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PRESS RELEASE


Sharon Planning Massive
Gaza Raid in Early October

Sept. 19, 2003 (EIRNS)—Highly-placed Mideast sources have warned this news service that the Israeli government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is planning a massive military raid into the Gaza Strip in early October, as the latest effort to crush the Road Map and all related peace efforts. The sources say that the Sharon cabinet has decided on the Gaza bloodbath, as an alternative to the assassination of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, and that Israeli Defense Force reservists are already being called up, in preparation for the October offensive.

The same sources contend that the United States veto of the United Nations Security Council resolution, condemning Israeli threats to expel or assassinate Arafat, was part of a deal with the Sharon government, that involved a personal pledge by the Prime Minister that Arafat's status would remain unchanged. Sharon's goal is to destroy the Road Map and stall, for years to come, any progress towards what President Bush has called the "two-state solution" to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

By launching a massive military incursion into the Gaza Strip, which is one of the world's most densely populated areas, Sharon would certainly trigger an enormous amount of bloodshed and destruction, making it impossible for any Palestinian leader to even be seen in the presence of an Israeli official for years to come. This, the sources say, is Sharon's and the Israeli right wing's objective.

This morning, Lyndon LaRouche, the tenth candidate for the 2004 Democratic Party Presidential nomination, reacted strongly to President Bush's comments at a Sept. 18 press availability with Jordan's King Abdullah II at Camp David, in which the President condemned President Arafat as an obstacle to peace. LaRouche asked: Doesn't Bush understand that any Israeli action against President Arafat would blow up the entire Middle East region, creating an even more impossible situation for the 150,000 American troops inside Iraq?

LaRouche similarly responded to the source reports on the planned Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip, and reiterated his call, from Sept. 15, for President Bush to sign an Executive Order, freezing all American funds to Israel, should Sharon persist in even threatening the expulsion or killing of Arafat. The same approach should be taken, he demanded, if Sharon goes ahead with the planned Gaza invasion: the instant shut-off of all financial flows, including loan guarantees, to Israel.

LaRouche added that the U.S. President must take these actions "without DeLay," referring to the fact that the House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), is waging a blackmail campaign against the Administration, on behalf of Sharon and those who are promoting the "Clash of Civilizations" perpetual war in Eurasia. LaRouche denounced DeLay as a thoroughly corrupt kook, whose continuing influence inside the Republican Party represents one of the most grave threats to the national security of the United States and the world.

LaRouche also reiterated his Sept. 15 call for President Bush and all Presidential candidates to join him in sponsoring an immediate full probe into the circumstances surrounding the sinking of the U.S.S. Liberty, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.