best way to confront one's enemy is to project oneself into their situation, fathoming the source of their hatred and fear, acknowledging theirs alongside one's own. Understanding one's enemy, forcing them to understand oneself, is the first battle for a true peace: seeing "peace" as the total subjugation or annihilation of one's enemy is no peace at all.

However, symmetry in suffering should not be confused with political asymmetry.

Israel, in insisting upon Palestinian concessions must understand the fundamental imbalance between the two parties. For Israel controls the road. Every Palestinian under the age of 36 knows nothing other than occupation, harassment, daily humiliation, denial of the most basic rights. While Palestinians suffer daily privation and the ongoing predation of the settlements and the Apartheid Wall, the majority of Israelis, despite the crimes of terrorism, live in a sovereign, modern, immensely powerful state, with a working economy.

Yet Palestinians must understand that the Jews have suffered 2000 years of persecutions and pogroms, culminating in the genocide of 6 million, thus they are implacable concerning any perceived threats against their survival: and how many times have the Arabs rallied around the cry to "drive the Jews into the sea?" And the Israelis must understand that the Palestinians had no obligation to welcome the Jews with open arms when the latter arrived, claiming the Land of Israel as their own after these years of exile: and the Palestinians must understand that through these dark years the Jews have sustained themselves with the prayer of "next year in Jerusalem". And here the Israelis must understand, however difficult this may be, that they cannot claim for themselves the right of return if they deny it of Palestinians who in turn have become exiles...

The Diary presents events starting with the most recent. Note the signification of the background colour of individual items. The degree of greyness symbolises the number killed. A blue background symbolises good news. An item spanning both the "Israel" and "Palestine" columns signifies that it involves both sides equally.


The "Over My Dead Body" project is a world wide, online demonstration, politicising the major themes of globalisation and the economy, the environment, militarism, etc. The federating platform is the promotion of "the politics of generosity" to unblock the stranglehold of financial and nationalist self-interest upon the world's destiny.

People are invited to participate, and are represented symbolically in the demonstration by their name, place of residence, and if they so wish, photo, and virtual placard. Thus people from the four corners of the globe may march together, and in this way the demo is a powerful and active metaphor for fraternity. Take a moment to watch people pass by, seeing where they come from and what they say.

You are invited to join the demo with us! And please forward this message to your family, your friends, your colleagues, your mailing lists... The presence of each person is important: a trickle becomes a torrent that becomes a tidal wave, rolling for change.
15 Jul 2003
Suicide bombing suspects arrested: Israeli forces have arrested three Fatah men in Nablus suspected of involvement in a bombing perpetrated at Tel Aviv's old bus station, a year ago. They are accused of planning a new attack. (source: Ha'aretz)
Taxi driver rescued near Ramallah: Eliyahu Gurel, the taxi driver who went missing last Friday has been released from captivity by a team of Israeli commandos. He was found, unattended and bound, in an abandoned building in Bitouniyah. Four people involved in the kidnapping were arrested some hours before. Their demands, in negotiations that preceded their arrest, were unclear: demanding alternately the release of prisoners and money. They appear to be unaffiliated with any Palestinian movement; the Palestinian Authority worked with the Israelis on the affair. (source: Ha'aretz)
Man killed in attack on Tel Aviv beachfront: Amir Simhon, 24, was stabbed to death by a Palestinian on the Tel Aviv promenade at about 1:30 AM. One other person, a security guard in a restaurant, was injured. Their assailant was a resident of the East Jerusalem village of Al-Azzariyeh. He told police that he had been sent by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades: and the organisation claimed responsibility from Beirut. The spokesperson for the brigades in the Occupied Territories have denied involvement, and Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the attack. (source: Ha'aretz)
14 Jul 2003
Marwan Barghouti's trial continues: Barghouti has refused to conduct a formal defense, since he does not recognize the jurisdiction of the Israeli court. Before his arrest, he was leader of Arafat's Fatah movement for the West Bank. As such, he is accused of being the liaison with the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, and is being charged on 26 counts of murder. Barghouti denies this: indeed, he played a pivotal role in setting up the current cease-fire from within his prison cell. (source: Ha'aretz)
Abbas and Arafat reconcile their differences: The conflict between the two centred on Arafat's view that Abbas was being too soft in his negotiations with Israel. Emphasis has been given to the fact that the Palestinian leadership would have the final say, and that Abbas would not be able to deal with Israel in an autonomous manner. (source: Ha'aretz)
Sharon meets Blair, fails to persuade the British government to cut off relations with Arafat: Sharon has presented Arafat as the prime obstacle to the road map, due to his alleged efforts to obstruct Mahmoud Abbas. While Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has agreed with Sharon on the necessity to combat terror, the British have declined Sharon's suggestion that they quit dealing with Arafat. (source: Ha'aretz)
13 Jul 2003
70% of Palestinians live below the poverty line: These figures were divulged by Palestinian Authority Social Affairs Minister Intisar al-Wazir. Unemployment in the Gaza Strip is 65%, while in the West Bank it is 55%. She links this directly to the siege and closures imposed by the Israeli Army. (source: Ha'aretz)
Hamas and Islamic Jihad threaten to end the truce: The two organisations are concerned by apparent moves by the Palestinian Authority to disarm them. This has been one of Israel's major demands. (source: Reuters)
12 Jul 2003
Israel threatens Arafat: Israel has accused Yasser Arafat of attempting to undermine Mahmoud Abbas's efforts to carry out the road map. Sources have menaced Arafat with arrest or deportation. (source: Reuters)
Children in Rafah stage one day hunger strike: The children, aged 10 to 15, of 45 prisoners, call upon Abbas to win the release of their parents. (source: Reuters)
Real Irish Republican Army member arrested after manhunt: John Morgan, who entered the Occuped Territories via Ben Gurion International Airport as a tourist three weeks ago, has been arrested near Ramallah. British authorities informed Israel of his presence: he was accused of being on a mission to train Palestinian terrorists in advanced explosive techniques. It has since become apparent that this John Morgan is a journalist, member of the Ireland Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, who came to Palestine during his vacation to set up contacts between schools in the two countries. (source: Ha'aretz)
Disagreement between the Army and Shin Beth (security service) on prisoner release: Senior military officers believe that it is necessary to release Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners, despite opposition by both the Shin Beth and the Sharon Government, which have laid down extremely restrictive criteria limiting severely the number of releaseable prisoners. The political survival of Mahmoud Abbas, indeed of the peace process itself, depends on his ability to demonstrate to the Palestinian people his success in the freeing of prisoners. (source: Ha'aretz)
11 Jul 2003
Hamas threatens to restart kidnappings if the release of prisoners fail: Nizar Rayyan, a Hamas political leader, has said that if the truce fails to get prisoners freed, they will revert to the kidnapping of soldiers, so as to be able to negotiate the exchange of prisoners. Hamas last used this strategy in 1995. (source: Reuters)
Israeli taxi driver disappears in the Occupied Territories: Eliyahu Gorel, a 61 year old taxi driver from Ramat Gan, has failed to come home after taking passengers from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. His taxi was found, abandoned in the village of Beit Hanina, in the Ramallah area. Police believe that he has been abducted or murdered, and a massive search is underway. (source: Ha'aretz)
10 Jul 2003
Palestinian Security Forces injure Hamas militant: The man, who was armed, was shot at by bodyguards of Security Minister Dahlan, who believed that he threatened them at the passage of their convoy. (source: Reuters)
Arafat calls Abbas a traitor: In a meeting with UN envoy Terje Larsen, Arafat accused Abbas of "betraying the interests of the Palestinian people". Abbas has been the target of much criticism for adopting a too conciliatory position towards Israel. (source: Ha'aretz)
6 International Peace Workers arrested near Nablus: The 6, from Sweden, Canada, Israel, the UK and France were participating in the International Solidarity Movement's Freedom Summer in Palestine Campaign. They had undertaken the removal of three earthen roadblocks when they were apprehended by Israeli troops who conducted them to the police station in the settlement of Ariel. The foreign volunteers are threatened with deportation. (source: ISM)
» ISM website for full report
Israel is dragging its feet in dismantling settlements: The army has decided to delay the evacuation of Beit El East for a week, due to the influx of some 1000 extremists come to oppose it. An outpost near Elon Moreh which was established a few days ago has been removed: 20 settlers were arrested for entering a closed military zone. Settlers claim that Sharon has sent them an informal note promising not to comply with the American condition that all 100 settlements established since March 2001 be removed. (source: Ha'aretz)
09 Jul 2003
Young boys arrested: Three boys, aged 10 and 11, from the West Bank village of Aurif were taken away, bound and blindfolded, by Israeli soldiers. This village near Nablus is adjacent to the extremist Jewish settlement of Yitzhar which has hostile relations with surrounding Arab villages. According to Israel, the boys are "under investigation for actions hostile to Israeli military forces". (source: Reuters)
Hamas's Sheikh Yassin warns that their patience has limits: Yassin has reaffirmed Hamas's commitment to the truce, but has stated that it will be impossible to maintain if Israel does not deliver on significant releases of prisoners. (source: Reuters)
Palestinian killed in Burqin village near Jenin: The 27 year old man was shot at his window as soldiers were arresting his brother, a militant, in a neighbouring house. His wife, shot in the head, was seriously injured. According to Israeli sources, the man opened fire on them. The suicide bomber in Monday's attack came from this area. (source: Reuters)
08 Jul 2003
Mahmoud Abbas resigns from Fatah Central Committee: This follows attacks by other members for his lack of concrete results in negotiations with Israel. He was second only to Chairman Yasser Arafat. The Central Committee has said that it has rejected the resignation. He has also threatened to resign as prime minister unless Fatah gave him clear instructions on how to handle Israel. Abbas postponed a Wednesday meeting with Sharon due to the crisis provoked by Monday's suicide bombing. (source: Ha'aretz, Reuters)
United States berates Israel for stalling settlement evacuation: Up until now, a total of one outpost has been dismantled, since new outposts have been built to replace all the others. US envoy John Wolf has also exhorted Israel to go beyond the 350 prisoners that they are currently prepared to release. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom has stated that prisoner release is a "gesture" that is not specifically included in the road map... (source: Ha'aretz)
07 Jul 2003
Israel troops wound youth in Rafah, youth in Tulkarm: Israeli troops who were attacked with bombs in Rafah, on the Egyptian border, returned fire, and wounded a young man. In Tulkarm, a Palestinian youth who behaved in a suspicious manner and refused orders to stop, was shot and wounded. (source: Reuters)
Peace Camp set up against the Apartheid Wall - 4 ISM activists arrested: The peace camp was set up near the West Bank village of Arrabony: the activists and people from the village have had to resist intimidation by the Israeli military, armed security guards, and settlers. Four International Solidarity Movement volunteers, from Sweden, Canada, the USA and Denmark have been arrested and are probably being held in the Salem Military Base. (source: ISM)
» ISM website for full report
Suicide bomber kills elderly woman in her house: The explosion occured at nine in the evening, and destroyed a house on Moshav Kfar Yavets, not far from the Green Line. Mazal Afari, 63, and the bomber were killed. Her three grandchildren were slightly injured. The suicide bomber was Ahmed Yahya, a 22 year old Islamic Jihad member. Jihad officials have stated that the attack had been an unordered, local initiative; and that though they were commited to the cease-fire, they condoned it due to Israel's "continued violations of the cease-fire". (source: Ha'aretz)
06 Jul 2003
Palestinian Security stop suicide bomber: An 18 year old Palestinian woman was arrested when she tried to cross the border into Israel. They were alerted by her family after she left a note in which she explained her intention to undertake a suicide bombing. In separate incidents, five men - three of them armed - were apprehended by the Palestinian police when they approached the Israeli border. (source: Reuters)
Israeli Government votes to approve prisoner releases with very strict criteria: Criteria established by the Shin Beth (intelligence service) excludes all prisoners directly or indirectly connected to acts of violence. Activists from extremist groups - Hamas and Islamic Jihad - are excluded. According to Avi Dichter, chief of the Shin Beth, only 350 out of 6000 prisoners detained are eligible for release: Palestinian authorities have impressed upon Israel their rejection of such terms, explaining that the cease-fire will not be accepted by the people without the massive release of prisoners. (source: Haaretz)
05 Jul 2003
Palestinian killed in Gaza Explosion: The explosion, which took place near an Israeli checkpoint, injured two other men. It would appear that they were planting an explosive device in the path of an Israeli patrol. (source: Reuters)
Mahmoud Abbas meets Hamas leader, Sheikh Yassin: This is the first meeting between the two since Abbas's nomination as Prime Minister. No statement was made on the contents of their 35 minute long meeting. (source: Reuters)
04 Jul 2003
Palestinian police arrest militants in Gaza refugee camp: As part of their obligation to guarantee security, the Palestinian police have arrested 10 militants accused of firing mortar bombs at Jewish settlements. One policeman, one militant, and one bystander were injured in clashes in the Shati refugee camp. Palestinian Information Minister Nabil Amr has said: "Palestinian security forces have been given orders...not to tolerate violators and to bring them to court". Israel is putting pressure on the Palestinian Authority to dismantle militant groups. (source: Reuters)
Palestinians press Israel for release of prisoners: Mahmoud Abbas has called for the release of thousands of prisoners, seen as fundamental by Palestinians for the continuation of the cease-fire, and ultimately, the peace process itself. A list of prisoners whose release carries top priority is being drawn up, to include those who have served long sentences, women, minors, the elderly and infirm. Israel has insisted that it shall not release prisoners who "have blood on their hands": indeed Israel is percieved as being unwilling to engage in the far reaching release of prisoners that is essential for the Palestinians. (source: Reuters)
03 Jul 2003
53 Palestinian prisoners released; 15 arrested: A senior official of the Preventive Security Service in Gaza, Suleiman Abu Mutalek, was released, despite his suspected involvement in a bomb attack near Kfar Darom in November 2000 that killed 2 Israeli civilians. It would appear that Israel has agreed to his release in talks with the Palestinian Authority as he is one of few officers capable of confronting Hamas. Most of the other men released were arrested in Hebron a few weeks ago. At the same time, 15 other men were arrested in the West Bank. Israel is currently imprisoning some 6000 Palestinians. (source: Ha'aretz)
Israeli forces close Gush Katif Junction for 6 hours: This comes after the attack against Kfar Darom which injured 4 people. According to Israeli sources, Palestinian forces have not yet been deployed in Rafah and Khan Yunis, where shooting incidents continue. They threaten to close the north-south highway if attacks continue. (source: Ha'aretz)
Activist killed in Qalgilyah: The man, Ibrahim Yassin, Tanzim chief in the city, was killed in an exchange of fire when Israeli forces tried to arrest him. He is believed to have been responsible for the recent attack on a vehicle on the Trans-Israel Highway in which 7 year old Noam Leibovitch was killed. (source: Ha'aretz)
Racist rabbi charged with incitement: Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg was indicted on charges of encouraging racism in his 2001 book, "Tsav Hasha'a - Tipul Shoresh" ("Order of the Day - Radical Treatment"). Ginsburg, for whom the Arabs do not have the right to live in "the Land of Israel" (which for him includes the Occupied Territories) writes: "[The Arab nation] has a licentious and unbridled character, and as it is said of Ishmael, `He will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man and every man's hand will be against him.' But don't waste your time, these things are so simple, go outside and see who the Arabs are." (source: Ha'aretz)
Two Israeli soldiers indicted for shooting elderly Palestinian man: The incident occured in March, when the man was spotted in a "special security zone" (zone which Palestinians cannot enter) near Netzarim in the Gaza Strip. The first was charged with manslaughter, the second with illegal use of weaponry and obstruction of justice. (source: Ha'aretz)
02 Jul 2003
Palestinian Authority control restored in Bethlehem: Israeli forces have quit Bethlehem, as part of the cease-fire agreement. This is the fifth time that they have done so since the beginning of the Second Intifada. Palestinian police dispose of only 4 vehicles: 52 others have been confiscated or destroyed by the Israeli military. Israeli barriers cutting Bethlehem off from surrounding villages have been maintained, indeed people can neither enter or leave. (source: Ha'aretz)
Establishment of Camp Against the Occupation as a meeting place for all those in opposition to the Israeli military occupation: Established on July 2, 2003, Camp Against the Occupation marks the opening days of the International Solidarity Movement's summer campaign, entitled "Freedom Summer 2003". The Freedom Summer campaign focuses on the restriction of movement that Palestinians endure daily due to this occupation. Camp Against the Occupation was created as an element of this summer campaign in order to directly challenge Israel's construction of the separation wall. (source: ISM) » more
» International Solidarity Movement website
Mortar shells fired at Kfar Darom in the Gaza Strip: Four people were slightly wounded. No group has claimed responsibility. Mahmoud Abbas has expressed his intention to jail militants who violate the cease-fire. (source: Reuters)
Three outposts dismantled: A total of 15 outposts have been dismantled, many more unauthorized settlements have as yet been left untouched. Extremist settlers have vowed to construct two new outposts for each one demolished. (source: Reuters)
01 Jul 2003
Sharon and Abbas meet at the Israeli Prime Minister's office: The meeting comes as the Israeli pullback continues, with preparations being made to withdraw from Bethlehem. Mahmoud Abbas made a number of requests to Sharon: that Palestinian prisoners be released - Israel is in agreement for minor offenders and the elderly, but not for those convicted of capital crimes; he asked for curfews to be lifted - Defense Minister Mofaz will discuss this with Security Minister Dahlan; he requested freedom of movement for Yasser Arafat - Sharon replied that he is welcome to go from Ramallah to Gaza "as long as he stays there." (source: Ha'aretz)
Signs that Israel is about to confiscate Palestinian land near Jerusalem and Ramallah: A memorandam issued by Palestinian Authority Minister of Cabinet Affairs Yasser Abed Rabbo accuses Israel of being on the verge of confiscating large tracts of land belonging to the villages of Beit Eksa, Beit Souriq (over 90% of its agricultural land), northwest of Jerusalem, and Sinjel, north of Ramallah. The land has been marked off by Israeli surveyors, and the inhabitants have been given warnings to stay clear of their own land. In the terms of the road map, Israel is meant to stop all acts of settlement in the Occupied Territories. (source: Palestine Media Center)
» read full article
Palestinian gunman is killed after opening fire on Israeli forces in Tulkarm: The man opened fire at close range from a taxi at an Israeli roadblock. He was killed on the spot by retuned fire. (source: Ha'aretz)
Palestinians fire at Gush Katif settlements in Gaza Strip: The men fired at army outposts on three occasions, despite the cease-fire. (source: Ha'aretz)
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