Hebron-Past, Present and Forever -- June 5, 1998 -- The Jewish Community of Hebron
6:00 PM: Kol Yisrael from Jerusalem - this is a special news bulletin: The Prime Minister is about to make an unprecedented speech from an unknown site, somewhere in Israel.
The Prime Minister: Fellow Israeli citizens, fellow Jews, peoples of the world. On Wednesday, May 5, five short days ago, at 12 o'clock noon, Yassir Arafat publicly declared the creation of the State of Palestine. The borders of the state, as defined in his inaugural address, included not only the land transferred by Israel to the Palestinian Authority, encompassing almost 40% of Judea, Samaria and Gazza. Of course, he announced that East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. But he also alleged that an additional 45% of Judea, Samaria and Gazza are intrinsic elements of the Palestinian State, presently occupied by the Zionist forces and vowed to liberate the entire region, if necessary, by force. He issued an ultimatum to the Israeli government, demanding withdrawal from these areas within 24 hours. His veiled threats insinuated that failure to retreat from these areas would lead to serious international repercussions, including armed combat.
On the Thursday morning, May 6, at 3:30 AM, the Iraqi army, led by the President of Iraq himself, Saddam Hussein, crossed the international border from Iraq into Jordan. According to intelligence information, about 50,000 Iraqi troops moved into Jordan. There was no Jordanian resistance. To the contrary. The Iraqi president was welcomed by King Hussein of Jordan on the steps of the monarch's palace in Amman. The King's press spokesperson issued a statement to the effect that the Iraqi leader was coming to pay his respects to the Jordanian ruler, who is reportedly in failing health. When questioned why Saddam was accompanied by 50,000 soldiers, the spokesperson said simply that this was a traditional Arab custom, showing great respect for the hosting Chief of State.
The two men met intermittently throughout the day. Other Middle East leaders were rumored to have secretly arrived, including the Egyptian and Syrian presidents.
At 5:00 AM, that same morning, upon realization of the Iraqi troop movements, the Israeli cabinet met in special session, followed by an issuance of red alert status and a general call-up of all military reserves, including battle units, naval staff, pilots and women recently released from military service. The State of Israel came to a standstill. Emergency calls were placed to the President of the United States, Russia and France, and the Prime Minister of England. All of these leaders refused to speak with the Israeli leadership. A political spokesman for the US President issued a statement saying, "The United States government announced six months ago the cessation of all US activities in the Middle East, following Israel's rejection of proposals put forth for a final status resolution of the Arab-Israeli crisis. We warned then of serious consequences, should our proposals be rejected. It appears likely that the moment has arrived. We oppose all unnecessary violence and bloodshed and call on all sides to immediately initiate the appropriate measures toalleviate this crisis."
The Israeli leadership issued harsh warnings to the neighboring Arab states, calling on them to demand an immediate withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Jordan.
At 1:00 AM Friday morning, May 7th , the Iraqi army crossed the Jordanian border into Jericho, in the newly declared Palestinian State.
At 3:00 AM Friday morning, the first Katusha rockets hit Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. Scores of people were killed. Hundreds were injured and thousands left homeless. Israel demanded an immediate meeting of the UN General Assembly. A statement released by the Israeli cabinet threatened military retaliation against Palestine, Jordan and Iraq if additional attacks occurred.
At 10:00 AM Friday morning Yassir Arafat held a press conference, in the presence of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Arafat decreed a war of attrition of the State of Israel, which would stop only upon Israel's acceptance of the 1967, pre-Six Day war borders. He insisted that all landconquered in 1967 be relinquished, including the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ramot, Gilo and Ramat Eshkol.
Following Arafat's speech, Iraqi president Saddam Hussein spoke. In a never-to-be-forgotten address, Hussein shocked the listening world by announcing that Iraq had obtained nuclear weapons from unknown states, which we assume include Pakistan and past Soviet block countries. Saddam reminded his listeners of Israel's attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor almost 20 years before. He said, in very clear and simple language, that he would not hesitate to use his nuclear arsenal against Israel, should the existence of the Palestinian State be jeopardized.
At 3:00 PM on Friday afternoon the Iraqi army began marching East, and by nightfall was patrolling on the border of Israel and Palestine, less than 10 kilometers from Kfar Saba and Petach Tikva, less than 30 minutes from Tel-Aviv, and less than 2 hours from Jerusalem.
On Shabbat evening at 11:00 PM the second round of Katusha rockets hit the Israeli population in cities throughout the country. A third round of Katushas fell at 4:00 AM.
At 7:30 AM on Saturday morning May 8th, scattered shooting began along the border. A dozen Israeli soldiers were killed. The Israeli cabinet, meeting in an almost unprecedented Shabbat conference, called upon the United States to intervene immediately, to end Iraqi and Palestinian aggression. The United States government refrained from any reply. At 9:00 Arafat and Saddam again held a live press conference. Arafat announced that Israel had 24 hours to agree to terms of surrender, relinquishing all remaining parts of Judea, Samaria and Gazza. He informed the world that should Israel refuse, at 9:00 the next morning Iraqi and Palestinian troops would invade Israel proper.
Israeli leaders met through the day and into the evening. At 10:00 PM Israel released the following statement: "The State of Israel is in danger of extinction. Fifty thousand enemy troops are stationed on the border of our country. We have been viciously attacked and hundreds of civilians murdered. We are being threatened with nuclear attack.
We demand that the Iraqi army immediately leave Palestine and return to Iraq. Should this demand not be complied with within 10 hours from now, the Israeli Armed Forces will begin a counter attack aimed at pushing the Iraqi army back into Jordan, at the very least, and reconquering the lands captured in 1967 and transferred to the Palestinian Authority as a result of the Oslo Accords and the three further redeployments.
Should the Israeli government decide that the end of the State of Israel is imminent, short range nuclear weapons aimed at Amman, Cairo, Damascus and Baghdad will be fired, causing mass destruction within these cities. Long range ballistic nuclear warheads will be fired at major European industrial centers. The Saudi Arabian oil fields will also be destroyed. The United States will not be immune from the long arm of Israeli retribution, should the Jewish State face ultimate destruction."
Yesterday morning, Sunday, May 9, at 8:00 AM the Iraq retreat began. By 4:00 in the afternoon no more Iraqi troops were in Palestine.
At 9:00 PM tens of thousands of Israel citizens surrounded the Knesset, meeting in special session in Jerusalem, and attacked. All cabinet ministers in the previous and present administrations were incarcerated, as were former Prime Minister Peres and Netanyahu. According to indictment prepared against them, they are to be charged with crimes against the Jewish people, leading to relinquishment of large land areas in Eretz Yisrael and the endangerment of the Jewish State.
At 8:00 this morning, Monday, May 10, 1999 I was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Israel. My first orders to the Chief of Staff were to liberate the lands given to Arafat. Israeli troops engaged in fierce fighting throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza. There were many casualties. However, as the events of the past few days have proven, we had no choice.
At 2:15 this afternoon Jordanian King Hussein dropped dead of an apparent heart attack. Upon learning of this news, Yassir Arafat declared a general retreat into Jordan, abandoned the West Bank of the Jordan River, and fled into Amman. His troops followed him and are now battling the Jordanian Armed Legion for control of the state. Arafat has already declared a temporary/permanent Palestinian government-in-exile in the New Palestine.
We have learned our lesson - albeit the hard way. We have come home to our land, and we will never, ever again, leave it, so help us G-d.
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