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AL-AWDA Condemns War Criminal's visit to the US.




Today, Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC) condemned the upcoming visit of Israeli Prime Minister and war criminal General Ariel Sharon to the United States. PRRC is outraged by the U.S. administration's willingness to overlook Israel's dismal human rights record. PRRC holds that General Sharon should be prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity and peace.

Cases against Yugoslavian former president Slobodan Milosevic, the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide, and others, provide compelling precedents for ending the impunity that General Sharon has thus far enjoyed.

As an Israeli military officer and as minister of defense, General Sharon was a principal in the first degree to murder, war crimes, grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and crimes against humanity, causing the death and injury of thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians.

As Israel's minister of defense and architect of that country's brutal invasion of Lebanon in 1982, General Sharon's actions facilitated the massacre of more than 2,000 -- Palestinian, Lebanese, and other civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

Three decades earlier, as a young military officer, General Sharon led an Israeli elite commando force, Unit 101, which carried out brutal raids against Palestinians. The massacre in the West Bank village of Qibya, on October 14, 1953, was perhaps the most notorious. According to Israeli historian Avi Shlaim, General Sharon's unit blew up 45 homes in the village, killing 69 civilians, two-thirds of them women and children.

Al-Awda/PRRC holds that the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions, including the United States, are required to hold General Sharon accountable, irrespective of whether he is head of Israel's government.

During the late eighties, the U.S. State Department was involved in efforts to put former UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim on its "watch list" in order to bar his entry into the U.S. As a consequence, Waldheim was barred from entering the US by the Department of Justice as of 27 April 1987.

Waldheim allegedly was an accomplice to the commission of war crimes during World War II. Unlike Waldheim, however, not only is General Sharon permitted to enter the U.S., but the U.S. government also accords him full diplomatic privileges and immunity.

The U.S. government is obliged to prosecute General Sharon for war crimes, as is any other state to which he might travel.

On Monday 19 March 2001 (6.00 pm), Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC) along with other groups and organizations will be taking part in a protest against General Sharon's visit to the U.S. in front of the Washington Hilton on Connecticut and T. This event will precede Al-Awda's Right to Return Rally scheduled for April 7, 2001 in New York City and other places world-wide.

For media interviews, please visit our Press Room at

Al-Awda - Palestine Right To Return Coalition-USA
PO Box 401
Hummelstown, Pa 17036
Fax: (717)832-1123
Email: prrc@mail.com
WWW: al-awda.org