Sunday, May 27, 2012

Muhammad Saker Habashi, Another Israeli False-Flag Suicide Bomber.

September 10, 2001
Israeli Arab's Suicide Bomb Points to Enemy Within
By James Bennet,  [Is that pronounced Bennet like Jon Bennet Ramsey?]

NAHARIYA, Israel, Sept. 9 — Israel suffered a jackhammer series of terrorist blows today that the police and senior government officials said included the first suicide bombing ever committed by an Arab who was one of its own citizens.

Violence flared on the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and in this surfside northern town, and even its toll of eight dead, including three implicated in the attacks, and scores wounded understated the psychological impact on a nation that had already begun waking up each morning wondering where the next bomb would go off, and who would deliver it.

In today's instance, witnesses said, it was a small man trying to carry a large box along a bustling railway platform at the start of Israel's work week. "He looked like he needed help," recalled Elroey Abuhatzira, describing from his hospital bed how he passed a man he believed to be the bomber, wearing blue jeans and a checked shirt and carrying a box the size of a videocassette recorder, moments before the explosion.

The platform was crowded with soldiers going off to duty or returning home. Three people besides the bomber died in the attack and at least 71 — Jews and Arabs — were wounded, most, like Mr. Abuhatzira, not seriously.

The police identified the bombing suspect as Muhammad Saker Habashi, 55, an Israeli Arab from the nearby village of Abu Snan, where he was said to have once run for local office. Although his Arab neighbors expressed horror and disgust at the attack, the news was likely to inflame suspicions among Jews of the Palestinians in their midst, particularly since it followed an attempted bombing by Israeli Arab youths two weeks ago.

"It's the nightmare of Israeli Jews coming true, that the Arabs in Israel would become in-house terrorists," said Ilana Kaufman, a political scientist who studies Arabs in Israel.

Out of Israel's 6.5 million citizens, about a million are Israeli Arabs, but Ms. Kaufman said it would take only a handful of extremists to make the nightmare seem real to many Israelis. Though they complain of pervasive discrimination, Israeli Arabs, as Israeli citizens, do not face the travel restrictions placed on the three million Palestinians who live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Today's violence further diminished already grim expectations for likely peace talks between Shimon Peres, the dogged Israeli foreign minister, and Yasir Arafat, the head of the Palestinian Authority. Mr. Peres "is still planning to go ahead with the meeting," said Ambassador Avi Pazner, an adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. But, he added, "I don't know what would come out of such a meeting."

The Palestinian Authority issued a statement again condemning "all attacks that target civilians, whether Palestinians or Israelis." But Mr. Pazner accused the Authority of giving a "green light" to terrorism after the conclusion on Saturday, in Durban, South Africa, of a United Nations conference on racism. "I think they were holding their fire, more or less, trying to get Israel condemned and blamed and vilified," Mr. Pazner said. "I believe there is no coincidence that this happened today, and I believe that, to my regret, there is more that is on the way."  Boy, wait till they see what tomorrow brings!

Israel responded with four missile strikes from helicopters against buildings in the West Bank and Gaza, including the Ramallah and El Bireh offices of Mr. Arafat's Fatah faction. Because the buildings had been evacuated, such airborne attacks having become as familiar as postal deliveries, injuries were light. Mr. Sharon met with his top military advisers tonight to consider further retaliation.

[The Associated Press reported that the retaliation continued Monday, as Israeli troops fired missiles at a Palestinian security post in the West Bank, killing a police officer. ]

The day's killing started at about 8 a.m. in the West Bank, when shots were fired at a van carrying Israeli kindergarten teachers to work. One teacher and the driver were slain. Then, at about 10:30 a.m., the bomb exploded here, less than 10 miles from the border with Lebanon.

That bomb was followed a few hours later by an explosion in a car south of here, near Netanya. That explosion, apparently by a bomb made of mortar shells, killed the Palestinian driver, injuring three people and burning several vehicles. The police speculated that the driver had been headed to Netanya and panicked when a police car pulled up behind him at a traffic light.

Also today, Israeli soldiers fired on three Palestinians who they said had been planting a bomb near a border fence along the Gaza Strip. The soldiers killed one of the Palestinians and injured another.

Despite the day's violence, the Sharon government retreated today from a plan to create military buffer zones as much as a mile wide along the boundary separating Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank from Israel. At a meeting of the cabinet, the government decided to narrow the potentially sweeping military plan, which would have closed areas along the eastern, Palestinian edge of the border to any Palestinian who could not prove local residency. Instead, the cabinet decided that any closings would be "temporary, limited in scope and duration, and for a specific purpose," such as to prevent an anticipated bombing, said a senior political official.

The prime minister and his inner cabinet must approve such closings, the official said. He insisted that such decisions would be made with an eye to limiting "as much as possible disrupting the lives of Palestinians."

The government's decision follows days of sniping between the prime minister and top military officers who he suggested had exceeded their authority. It also appeared to reflect concerns on the Israeli right that any move to etch a deeper division between the West Bank and Israel would create a de facto border, ceding land to the Palestinians that many Israelis regard as theirs.

Of today's attacks, the bombing here, for which the group Hamas claimed responsibility, is likely to have the greatest reverberation, since it demonstrated that not even the most formidable boundary along the West Bank would be a bulwark against all threats. Israeli television reported late tonight that Israeli security forces had been searching for Mr. Habashi for more than a week, having recently linked him to Hamas. But they were unable to find him, even inside Israel, before the bomb exploded here beside a small kiosk. His identification card was found in the wreckage of upended plastic chairs, shredded camouflage, blood-spattered signs and torn pennants advertising ice cream.

"Just as I was going by the kiosk, there was an explosion," Aviram Cohen, 20, a soldier from Haifa, said as he was released into his mother's care from the hospital here today. "I flew. I saw pieces of people, I saw people, flying in the air."

Mr. Habashi's hometown, Abu Snan, is not known as a hotbed of militance. Lying in the Galilee, in Israel's north, it has a mixed population of Muslims, Christians and Druse that recently produced a general in the army, whose promotion was celebrated in the village just last week. Town leaders were quick to condemn the bombing, and one resident told Israeli television tonight, "If the man really did it, then he hurt everyone in the village, be they Muslim, Druse or Christian."

And another resident said: "Abu Snan has army generals, sons that were killed in wars. We won't let one rogue terrorist destroy the name of our village. His house ought to be destroyed."

SEPTEMBER : Photos of this weekends PA attacks on Israelis (slow, many images)
AP, Various ^ | September 9, 2001 | AP, various 

Israeli Explosive Experts Sort through Debris Lying at the...
Sun, Sep 09 10:19 AM
Israeli explosive experts sort through debris lying at the site where a suicide bomber blew himself up in an attack which killed four people, including himself, and wounded more than 30 at the train station in the northern town of Nahariya Sunday, Sept. 9, 2001. The latest surge of violence including a spate of attacks by Palestinian militants and retaliatory missile strikes by Israeli helicopters threw into question possible truce talks. Photo by Roni Shitzer ISRAEL OUT (AP)

An Israeli Man, Along with a Group of Israeli Medics,...
Sun, Sep 09 09:52 AM
An Israeli man, along with a group of Israeli medics, carries a baby to safety away from the site of a suicide bomb attack where four people were killed, including the bomber, and more than 30 wounded at the train station in the northern town of Nahariya Sunday, Sept. 9, 2001. The latest surge of violence including a spate of attacks by Palestinian militants and retaliatory missile strikes by Israeli helicopters, threw into question possible truce talks. Photo by Yaron Kaminsky ISRAEL OUT (AP)

An Israeli Soldier is Wheeled Out on a Stretcher by Israeli...
Sun, Sep 09 08:57 AM
An Israeli soldier is wheeled out on a stretcher by Israeli medics at the site of a suicide bomber attack where four people were killed, including the bomber, and more than 30 wounded at the train station in the northern town of Nahariya Sunday, Sept. 9, 2001. The latest surge of violence including a spate of attacks by Palestinian militants and retaliatory missile strikes by Israeli helicopters, threw into question possible truce talks. Photo by Yaron Kaminsky-- ISRAEL OUT (AP)

Israeli Police Carry the Covered Body of a Victim Killed in...
Sun, Sep 09 08:47 AM
Israeli police carry the covered body of a victim killed in a suicide bomb attack at a train station in the northern Israeli town of Nahariya Sunday, Sept. 9, 2001. A suicide bomber detonated his explosives as passengers were stepping off a crowded train, killing himself and three others and wounding more than 30. Photo by Roni Shitzer -- ISRAEL OUT-- (AP)

Suspected suicide bomber Muhammad Saker Habashi is seen in a political poster in the Israeli Arab town of Abu Snan in northern Israel Sunday, Sept. 9, 2001. If Saker Habashi, an Arab Israeli blew himself up in Israel's north on Sunday, as Israel officials suspect, it would be the first time an Arab with Israeli citizenship turned himself into a human bomb. (AP Photo/Uriel Sinai)

A bus burns at a highway intersection near the central Israeli city of Netanya after a car bomb exploded Sunday. Sept. 9, 2001. The car bomb exploded while a vehicle was waiting at a stoplight killing the Palestinian driver of the car, injuring three people, and torching five vehicles including the bus according to the police. It was not clear whether the driver intentionally detonated the bomb, or if it went off prematurely. (AP Photo/Pavel Wolberg) --ISRAEL OUT--MAGAZINES OUT-COMMERCIAL ONLINE OUT

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual leader of the Moslem militant group Hamas, speaks to reporters in the Gaza Strip, September 9, 2001. The Izz el-Deen al-Qassam brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for the Nahariya suicide bombing on Sunday, according to al-Jazeera satellite television, which broadcasts from Qatar. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Wounded People after a Palestinian Suicide Bomber Blew Himself up Near Haifa
Sun, Aug 12 00:34 PM
Two people wounded in the suicide bombing wait for treatment after a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up at a Wall Street restaurant in the town of Kiryat Motzkin near Haifa in the northern Israel, August 12, 2001. 15 people were wounded in the second such attack in three days. REUTERS/STR ISRAEL OUT (Reuters) 

An Israeli man, along with a group of Israeli medics, carries a baby to safety away from the site of a suicide bomb attack Sunday where four people were killed, including the bomber, and more than 30 wounded at the train station in the northern town of Nahariya. The latest surge of violence, including attacks by Palestinian militants and retaliatory missile strikes by Israeli helicopters, threw possible truce talks into question.   Yaron Kaminsky / AP

.pdf Front Page of September 10, 2001, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, with photo
Mideast cease-fire hopes fading fast, Most recent killings spark another rash of air raids
 and the following:
By Mary Curtius

MASSU’A, West Bank — Attacks by Arab militants that killed seven people and wounded dozens more Sunday triggered retaliatory air raids by Israel against West Bank towns and raised doubts that cease-fire talks set for this week would happen. Israel blamed Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat for the attacks, even though the Palestinian Authority condemned two of them and Islamic groups claimed responsibility. Right-wing Israeli Cabinet members called on Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to cancel his plans to open a series of meetings with Arafat on Thursday.

Even before the carnage, Israeli nerves had been frayed by a campaign of suicide bombings killing dozens of people and wounding hundreds, part of the Palestinian revolt that has gone on for more than 11 months.

Yesterday’s quick succession of attacks from the northern coast to the Jordan Valley, coupled with the revelation that the deadliest was carried out by an Israeli Arab, created a sense that events were spiraling out of control. Israeli commentators spoke of a coordinated campaign by Palestinian factions to kill as many Israelis as possible.

“People are hysterical,” said Micha Pitro, a member of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, as he helped organize a protest rally near the spot where a vanload of teachers came under fire yesterday  morning. “We are afraid that the mix of the bad economic situation and the bad security situation will make people leave this valley. I am angry and I am frightened.”

The killings began with the early-morning shooting at the van. The driver, Yaacov Hatsav, and a 24-year-old kindergarten teacher, Sima Franco, were killed, and three other teachers riding in the van were injured when a suspected Palestinian gunman leaned out of a jeep and riddled the windows with bullets. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two hours later, a man carrying a box blew himself up near a train platform in the northern coastal town of Nahariya as the morning train from Tel Aviv disgorged dozens of soldiers and civilians. Police identified the bomber as Mohammed Shaker Habashi, a 55-year -old Islamic activist from the village of Abu Snan. A mixed village of Muslims, Christians and Druze, Abu Snan, located a 10-minute drive east of Nahariya in Israel’s western Galilee, routinely sends its young men to the Israeli army. Villagers said they were mortified that one of them was apparently the first Israeli Arab suicide bomber. Israeli Arabs are PLEASE SEE MIDEAST/A9

Seven Palestinians Killed in West Bank Fighting - Reuters (Sep 12, 2001)

Sports world can't escape - Boston Globe (Sep 12, 2001)

Carnage in US tips balance of play in Israeli-Palestinian conflict - AFP/Yahoo! Singapore (Sep 12, 2001)

Air force on heightened alert - Jerusalem Post (Sep 12, 2001)

7 Palestinians Killed in Attacks - AP (Sep 12, 2001)

Shock Waves Echo for Arabs and Israelis - Los Angeles Times (Sep 12, 2001)

Israelis cut off West Bank city - Irish Times (Sep 12, 2001)

Israeli Tanks Move in West Bank Town - AP (Sep 12, 2001)

Israeli Tanks Briefly Raid West Bank City - Reuters (Sep 12, 2001)

Some ministers pull out a D-Day option - expelling Yasser Arafat from the territories - Ha'aretz Daily (Sep 11, 2001)

Palestinians celebrate attacks - Ha'aretz Daily (Sep 11, 2001)

Attacks consequence of US Mideast policy: Islamic Jihad - AFP/Yahoo! Singapore (Sep 11, 2001)

Israel fears new enemy within - Baltimore Sun (Sep 11, 2001)

Israeli Tanks Encircle West Bank City - Reuters (Sep 11, 2001)

9 Die in New Mideast Violence - (Sep 10, 2001)

Surge in violence threatens talks - The Times (UK) (Sep 10, 2001)

No longer intifada, not quite war - Christian Science Monitor (Sep 10, 2001)

Mid-East truce talks to resume - BBC (Sep 10, 2001)

Peres, Arafat to meet Tuesday evening at border - AFP/Yahoo! Singapore (Sep 10, 2001)

Israel's shock at Israeli bomber - BBC (Sep 10, 2001)

In surge of violence, Mideast blasts kill 8 - Boston Globe (Sep 10, 2001)

Expert: Bomb wake-up call to Israeli Arabs - Jerusalem Post (Sep 10, 2001)

Wave of bombings kills 5 Israelis - USA Today (Sep 10, 2001)

New Mideast Attacks Put Truce Talks in Doubt - Los Angeles Times (Sep 10, 2001)

Five killed as terror hits nationwide - Jerusalem Post (Sep 10, 2001)

Israel Attacked From Within - Washington Post (Sep 10, 2001)

Israeli Arab's Suicide Bomb Points to Enemy Within - NY Times (registration req'd) (Sep 10, 2001)

Some Israelis Hoping for a Concrete Line in the Sand - Los Angeles Times (Sep 10, 2001)

Cops: Suicide Bomber an Israeli Arab - AP (Sep 10, 2001)

Arafat plans to escalate terror, PM's office charges - Ha'aretz Daily (Sep 10, 2001)

Cabinet nixes buffer zone plan - Jerusalem Post (Sep 10, 2001)

'There was utter pandemonium' - Jerusalem Post (Sep 10, 2001)

Rumsfeld backs Israel's retaliation - Jerusalem Post (Sep 10, 2001)

Israel launches punitive attacks - BBC (Sep 10, 2001)

Cabinet nixes IDF's plans for buffer zone - Ha'aretz Daily (Sep 10, 2001)

September 10, 2002, Boston Globe, Arafat decries terror but softens his terms, by Colin Nickerson, Globe Staff,

RAMALLAH, West Bank - In a major address watched closely by Israel and the United States, Yasser Arafat told the Palestinian Parliament yesterday that he condemns ''every act of terror against Israeli civilians.'' But he stopped short of specifically demanding an end to the bloody wave of suicide bombings and other attacks by Palestinian extremists.

Arafat also accused Israel of ''exploiting'' the Sept. 11 tragedy in the US by seeking to liken its war against Palestinian radicals to the US campaign against terror. But the general tone of his rare address to the elected body - officially named the Palestinian Legislative Council - seemed an almost desperate effort to appear conciliatory at a time when he is increasingly written off as irrelevant by friends and foes alike.

''After 50 years of struggle and bloodshed, enough is enough,'' Arafat said. ''Enough of the struggle and enough bloodshed.''

Breaking from the prepared speech, Arafat even offered to surrender power if asked to do so by the council. President Bush suggested in June that Arafat should give way to new Palestinian leadership. However, Arafat's sarcastic inflection - and the nervous laughter that greeted the comment - suggested it was meant more as a verbal slap against his multiplying critics than as a serious offer to step down.

In his rambling address, Arafat skipped sections of the original draft of the speech - which had been released to some Israeli and Palestinian journalists - in which he was to have urged the parliament to pass a resolution condemning suicide attacks. Arafat omitted a section of the draft that said: ''Suicide attacks against Israeli civilians in buses, restaurants, cafes, and universities give the Israeli government the ability to hide its crimes,'' and should be banned.

Instead he stuck to generalities during an often peculiar performance, his voice occasionally lapsing into incomprehensible mumbles while his lower lip twitched uncontrollably.

Neither the United States nor Israel was impressed by his vague entreaties for peace. A spokesman for the US Embassy in Tel Aviv said Arafat should be judged by deeds, not by words. A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dismissed the address as ''meaningless.''

''Peace and negotiations will not happen until Arafat is gone,'' said Raanan Gissin.

Mark Sofer, an aide to Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, called ''deplorable'' Arafat's failure to call for an end to suicide bombings.

Arafat called for elections for the Legislative Council in January. Yesterday's meeting of the council was somewhat hamstrung because Israel barred 12 members from the Gaza Strip from attending, because of alleged terrorist ties, but they were able to participate by television links.

The Palestinian leader's remarks came against a backdrop of more violence as Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers surrounded three refugee camps in the Gaza Strip.

Troops rounded up militant suspects and blew up a building containing metal-working machinery that had been used to make mortar shells and Qassam rockets, according to the army.

Elsewhere in the Gaza Strip, two Palestinians were killed early yesterday morning when an Israeli tank opened fire as they moved under cover of darkness toward the border. A military spokeswoman said the men were carrying explosives and intended an attack in Israeli territory.

In Jerusalem, three Palestinians were indicted for allegedly plotting to poison food at the city's 70-year-old Rimon Cafe. Using a recipe obtained from the Web site of the radical Islamic Resistance, better known by the acronym Hamas, the trio - one of whom worked as a cook at the landmark restaurant - planned to use tasteless, odorless poisons that would trigger a heart attack hours after ingestion, according to the police.

Arafat's address to the 88-member council, his first appearance before the fledgling body in 18 months, came as his popularity is plunging amid criticism of his authoritarian style, rampant corruption within the Palestinian administration, and his increasing isolation both from other Palestinians and the world community. He met with the legislators in the shattered confines of his headquarters in Ramallah.

Israel shuns Arafat as a terrorist, and says it will no longer negotiate with him. President Bush formally called for Arafat's ouster in a major policy speech in June, saying peace was impossible without new, untainted, and credible leadership. As a result, many Palestinians are now saying openly that the leader's time is past.

Even in the streets of Ramallah, where only a few months ago Arafat was still lionized as the great defender of the Palestinian cause, citizens and politicians alike were suggesting he take his own quip seriously and relinquish power in favor of leaders more willing to create democratic institutions and broker a real peace with Israel.

In the one-hour address, Arafat was plainly seeking to cast himself as a man of the middle by calling for new negotiations between Palestinians and the Jewish state.

In an unusual appeal to Israeli citizens, he said: ''I would like to say that we want to achieve peace with you. We want security and stability for us and for you. This peace is still ahead of us.''

But few analysts believe that Arafat has any real intention of reining in the violent militias responsible for scores of suicide bombings and other attacks that have killed hundreds of Israeli civilians during the two years of the Palestinian uprising.

''He did not come out against all attacks, like Interior Minister Abdel Razeq Yehiyeh,'' said Zvi Bar'el, Middle East analyst for Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper, referring to a leading Palestinan moderate who has sought to persuade radical groups to abandon suicide bombings. ''He did not present any diplomatic plan or vision.''

Globe correspondent Sa'id Ghazali contributed to this report.

This story ran on page A1 of the Boston Globe on 9/10/2002.

Monday September 10, 2001, Jerusalem Post, Nahariya bombing was second at railway station this year, by Sybil Ehrlich,

JERUSALEM (September 10) - Yesterday's suicide attack in Nahariya, in which three people were killed and at least 30 wounded, was the second bombing next to a railway station this year. Two people were killed and 14 wounded in a similar attack outside Binyamina station on July 16. In both cases, the attacks occurred immediately after the arrival of a train from Tel Aviv, when the stations were crowded.

An attempt to blow up a passenger train on the main Haifa-Tel Aviv line south of Kibbutz Ma'agan Michael on May 16 failed when the bomb was detonated by the rear locomotive of the train, causing minor damage to the engine but no casualties.

Asked what security measures Israel Railways is taking to safeguard passengers, IR spokesman Benny Naor said security guards carry out safety checks of luggage at all stations.

In addition, IR employs security personnel on every train.

The guards are in constant communication with the security forces.

Naor said IR has asked the Treasury for increased funds for security.

Twenty trains per day arrive in Nahariya, the country's northernmost station, and wait in the platform around 20 minutes before returning to Haifa and Tel Aviv.

Passenger services returned to normal shortly after yesterday's bombing.

Monday September 10, 2001, Jerusalem Post, Arab monitoring committee condemns attacks, by Itim,
JERUSALEM (September 10) - Following the first suicide bombing attack by an Israeli Arab, the Arab monitoring committee yesterday released a statement condemning all acts of violence against innocent people, Palestinian and Israeli alike.

However, the statement says the cycle of bloodshed is a consequence of Israel's "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and its failure to respond to "the requirements and conditions of a true and just peace."

"We believe that an end should be put the government's continuing policy of targeted actions against the Palestinian people, which cause... painful responses" that contribute to instability and the lack of security between the Palestinian and Israeli people, the statement said.

Only a renewal of dialogue on peace between the two sides can break the horrible cycle of violence and achieve true peace, the committee members said, because there is no way to overcome the Palestinians militarily.

The statement added that the committee perceives the Israeli-Arab community as a factor with the strength to assist in peace efforts, and as an inseparable part of the country's citizenry that simultaneously identifies with the Palestinians.

The council of the Western Galilee village of Abu Sna'an, the home of Mahmoud Shaker Habishi, the bomber, decided in an emergency meeting to notify Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President Moshe Katsav that it condemns the attack.

"We are in shock and have not yet digested the news. The terrorist acted on his own behalf and not in the name of a single person from this village," village council chairman Faouzi Mishlab said.

If the state decides to destroy the home of Habishi, the village of 11,000 will understand, he added.

Monday September 10, 2001, Jerusalem Posr, Rumsfeld backs Israel's retaliation, by Janine Zacharia,

WASHINGTON (September 10) - Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld voiced support yesterday for Israel's retaliatory attacks against Palestinians terror, saying: "I think that any time people are doing suicide bombings and blowing up your people at bus stops and in restaurants, you certainly cannot sit there and tolerate that."

He told Fox News Sunday that "you have an obligation to your people to take action to try to reduce that level of violence or to eliminate it if humanly possible."

On another morning talk show, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice left open the possibility that President George W. Bush will meet with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat at the UN General Assembly later this month, but she said no meeting is planned right now.

"The president has said that he will meet with people when it is necessary to meet with people to advance the cause," Rice said on NBC's Meet the Press. "But at this point in time there are no plans for the president to meet with Yasser Arafat in New York."

On Friday, senior administration officials had recommended to Bush that he meet Arafat at the UN as part of a fresh basket of Middle East diplomatic initiatives. The idea is to use the General Assembly to repair US-Arab relations that have been strained by US support for Israel in the conflict with the Palestinians. Bush is still mulling over the idea.

It was not clear whether yesterday's series of deadly attacks on Israeli civilians will affect prospects for a Bush-Arafat meeting. The US is first waiting to see if sessions between Arafat and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres go ahead and succeed in producing a cease-fire and resumed security cooperation.

In her interview, Rice expressed regret over the deaths of innocent Israelis. "Let me express condolences to the families of the people who lost their lives today," she said.

"The violence against innocent civilians is really senseless, and it just shouldn't continue. And we're working every day with the parties to try and lower the level of violence."

Rice also said the US had recently received "new assurances from the Palestinian Authority that they are trying to stop the violence," but she added that the administration still believes the PA can and needs to do more.

PLO Ambassador Hassan Abdel Rahman said the PA has frequently conveyed to the Americans through direct and indirect channels that it is trying to halt the violence. Last week, Arafat spoke by telephone to Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Rahman said Arafat communicated to Powell "that always the Palestinian Authority will do what they can, but there has to be the right environment. That as long as the Israeli army continues its execution-style assassinations of Palestinians and bombardment of Palestinian institutions... that environment is not conducive."

The US, under pressure from Arab countries and the international community to more deeply engage, is trying to figure out a way to use the General Assembly that opens September 23 to display American leadership.

Rice said yesterday that the US is "very engaged." But her predecessor, former president Bill Clinton's national security adviser Sandy Berger, said the US needs to do much more.

Writing in the Washington Post, Berger warned that the deepening conflict in the Middle East threatens to"radicalize the region with far-reaching consequences for the United States."

Berger said the US needs to join with the international community and insist on "seven days of accountability, with a high-level diplomatic presence on the ground demanding compliance each step of the way and prepared to turn the international spotlight brightly on any temporizing."

Berger, who had a direct hand in the failed Camp David peace talks, said the goal now is much narrower than a broad peace deal. Now the sides need to as rapidly as possible establish a political process that will lead to "mutual disengagement," he suggested.

(Melissa Radler contributed to this report.)

September 10, 2001, Jerusalem Post, Expert: Bomb wake-up call to Israeli Arabs, by Miriam Shaviv

JERUSALEM (September 10) - The first suicide attack by an Israeli Arab should serve as a wake-up call for Israel's Arab population, according to Elie Rekhess, head of Tel Aviv University's Program on Arab Politics in Israel.

"There have been few examples of Arab-Israeli involvement in terrorism before, but this is a very definite escalation," he said.

Rekhess insisted that it is "too early to tell" whether other Israeli Arabs will adopt the suicide-attack tactic. "Most of the Arab population is very worried at this development, because it could hurt the delicate relationship between Jews and Arabs," he said. "This confers legitimacy on those on the Jewish side who recently began to claim that Israeli Arabs are a fifth-column."

Rekhess noted that Shawki Hatib, chairman of the Arab leadership's monitoring committee, condemned the suicide bombing in Nahariya. "If the situation continues to deteriorate, I think we can expect to see the Arab leaders doing their best to calm the atmosphere and do everything they can to rebuild trust with Israeli Jews," he said.

He said the escalation can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the deterioration in relations between Jews and Arabs following the deaths of 13 Arabs during the riots in October; increasing religious extremism and the growing influence of fundamentalists in the West Bank and Gaza; mounting Palestinian nationalism among Israeli Arabs; and worsening socioeconomic conditions.

"There is a general atmosphere of confrontation, which draws people in," he added. "The great number of suicide attacks by Palestinians has made the tactic seem more legitimate, just because it is becoming more routine."

Rekhess said that the government has to prevent Jews from displaying more hostility toward Israeli Arabs.

"Had the government dealt with the Arab sector's problems, the atmosphere may have been less hostile and the suicide bomber may have thought twice," he said.

Regardless of the bombing, Rekhess maintained that "the government must begin to deal with all of the financial problems in the Arab sector and open a dialogue between Arab Israelis and Jews about coexistence.

"These tasks may become harder as a result of yesterday's events, but that doesn't mean we should give up and let the situation deteriorate further. That's the test of leadership."

September 10, 2001, Jerusalem Post, Five killed as terror hits nationwide, by Margot Dudkevitch,

JERUSALEM (September 10) - Five Israelis were murdered and more than 100 wounded - most suffering from shock - in three terror attacks that rocked the nation yesterday. Suicide bombers struck Nahariya and the Beit Lid junction near Netanya, following a fatal drive-by shooting in the Jordan Valley.

For the first time, an Israeli Arab perpetrated one of the suicide bombings, in Nahariya, after being recruited by Hamas in the West Bank.

Israel accused Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat of instigating the attacks at a time when when preparations are under way to organize a meeting between him and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.

In retaliation, IAF Apache helicopters targeted several Palestin-ian security installations and Fatah Tanzim headquarters in the West Bank. Palestinians evacuated all security installations and other institutions affiliated with Fatah and the PA in the West Bank and Gaza, fearing a harsh reprisal.

Ya'acov Hatsav, 41, and Sima Franco, 24, were murdered early yesterday morning 300 meters south of the Adam junction. A car overtook a minibus transporting teachers to the Geffanim junior high school in the Jordan Valley, and its occupants were sprayed with gunfire, The Palestinians fled toward Nablus.

Hatsav, who was driving, and Franco, a kindergarten teacher who was sitting next to him, were killed instantly. Three other teachers - Yael Klein and Shlomit Amiton, of Shedmot Mehola, and Yochi David, of Beit She'an - all suffered light-to-moderate wounds.

Klein, whose condition was described as moderate, was airlifted to Hadassah-University Hospital in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem, suffering from gunshots in the back and shoulder. David and Amiton, wounded lightly by fragments, were taken to Ha'emek Hospital in Afula.

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two-and-a-half hours later, Sgt. Daniel Yifrah, 19, Yigal Goldstein, 47, and Morel Derfel were killed and 94 wounded in a suicide bombing at the entrance to the Nahariya train station. Mahmoud Shaker Habishi, of the Western Galilee village of Abu Sna'an, blew himself up after waiting for passengers to disembark from a train from Tel Aviv.

Among the wounded were a one-week-old baby and several residents of Habishi's village. The wounded were taken to Nahariya Government Hospital. Last night, 17 of them remained in the hospital, none with life-threatening wounds.

The Islamic Movement condemned the attack in Nahariya and claimed that Habishi was not a member.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

Pini Malka, the owner of the cafeteria at the station, said his life had been saved even though he was only five meters from Habishi when he detonated his bomb.

"I went to get change from my daughter, who works nearby, and as I returned I saw a man holding a large cardboard box and a bag. It looked like the box was about to fall, and several people went to help him. Then he detonated the bomb."

Malka said he was thrown into the air and landed 20 meters away.

"I got up and raced back to see how my daughter was. My restaurant was totally destroyed. I took my daughter and raced away from the area in case there was an additional explosion," he told reporters in the hospital, where he was treated for light wounds.

At 1:15, a suicide bomber exploded two bombs in his car as he waited for a traffic light to change at the Beit Lid junction. His car snapped in two from the force of the blast, in which 13 Israelis were wounded, the majority motorists stopped near the bomber's car. The explosion set fire to an empty bus and a number of vehicles.

For hours afterward, one of the busiest highways in the country was closed until the flames were put out and police sappers were able to dismantle mortar shells and other explosives in the car that failed to detonate.

Police believe the suicide bomber had planned the attack further along the highway near an IDF hitchhiking station or in Netanya, but detonated his bombs prematurely after spotting a Prisons Service van behind his car.

Deputy Sharon District police chief Cmdr. David Franco said police believe the bomber came from Tulkarm. The license plates on his car came from a vehicle stolen in Petah Tikva.

Magen David medic Amit Dilon told The Jerusalem Post that he arrived minutes after the explosion and saw heavy smoke billowing from vehicles at the intersection. The terrorist, he said, was lying near his car, and he and others assisted motorists to leave the area. The wounded were taken to Laniado Hospital in Netanya and Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera.

Yesterday afternoon, helicopters hit the Fatah office in Ramallah and a Palestinian Police position near Kabatiya, south of Jenin, the army said. Earlier, helicopters struck at a Fatah headquarters and a Force 17 post in El-Bireh, reportedly causing heavy damage.

Other gunships were dispatched to Jericho, where they fired rockets into a storeroom belonging to Palestinian Authority General Intelligence, setting it alight.

Tanks also fired at a Palestinian roadblock near the village of Mesanen al-Shabiyeh, east of Nablus.

Five Palestinians were reportedly lightly wounded by shrapnel in the Jericho attack, but there were no reported casualties in the other attacks, because most of the buildings were abandoned in fear of a reprisal.

"The targets hit were continually used to plan and carry out violent terror attacks," an IDF statement said.

The defense establishment held the PA responsible for the terror, since it is allowed to operate in its territory and the PA has done nothing to stop it.

The IDF said that the PA had also ignored repeated requests to arrest terrorists on their way to carry out attacks.

(Arieh O'Sullivan contributed to this report.)

September 10, 2001, Jerusalem Post,  PA was repeatedly asked to arrest suicide bomber, by Margot Dudkevitch,

JERUSALEM (September 10) - Israel had demanded several times that the Palestinian Authority arrest, Mahmoud Shaker Habishi, 48, from the Western Galilee village of Abu Sna'an, after receiving concrete information of his intention to carry out a suicide bombing.

Security officials also knew of Habishi's contacts with Hamas terrorist Kais Adwan in Jenin. Adwan is responsible for sending a number of suicide bombers.

The PA, however, ignored the request to apprehend both Habishi and Adwan, and at one point claimed that Habishi was not residing in areas under its control.

Ten days ago, security forces raided Abu Sna'an and searched several homes, including Habishi's. Habishi had fled the area at the time of the raid.

Habishi, the first Israeli Arab to perpetrate a suicide bomb attack, is a prominent member of the Islamic Movement, and is married to two women and the father of a number of children.

Several days ago, he left his home and met with Hamas members in the Jenin area. On learning of his activities, Israel once again demanded the PA arrest him. After receiving additional information over the weekend that he was still in Jenin, Israel once again requested he be apprehended.

Habishi was considered to be the village spiritual leader of the Islamic Movement faction headed by Raid Salah. In the 1980s, he was involved in a number of activities linked with terrorists in the West Bank, and in the 1990s he became extremely active in the Islamic Movement. Last year, he ran as the movement's candidate in the local council election. Since August, he has been involved in Hamas activities in the West Bank, including the planning of suicide bombings.

In the past, Israeli Arabs have been involved in assisting terrorists to perpetrate attacks. Last week, a number of youths from Dir Hanna were arrested for their involvement in terrorist activities and their direct link with Hamas terrorists in Samaria, especially Jenin.

September 10, 2001, Jerusalem Post, 'There was utter pandemonium'
By Daniel Ben-Tal

NAHARIYA (September 10) - At 10:40 a.m. yesterday, the intifada reached this normally quiet seaside town, where Jews and Arabs have traditionally coexisted in relative peace.

Mahmoud Shaker Habishi's suicide bomb killed two, wounded almost 100, and knocked people to the ground as far as 50 meters away - and its shock waves reverberated throughout the town.

"There was utter pandemonium," said Kohava Ben-Lula, 40, whose family-run bakery is only 30 meters away. "There were dozens of customers in the shop, and everyone was screaming, running in all directions, shouting 'terrorist attack.'

"In those first few seconds, you don't know what to do. Now that a few hours have gone by, I feel a terrible fear, one that you can't understand without experiencing it."

Her son Nissan, 17, was in the back arranging merchandise when the bomb exploded.

"I was showered with flying glass, but was saved from serious injury because a quick-thinking workmate pulled me behind a heavy refrigerator.

"The shock still hasn't set in, but one thing is clear: Something has changed for us today. The violent events of the past year that always seemed so far away on television are now here."

"We have many Arab customers," said Kohava. "I know that they are not guilty of anything, but I'll have to treat them with suspicion from now on."

"The Arabs will always remain our neighbors," added Nissan. "This is a fact of life - it's got nothing to do with politics."

The Ben-Lulas' usually-packed bakery was empty for much of the afternoon, as residents mainly stayed away, allowing the municipal cleanup crew to sweep away the piles of shattered glass, as police sappers scrutinized the remains of the bomb.

"Aren't you scared to be here after what happened this morning?" asked a rare customer. "What has happened, has happened," Ben-Lula replied reassuringly. "There's nothing to fear."

But once the customer had left, she admitted that dread had begun to set in. "It's been a traumatic day. Tonight I'll go home, put my feet up, and weigh up in my mind what is going on here."

Revital Daddon, 31, of Ma'alot, was late for a coffee date in the cafe that took much of the blast.

"I was just crossing the road, when this terrible explosion sent me hurtling to the ground. I wasn't hurt physically, but my ears are still ringing and I'm shaking inside. I saw body parts fly through the air - it will take me time to recover from that."

Unlike previous terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Netanya, few extreme right-wing demonstrators showed up at the scene. A massive police cordon around the area and the solemn atmosphere ensured there were no impromptu demonstrations. A handful of youths tried to incite bystanders, but the police were quick to quell them.

Mor Sasson, 10, was in class at the nearby Givat Katznelson School when she heard what she thought was a Katyusha hitting. "But it was much louder and all the windows shook. I cried when the principal gathered us together to tell us that there had been a bomb and that people had died - and so did most of my classmates."

"I was scared," admitted Mor's twin brother Oshri.

"I ran home to my mother, crying," said Moran Cohen, 11.

Now the youngsters were standing outside the bomb site, screaming, "Death to the Arabs" into a bullhorn.

"Let them all go to hell," said Mor.

"A good Arab is a dead Arab," Moran chanted, but as her playmates joined in, a police officer turned off the bullhorn, bringing the game to an abrupt end.

September 10, 2001, Cohen: Violence mandates end to Labor conflict, by Gil Hoffman

JERUSALEM (September 10) - Labor Party secretary-general Ra'anan Cohen will conduct separate meetings today with Labor chairmanship candidates Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg and Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer in an effort to mediate a compromise that would end the conflict that has raged in Labor since last Tuesday's primary.

Cohen shortened a meeting of Labor's Election Board yesterday due to the three terrorist attacks, and decided the board would not reconvene until after tomorrow afternoon's funerals.

Cohen said the conflict with the Palestinians has trivialized the conflict in Labor and that he hopes the security situation will expedite the process of naming a Labor chairman.

"We have a country in trouble and this party has to come back to its sense of proportion," Cohen said. "I will try to persuade both candidates that, because of the situation in the country, they have to reach a compromise.

"After hearing about three terrorist attacks, you simply cannot talk about petty internal party concerns."

Knesset Law Committee chairman Ophir Pines-Paz, who was neutral in the race, attempted to mediate over the weekend, urging both sides to agree to a recount in the most problematic polling stations. But Burg rejected the plan, and submitted additional appeals on stations in the Moshav sector.

The number of appeals filed by lawyers for both candidates yesterday rose to 67, of the 527 polling stations.

Election Board chairman and Givatayim Mayor Effi Stensler briefly met with the lawyers and agreed on a procedure for bringing the appeals. Stensler termed the current situation in the party a "pressure-cooker" and said the lawyers angered the board with their many demands.

"Everyone on the board has a job and we are all doing this voluntarily, except for the lawyers, I suppose," Stensler said. "It seems that the lawyers have plenty of time, but the party does not have time."

A meeting of Labor ministers, in which Ben-Eliezer and Burg were supposed to meet for the first time since the election, was also postponed due to the attacks, as was a political rally thrown by Pines-Paz at Labor Party headquarters.

September 10, 2001, BBC News,  Israel launches punitive attacks,
 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK

Israeli missiles destroyed this Palestinian police HQ

Israeli tanks and helicopters have been pounding Palestinian targets in the West Bank in retaliation for a series of attacks against Israeli civilians over the weekend.

A Palestinian policeman was killed in one of the pre-dawn assaults, on the village of Tamoun, near Jenin.

A Palestinian man hands out sweets after the weekend violence 

The attacks were in response to Palestinian violence on Sunday that included two suicide bomb attacks and a drive-by shooting.

Five Israelis and three Palestinians were killed. Two of the Palestinians who died were blown up in their own suicide bombings.

Planned talks between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres have now been rejected by the Israeli government, the French news agency AFP reported.

Israeli spokesman Raanan Gissin said the security cabinet meeting on Sunday had "ruled out a Peres-Arafat meeting in Egypt".

Monday morning's Israeli tankfire injured at least three other police officers, one seriously, Palestinian officials said.

On Sunday night, Israel also conducted strikes on five other Palestinian security targets in the West Bank, as part of what Israeli radio reported as a government policy to intensify retaliation against Palestinian violence.

Bloody weekend

The deadliest attack carried out by the Palestinians on Sunday was in the northern coastal town of Naharia.

Three Israelis were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the train station.

At least 10 people were reported injured by the bomb.

For the first time, an Israeli Arab is suspected of carrying out the bombing.

Israeli officials said identity papers near his remains identified him as Muhammad Saker Habashi, 48, from a village near Naharia.

Police said his identity had yet to be confirmed by forensic tests.

A second suicide bomber later exploded his device near a bus at the busy Beit Lid intersection, near the central town of Netanya.

The bomber died and three Israelis were injured.

US national security adviser Condoleezza Rice condemned the bloodshed as "senseless" and said the Palestinians should do more to stop the violence.

The latest attacks took place as Israel's security cabinet met to discuss measures to stop militants getting into Israel.


The Israeli Government accused the Palestinian Authority of doing nothing to stop suicide bombers.

The vehicle after the drive-by shooting

The Palestinian Authority rejected the Israeli allegations and issued a statement condemning all attacks on civilians as well as the subsequent missile strikes.

In another incident on Sunday , two Israelis were killed and three injured in a drive-by shooting in the West Bank.

A car with a Palestinian number plate overtook a minibus transporting teachers to settlers' schools in the Jordan Valley and opened fire.

The bus driver and a teacher died in the attack, police said.

The militant group Islamic Jihad said it carried out the attack.

Separately, a Palestinian was killed and another was injured in the Gaza Strip by Israeli soldiers, Palestinian security forces said.

Recent bomb blasts

9/8/2001: 15 killed in Jerusalem restaurant suicide bombing
2/6/2001: 21 dead and 60 injured in Tel Aviv disco attack
2/11/2000: Car bomb kills two in Jerusalem market

The militant Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine told Reuters news agency the men belonged to their group and were on a mission to strike inside Israel.

Correspondents say the latest violence will play into the hands of members of the Israeli cabinet supporting more stringent security measures around the West Bank.

Ministers discussed the situation on Sunday but they are reported to have rejected an army request to set up a series of buffer zones around the West Bank.

The army plan envisaged making a strip of West Bank land next to Israeli territory off-limits to Palestinians.

Palestinians say such zones would make their lives intolerable.

But the Israeli Government has imposed a traffic ban on Palestinians using the Jordan Valley road in the West Bank.

August 20, 2003, New York Times, Bombing Kills 18 and Hurts Scores on Jerusalem Bus, by James Bennet,

A Palestinian suicide bomber killed at least 18 people, including children, when he detonated an explosive packed with ball bearings tonight aboard a city bus crowded with families, some of them returning from Judaism's holiest site, the Western Wall.

The blast resounded across Jerusalem as it peeled up the roof of the bus and blew out its windows, smearing human remains on a preceding tour bus and opening a deep wound in the American-backed peace effort.

More than 100 people were reported hurt, many seriously, in one of the deadliest attacks in almost three years of conflict. Men carrying blood-spattered children raced toward approaching ambulances. On a street strewn with broken glass and bloodied sheet metal, a man knelt near the shattered bus to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on a toddler.

Later, in a hospital here, Yaacov Bahar, 35, held his hands in the air in front of him, as though he were still carrying an infant, as he described helping bring four children from the bus.

"In my eyes, I'm still seeing the nightmare," said Mr. Bahar, who was being treated for shock.

Breaking off security talks tonight, Israel froze all contacts with the Palestinian leadership after the bombing.

A senior Israeli official said Israel would probably seal Palestinians into their cities and towns again on Wednesday, reimposing tight travel restrictions that had been loosened somewhat as the peace effort took hold in recent weeks.

The attack tonight was claimed by members of both Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The Israeli police said the bomber was from Hamas.

Palestinian and Israeli officers had been discussing how Palestinian forces would assume responsibility from Israel for policing two West Bank cities, continuing an exchange of control called for by the peace plan, known as the road map.

But Israeli officials reacted to the bombing with fury tonight, and expressed frustration toward a peace plan they said was endangering their security.

"Israel cannot be the perpetual testing ground for peace proposals that the Palestinians fail to implement," said Dore Gold, an adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

In Gaza City, the Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, told reporters, "I declare my strong condemnation of this horrible act that doesn't serve the interests of the Palestinian people." Mr. Abbas said he offered "my real sorrow" to the families of the victims.

Israeli officials noted that Israel had recently softened its own demands on the Palestinian leadership, insisting only that it supervise the people Israel considers terrorists and prevent them from committing new attacks, rather than putting them in jail.

The bombing tonight appeared certain to renew Israeli and American pressure on Mr. Abbas, to take more forceful action against militant groups.

Mr. Abbas said he had ordered his minister of security, Muhammad Dahlan, "to immediately investigate this attack and to take the necessary measures regarding its perpetrators."

Mr. Abbas and Mr. Dahlan have resisted taking action against militants, seeking instead to persuade them to abide by a unilateral suspension of attacks on Israelis declared on June 29. The bombing tonight occurred as Mr. Abbas was meeting in Gaza City with leaders of Islamic Jihad in an effort to extend the cease-fire, which was to last three months.

Mr. Abbas was scheduled to meet on Wednesday with leaders of Hamas, but he canceled that meeting after the bombing.

Since June 29, Hamas has claimed responsibility for only one other lethal suicide bombing, killing one Israeli a week ago in stated retaliation for Israel's killing days earlier of two Hamas militants. Saying that terrorists are using their declared cease-fire to re-arm, Israel has continued to raid Palestinian towns and cities in recent weeks for what it says are wanted terrorists.

In a videotaped statement, the bomber who committed the attack tonight attributed it primarily to an incident that took place before the cease-fire was declared, the army's killing in June of a local Hamas leader in Hebron.

Fireworks burst over Hebron tonight as Palestinians there celebrated the bombing.

Militants from Islamic Jihad and Hamas submitted competing claims of responsibility for the attack. Although political leaders of Hamas in the Gaza Strip denied any link to the bombing, the Israeli police, which recovered an identity card of the bomber at the scene, said he was connected to Hamas. "He's identified as Hamas," said Superintendent Gil Kleiman, a police spokesman. He said it was possible the two groups were acting together.

Israel killed a leader of Islamic Jihad last week in Hebron and the group has vowed to avenge that death.

In the West Bank city of Hebron, a Hamas cell released a printed statement claiming the attack, as well as a videotape of the man that Israel said carried it out.

In the videotape, the man identified as the bomber, Raed Abdul Hamid Misk, 29, appeared with a rifle in one hand and a Koran in the other. "We are proud to offer ourselves and our lives and our houses as a present to this religion," he said in Arabic. Switching to English, he said, "The people of Palestine commit themselves to cease-fire, but the criminal Sharon refused this commitment and killed many people in Palestine."

Mr. Misk was working toward a master's degree from An-Najah university in the West Bank city of Nablus, his family said.

Mr. Misk left behind two children and a wife, Arij Joubeh, in the sixth month of pregnancy. She said of her husband, "All his life he was saying, 'Oh God, I wish to be a martyr.'"

Members of Mr. Misk's extended family were hastily removing possessions from their family home tonight in anticipation of its demolition by Israeli forces, a standard Israeli reprisal for suicide attacks.

Mr. Misk detonated his explosive about 9:15 p.m. near the middle of the articulated No. 2 bus. The bus had just crossed the boundary from east Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in the 1967 war, and had entered the west Jerusalem neighborhood of Shmuel Hanavi, home to devoutly religious Jews.

On March 2, 2002, a suicide bomber struck about a block away, killing nine Israelis, including six children.

There were many children aboard the bus this evening, survivors said. Zvi Weiss, 18, a seminary student from Borough Park, Brooklyn, said he was sitting in the second row, squeezed in with three children. One of the children had been left in a vacant seat by his mother, who then pushed the baby carriage toward the back of the bus, he said.

"His mother was in the back, so I think -- I don't know what to think," Mr. Weiss said. He said he leaped through a window and ran as the explosion enveloped him in "smoke, noise, the smell of fire." He was being treated in Bikur Holim hospital for shrapnel wounds to his arms, which had stained his white shirtsleeves crimson. He was having trouble hearing, a common difficulty of bombing victims.

Yehiya Luria, 38, said the bus was "so full that you couldn't have put a pin in there." He said he was seated at the far back, and also escaped through a window. "There was a lot of blood on me -- blood, bits of flesh, teeth, hair," he said. He was being treated for shock.

"It was a miracle," he said of his survival. "I prayed at the Western Wall today."

Nearby, a 2-year-old boy lay in another hospital bed, holding a white blanket and a foil bag of snacks as he sucked on a red pacifier and silently watched the bustling ward. His aunt said he had been riding in a sedan that smashed into the back of the bus, and that he was slightly wounded. She said his name was Abraham.

Initial reports by the authorities said five children were among the dead. The police reported removing 18 bodies from the bus. The bodies and body parts were enclosed in black or white plastic bags, which were placed in a traffic circle among three small trees. Investigators opened the bags to take photographs of the dead to identify them.

Generators hummed as emergency workers in the harsh white glare of portable lamps scoured the red-and-white bus for the remains of the dead.

In the shadows, hundreds of young men in the white shirts, black coats and broad-brimmed black hats of the devoutly religious gathered on the sidewalks and rooftops, outside a police cordon, to survey the scene.

Three hours after the bombing, a spokeswoman for another hospital, Hadassah Ein-Kerem, said no one had claimed a month-old baby boy brought from the scene, raising the possibility that his parents had been killed.

"He is a very sweet 4-week-old baby boy," the spokeswoman, Yael Bosem-Levy, told Israel Radio. "He has light injuries. He has impact wounds to his stomach, and the entire time he has been here he didn't cry even once."

During Cease-Fire, a Rising Death Toll

In addition to the victims of the bus bombing yesterday in Jerusalem, Israeli-Palestinian violence since the June 29 cease-fire has claimed more than 20 lives in several incidents.

THURSDAY -- Israeli troops kill a local commander of Islamic Jihad, prompting a vow of retaliation from the group.

AUG. 12 -- Two Israelis die in separate suicide bombings claimed by Hamas and Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades.

AUG. 8 -- Three Palestinians and an Israeli soldier are killed in a firefight and ensuing protest.

JULY 28 -- The body of a missing Israeli soldier is found in an olive grove near an Arab village.

JULY 25 -- An Israeli soldier fires a machine gun into a vehicle stopped at a checkpoint, killing a 4-year-old Palestinian boy.

JULY 22 -- Israeli police officers on high alert shoot and kill an unarmed Israeli Arab.

JULY 9 -- A Palestinian gunman is killed during an Israeli raid.

JULY 7 -- A Israeli woman is killed when her home is leveled by a Palestinian suicide bomber.

JULY 5 -- A bomb aimed at an Israeli military post kills a Palestinian.

JULY 3 -- Israeli troops pursue and kill a Palestinian militant.

August 16, 2004, Ha'aretz, A degrading memorial

The question is whether the ultra-Orthodox public in Israel, including its leaders and its spokesmen, is prepared to rid itself entirely of the view that non-Jews are not really human beings. If the answer is negative, this does not bode well for initiatives that aim to nurture dialogue and understanding between various segments of the Israeli public.

In the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Beit Yisrael, the Jerusalem municipality has erected a memorial to the fatalities of the August 2003 terror attack on the No. 2 bus: a memorial plaque bearing the names of those who were killed. The name of one of the dead, Maria Antonia Reslas of the Philippines, was engraved separately from the others, and she was given the title "Mrs.," while the Jewish dead were awarded the title "sainted" (kadosh). "Shortly after the ceremony," the newspaper (Haaretz Hebrew edition, August 9) reports, "there was already evidence of the scratching that unknown persons had done over Reslas' name."

The damage to the plaque is an ugly act of vandalism but the plaque itself, which officially declares that one of the dead is a second-class victim because she is not Jewish, is far more shameful and ugly. This is not a matter of an act by extremists. The hand hesitates to write this, but the truth must be told: The municipality of Jerusalem decided to degrade the woman who was killed out of consideration for the feelings of the public.

These things are not being written out of a tendency to "devour the ultra-Orthodox." This phenomenon, about which the ultra-Orthodox public complains a lot, does indeed exist, and it deserves condemnation like any other manifestation of hostility toward an entire community. However, the story of the plaque brings to mind a phenomenon of the opposite sort: The mayor of the city of Jerusalem is an ultra-Orthodox politician, Uri Lupolianski, who was elected with the help of the votes of a considerable number of liberal voters who remembered to his credit his praiseworthy activity at Yad Sarah [an organization which provides medical equipment to the needy].

The terrible suicide attack on bus No. 2, in which entire families were killed, aroused profound identification among the general public with its ultra-Orthodox victims. Many people spoke, with admiration and even envy, about the dignified way in which the ultra-Orthodox coped with their disaster. That is to say, precisely on the background of this incident there has been an evident willingness on the part of many secular people not only to respect the ultra-Orthodox, but also to recognize the seemly aspects of their world.

Is it really the halakha (Jewish religious law) that necessitated the degrading inscription of the name of the woman who was killed? It is known that the halakha prohibits the burial of Jews and non-Jews together. Does this prohibition also apply to a memorial plaque? If the title "kadosh" is reserved, according to tradition, exclusively for Jews, would it not have been possible to relinquish it? And if indeed there is no possibility, according to the halakha and tradition as interpreted by the ultra-Orthodox, of mentioning Jews and non-Jews together in a dignified way, would it not have been preferable not to have posted the plaque? Are official memorial plaques a religious requirement?

The truth is that this is not a matter, in this case at least, of halakhic requirements. However, this is also not merely a manifestation of insensitivity, but rather of a perception that is deeply rooted in broad circles of ultra-Orthodox society - even if it must not, of course, be attributed to every single ultra-Orthodox person. This perception refuses to accept a non-Jewish person as being of equal worth and to internalize the fact that here, in Israel, we are not a Jewish community that is concerned only for its members but rather a sovereign state that is responsible for everyone who lives in its territory.

This attitude toward non-Jews has nothing to do with the Jewish-Arab conflict and the feelings of fear and hostility that it arouses; the dead woman who was treated with contempt in Jerusalem is a victim of Arab terror. Nevertheless, it is clear that this basic approach toward non-Jews has implications in the Jewish-Arab context. Public opinion surveys show that hostility toward the Arabs is stronger among the ultra-Orthodox than among other segments of the public.

Is an ultra-Orthodoxy possible that is not based on these perceptions? It is to be hoped that it is. There are ultra-Orthodox Jews abroad that differ from this approach in important respects. In Israel, too, there are examples of a different approach: Yad Sarah, for example, also cares devotedly for non-Jews in need. The question is whether the ultra-Orthodox public in Israel, including its leaders and its spokesmen, is prepared to rid itself entirely of the view that non-Jews are not really human beings. If the answer is negative, this does not bode well for initiatives that aim to nurture dialogue and understanding between various segments of the Israeli public.

The writer is a lecturer in history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

August, 20, 2003, BBC News, Bus bomb carnage in Jerusalem,
Wednesday, 03:30 GMT 04:30 UK

It was the biggest suicide attack in Jerusalem since mid-June. A suicide bomber has wrecked a bus in Jerusalem, killing up to 20 people and injuring about 80 others.

The blast took place at about 2100 (1800GMT) in an ultra-Orthodox area - Shmuel Hanavi - near the old dividing line between east and west Jerusalem.

The militant Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad both said they carried out the attack.

The Israeli Government responded by cutting all contact with the Palestinian leadership and put on hold all talk of transferring security control in West Bank towns and cities.

Israel is also reimposing a total closure on the West Bank and Gaza, allowing no Palestinians in or out.

The BBC's Chris Morris in Jerusalem says even hardened Israeli ambulance workers were stunned by the appalling injuries caused by the blast.

First Islamic Jihad said it was behind the attack. It had vowed revenge last week after Israeli troops killed one of its leaders in the West Bank town of Hebron.

But later, a videotape released in Hebron showed a man who identified himself as a member of Hamas, and announced he would carry out the suicide bombing.

There are reports that the bomber was disguised as an ultra-Orthodox Jew when he carried out the attack.


Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, who is committed to the US-backed peace plan known as the roadmap, has decided to break off contacts with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Palestinian officials say.

Mr Abbas - also known as Abu Mazen - denounced the bombing as "a horrible act which does not serve the interest of the Palestinian people at all".

A video showed a Hamas supporter claiming responsibility

He was meeting Islamic Jihad leaders in the Gaza Strip at the time of the explosion, in a new effort to persuade them to halt attacks.

At the end of June the main Palestinian militant groups declared a ceasefire, after coming under international pressure to support the roadmap negotiations.

US President George W Bush said the Palestinian Authority needed to move to "dismantle and destroy" militant groups and that the United States was prepared to help.

Israeli-Palestinian violence had subsided significantly since the militants' ceasefire declaration.
Tuesday's explosion was the most deadly in Jerusalem since a bus bombing killed at least 17 people in mid-June.

The BBC's James Reynolds in Jerusalem says that 20 to 30 ambulances arrived on the scene within minutes.

Rescuers said the dead included as many as three children.

The bus destroyed in the blast had been heading back from the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site.

A second bus passing nearby at the time was also badly damaged, with windows blown out. Rescuers had to use blow torches to reach some of the wounded.

Withdrawal talks

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators had been close to reaching an agreement on the future of the West Bank towns of Qalqilya and Jericho in the hours before the bombing.

Israel appeared to be on the verge of handing over the towns to Palestinian control, backing down on a demand that the Palestinian Authority arrest wanted militants in the towns.

But weekend talks on a military withdrawal from the towns failed to satisfy Israeli security concerns, the main one being how the Palestinian Authority could guarantee that militants will not launch future attacks from there.

Witnesses describe carnage

Tuesday, 19 August, 2003, 23:06 GMT 00:06 UK

In pictures: Jerusalem bus blast

A suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus in Jerusalem, killing up to 20 people and injuring more than 100 others

The bus was packed with Jewish worshippers returning from the Western Wall

Rescue workers rushed to the scene to help the injured 

Many of the victims were immediately evacuated to hospital for emergency treatment

Hospital officials said that many of the victims were young children

Police combed the scene searching for any material evidence

Officials later began the grim task of identifying the dead

Crowds of angry and shocked Israelis gathered around the bus, some chanting Death to Arabs!

Witnesses said passengers were blown out of the bus 

August 19, 2003,  BBC News,  'Everything went black' 
Tuesday, 22:38 GMT 23:38 UK,

Body parts littered a Jerusalem street after a suicide bomber blew up a bus on Tuesday, killing up to 20 people, witnesses said.

Reuters correspondent Barry Moody, who was near the bus when it exploded, said he saw "three dismembered bodies, including a severed arm, a severed lower torso and a woman with her chest blown out".

"There's actually a piece of human flesh, I believe, 20 metres (65 feet) from one of the two buses."

The bus was packed with Orthodox Jews returning from evening prayers when the bomber struck.

"I had just come home from praying at the Western Wall and was heading home," said 18-year-old Zvi Weiss, who was on board the bus but escaped unharmed.

"The bomb went off at the back of the bus. Everything went black. I climbed out of the broken window and started running. All around me there were people covered in blood, screaming, some with limbs missing," he said.

Pinchas Kraner, who was attending a barmitzvah celebration nearby, said children came running into the building in panic after the blast.

"They told us they saw bodies flying. I ran outside and was gripped by the smell of charred flesh," he said.

Zelig Feiner, an official of the ultra-Orthodox rescue service Zaka, said there were "small babies bleeding on the ground".

"One of our workers was leaning over an infant, no more than 15 months old, giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation," he told Reuters. "It was hopeless."

Jerusalem bus bombed: 20 murdered, more than 100 wounded, by israelinsider staff August 20, 2003

At 9:15 pm, a Hebron Arab dressed as a religious Jew exploded on a double-cabin bus crowded with Jewish families returning from the Western Wall. The death toll rose to 20 overnight with the death of an infant at Hadassah Hospital. There are at least 5 children among the dead and about 40 children are wounded.

The bomber reportedly boarded near the Western Wall and moved to the center of the #2 bus, which proceeded up Shmuel Hanavi Street in the Beit Yisrael neighborhood. At the corner of Barlev Street, an explosion ripped the roof off the bus and caused a fireball inside the bus. Another nearby bus was damaged by shrapnel from the blast, as were other vehicles and structures.

Body parts were blown into the surrounding street. The stench of burned flesh hung in the air, witnesses reported.

"I can see three dismembered bodies, including a severed arm, a severed lower torso and a woman with her chest blown out. There's actually a piece of human flesh, I believe, 20 meters from one of the two buses," said Reuters reporter Barry Moody.

Zelig Feiner, an official of ZAKA, the ultra-Orthodox group that dispatches crews to all Israeli bomb scenes to pick up body parts, said the scene was as gruesome as any they had encountered in 34 months of Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians. "There were small babies bleeding on the ground. One of our workers was leaning over an infant, no more than 15 months old, giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation," he said. "It was hopeless."

The rescue workers put the fatalities into white bags and stacked them side-by-side. The smaller bundles held the corpses of children, some of whom were babies in diapers.

Israel suspended all diplomatic moves and imposed a full closure on Gaza and the West Bank for an indefinite period. No Palestinians or goods will be allowed into Israel until further notice. The level of security preparedness was raised to Level 3, one short of a state of emergency, and police reinforcements called up. There are reportedly 32 terror alerts, the highest level since the ceasefire (hudna) was declared.

Condemnation and cooperation 

The United States condemned the attack. "We condemn this act of terrorism in the strongest possible terms," White House spokesman Sean McCormack said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and the victims."

The Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, who was meeting at the time of the blast with representatives of Islamic Jihad, one of the organizations which claimed responsibility for the attack, also joined the chorus of condemnation. "I announce my strong condemnation of this terrible act which does not serve the interest of the Palestinian people at all and I have given my instructions to the security minister to launch an investigation.''

Abbas was reportedly seeking an agreement with Islamic Jihad on extending the hudna.

Palestinian Minister of Information Nabil Amr added: "We strongly condemn the attack and we are completely against putting the lives of civilians into danger," said.

The bomber, who appeared in a video holding the standard-issue embossed Koran and Kalashnikov, was identified as Raed Abdel-Hamid Masqa from Hebron, father of two and member of Hamas. Islamic Jihad claimed credit in broadcasts over Lebanese radio stations soon after the blast. Israeli officials believe that both terror organizations cooperated in the attack.

The Hamas terrorist was employed as a teacher in Hebron as well as an imam, an Islamic clergyman. Arij Masqa, wife of the murderer, said she was not sad about her husband's deed and was delighted his lifelong wish could be fulfilled. "God gave Raed something he always dreamed of. All of his life he dreamed of being a martyr," she said.

Medics strive to resuscitate a toddler. (AP)
A medic comforts a wounded survivor.

The terrorist exploded near the center of the double-cabin #2 Egged bus

Report: Israel issues ultimatum and will act if PA delays crackdown, by Ellis Shuman and Israel Insider staff

Army Radio reports this evening that Israel has informed the United States that the IDF will take military action in response to Tuesday's suicide bombing attack in Jerusalem if the Palestinian Authority does
not act "within hours" against the Islamic Jihad and Hamas groups that claimed responsibility for the blast, in which 20 Israelis were killed and more than 130 people were injured.

Following the attack, Sharon froze all contacts with the Palestinians and the planned transfer of security responsibilities in Jericho and Kalkilya this week was cancelled. In addition, the IDF imposed a
general closure in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and took up positions to block off Palestinian towns. Palestinian workers were not allowed entry into Israel.

In the security talks it was decided not to deport Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat or take over Arafat's Mukata government compound in Ramallah, Israel Radio reported. Earlier, Transportation Minister Avigdor Lieberman called on the army to level the Mukata on all its inhabitants, and Internal Security Minister Tzachi Hanegbi warned that Arafat's "time had come." This week Mofaz told the cabinet that Arafat continues to give a "green light" to terror and works constantly to undermine the leadership of Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).

A senior IDF officer said that the government would not launch a wide-based military response to the terror attack similar to last year's Operation Defensive Shield, Army Radio reported. "Most of the efforts will be directed at centers of Hamas and Islamic Jihad activities, not only in Hebron, but throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip," the officer said.

Military sources told ynet that the army would respond to the terror attack, and there were a number of alternative scenarios for an Israeli response. "We view this terror attack very seriously, but we must respond with our heads, and not with gut reactions," the sources said.

Diplomatic officials said the terrorists' hudna (temporary cease-fire) was "no longer relevant" and that Israel would no longer accept the "double game" of how Hamas and Islamic Jihad were using the hudna as a cover for renewed terrorist activities.

Senior Hamas spokesman Dr. Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi said his organization was "committed to the cease-fire" but warned that "all Palestinian factions, Islamic and national... will answer any crimes or any terrorist activity that have been committed. This operation comes as a reply to the occupation crimes which have not stopped against the Palestinian people," he said.

Talks will continue but on a "different basis"  Writing today in Haaretz, correspondent Aluf Benn said the terror attack was expected following the IDF's killing last week of Islamic Jihad commander Mohammed Sider during an arrest attempt in Hebron. The attack showed the government's impotence to Palestinian terrorist,

Alex Fishman, writing today in Yediot Aharonot, said that the hudna was nothing more than a bad loan buying for time, one that Israel had to repay with high, murderous interest. Fishman defined last night's
terror attack as "strategic" and a "turning point," and that from now on, Israel would have to act differently.

"We can continue with the 'road map,' continue with the cease-fire, but the rules of the game have changed," Fishman wrote. "If the Palestinian Authority doesn't start, already last night, to beginning arresting Hamas and Islamic Jihad members and begin collecting their weapons, they have not yet learned the lesson."

"Things can't continue as they have been in the last few weeks," said Industry and Trade Minister Ehud Olmert. "We can't continue to negotiate while there is still terror."

"The game is over," said Justice Minister Yossef (Tommy) Lapid. "The PA can no longer hide behind the word hudna without taking strong measures against the terrorist organizations. Abu Mazen and [PA
Minister of State for Security Mohammed] Dahlan must decide if they want peace with us or peace with the terrorists."

"After this terror attack, Israel will not continue to appease the PA so long as it does not fulfill its responsibilities under the road map," said Health Minister Danny Naveh.


Sharon's Hands Tied by... Breach with Bush

The tragically high proportion of children and babies among the 18 dead and 120 injured in the latest Palestinian terror atrocity appears to have shocked prime minister Ariel Sharon out of his uncharacteristic meekness in the face of rising Palestinian demands and surge of terror. Two Palestinian suicide attacks went by last week without response.

But Tuesday night, August 19, a Hamas imam, Ra'ad Misak from Hebron, detonated his bomb belt in the middle of a busload of families returning from the Jerusalem's Western Wall.

The Sharon government finally roused itself to freeze talks with Palestinian leaders over the handover of four West Bank towns and suspended all exchanges and contacts with Palestinian representatives. Israel had been on the point of turning over the first two towns, Jericho and Qalqilya, by the end of the week, after dropping its basic demand for tight surveillance over wanted terrorist murderers.

Ever since the Aqaba summit on June 4, these exchanges were based on Israel falling back step by step in the face of Palestinian demands, compromising even on its most fundamental condition, namely that the
new leaders of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas and Mohammed Dahlan, first dismantle terrorist structures as laid down in article one of the road map. Israel did not stiffen even when the Palestinians
were far from upholding the ceasefire they themselves had declared six weeks ago.

Tuesday morning, Israel's security chiefs laid a confidential report before the prime minister which revealed that Dahlan and his men were staging sham anti-terrorist crackdowns to fool Washington. Later that
day, the Palestinian minister quite openly elevated Rashid Abu Shback, his sidekick when he ran the Gaza Strip terror machine at its peak in 2000 and 2001, to command the newly merged West Bank-Gaza Strip
preventive security service. Abu Shbak is on Israel's wanted terrorist list.

The question commonly asked in Jerusalem in recent weeks was: why does the Sharon government put up with this mockery and keep the negotiations going, knowing they will go round in circles and end up at starting point, the resumption of full-scale suicide terror?

The answer discovered by DEBKAfile's Washington and Jerusalem sources is that Sharon entered the process from a position of weakness. The best-kept secret in Jerusalem, one which explains the Sharon
government's exceptional docility, is this: the warm personal rapport prime minister Ariel Sharon developed with US President George W. Bush is no more. A widening breach has taken its place, dating from the
June 4 Aqaba summit which anointed Mahmoud Abbas Israel's Palestinian partner in the process to revive the Bush peace plan.

Since then, the Bush-Sharon relationship has gone downhill.

The first impediment appeared when the Iraq War ended its combat phase and Bush embarked on the fulfillment of his long-term vision. Since it also entailed replacing incumbent Arab regions of the Middle East with democratically elected, enlightened leaderships, Bush believed that in the long run Israel would benefit. Sharon supported the vision but with unrealistic expectations.

He soon woke up to the realization that Israel's strength, military, social and economic, had been cruelly eroded by three punishing years of warfare against intrusive Palestinian violence and it could not afford to wait for the fulfillment of the US president's plans. Even worse, America's first steps on the way to its goals expose Israel to great, possibly existential, danger. Sharon's diplomatic and defense policies, hinging on unswerving loyalty to the Bush line, were now proving untenable because of the conflict between the Bush
administration's postwar strategy and Israel's vital security interests.

Ever since he was cut out of the White House loop, the Israeli prime minister has locked himself away, denying access even to his closest aide and main go-between with the White House, chef de bureau Dov
Weisglass, whose frequent trips to talk to Condoleezza Rice have stopped abruptly. Sharon trusts no on else to talk with officials in Washington. Foreign minister Silvan Shalom is not considered capable of handling high diplomacy; neither is the Israeli ambassador Danny Ayalon.

DEBKAfile's political sources discovered that Sharon's breach with the White House, a secret in Israel outside inner governing circles, has made him vulnerable to the rising tide of personal attacks buffeting
him day by day by factions who sense a chance to unseat him. Two allies, defense minister Shaul Mofaz and trade and industry minister Ehud Olmert, tried out a plan, supported by friendly circles the US congress, to restore the terms of trust between Bush and Sharon. The plan was for Sharon to go the extra mile for the sake of the Bush peace plan by preserving the ceasefire, notwithstanding continuing terrorist initiatives, and, despite the absence of a single Palestinian finger raised to stamp out violence, offer to hand over to Palestinian control not one but four West Bank cities.

The planners forgot to keep an eye on the Palestinians.

Sharon's magnanimity was interpreted as a sign of weakness and its cause, the ebb in Sharon's relations with the US President, quickly picked up in Ramallah, which thereupon raise the level of terrorist threats. Abbas and Dahlan decided to parlay Sharon's moment of weakness into political capital in their own camp. DEBKAfile's intelligence sources report that, in the first week of August, the pair called on Yasser Arafat and bragged that their clever machinations had damaged the Israeli prime minister's standing in the
White House. They tantalizingly asked Arafat how many years it had taken him to make trouble between Washington and Jerusalem.

Arafat did not rise to the provocation. He kept silent and prepared a rejoinder.

Since then, the Palestinians have carried out three suicide attacks against Israelis, although more were attempted. The last one on Tuesday was staged at the very moment that Abu Mazen was in negotiation with Palestinian Islamists for a ceasefire extension after the first three months are up at the end of September.

Instead of being extended the truce was effectively cut short. The bid to save the ceasefire and the Bush-Sharon friendship both ran into the sand at the very moment that the two leaders stand in need all the help they can find to confront the rage of Arab terror.

Parents cried out: Where are our children? by Ellis Shuman August 20, 2003

Six children were among the twenty people killed in Tuesday night's suicide bombing attack on
a Jerusalem bus, and more than forty children were among the injured. An injured baby was
discovered under corpses on the bus. "You have to remember the target of the attack, a moving
bus bringing families who had been praying at the Western Wall," said government spokesman Dore

51 of the more than 130 people injured in the bombing were still hospitalized in Jerusalem
Wednesday morning; 12 of them were listed in serious condition. Pathologists at the Abu Kabir
Center for Forensic Medicine were struggling to identify the victims of the attack. One of the
dead was Lilach Kardi, 22, from Jerusalem. At least one of the victims was an American citizen,
media reports said.

State Pathologist Dr. Yehuda Hiss said the identification process was more difficult than usual
due to the force of the blast, and due to the fact that many of the victims were children.

At the time of the attack, the Egged #2 bus was crowded with families returning from prayers at
the Western Wall. The terrorist detonated his explosives on Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem's
Beit-Yisrael neighborhood, not far from the scene of a previous terrorist bombing attack in
March 2002, in which nine Israelis were killed.

Israeli television channels repeatedly showed scenes of paramedics carrying away children with
blood-smeared faces as initial reports of the terror attack were received.

Zaka workers, members of the Identification of Victims of Disaster first response team, arrived
at the scene from a gathering they were holding nearby. Zaka chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav said
that when he entered the burnt bus to help rescue the injured, he was shocked to discover a
baby, fully conscious, lying under two corpses at the back. "The infant, three months old, was
on the back seat under the bodies and crying. We were sure there were no more survivors, and we
were very excited to find this one alive and well."

Zaka members said they managed to save another infant severely injured in the blast, but one
young child, aged 18 months, died of his injuries overnight, raising the death toll to twenty.
According to a Maariv report, the young child has not yet been identified.

For hours, parents searched Jerusalem's four hospitals for their children, and hospital crews
searched for parents of injured children whose parents were not nearby. Many families were
evacuated to different hospitals; other families were wiped out totally by the terrorist blast.

"He's dead; I know he's dead," screamed Ora Cohen, who was moderately injured in the blast and
didn't know where her child was for many hours. "He was so small; we only just celebrated his
Brit Milah. I just know he's dead," she said, quoted in Maariv.

Later, a neighbor came to Cohen's bedside and told her that her two children were hospitalized
with light injuries at Hadassah University Hospital in Ein Kerem, ynet reported.

© 2001-2003 Koret Communications Ltd. All rights reserved.

August 21, 2003, BBC News, Analysis: End of Roadmap? by Roger Hardy, BBC Middle East correspondent, Thursday, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK  ,

The Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad have ended their ceasefire after an Israeli missile attack in Gaza killed one of Hamas' senior officials, Ismail Abu Shanab.

Abu Shanab's car was destroyed by Israeli missiles

The groups had declared a three-month ceasefire in June, but a bus bomb in Jerusalem earlier this week - for which both groups claimed responsibility - left 20 people dead.

What many had predicted after Tuesday's bus bomb in Jerusalem has now happened.

The fragile ceasefire - which had at least reduced the level of violence over the last seven weeks - has collapsed, and with it any lingering hope of implementing the latest peace plan, known as the roadmap.

Serious blow

The Israeli Government never took the ceasefire seriously, and argues it is entitled to kill Hamas leaders since the Palestinian Authority is failing to stop suicide attacks like the one in Jerusalem.

Experts question Sharon's policy of targeted assassinations

But Israel has questions to answer, too.

Why has it chosen to revive its controversial policy of assassinating leading Islamic militants, when this was bound to kill off the ceasefire?

And why target a man who was not in the military wing of Hamas, but a senior political figure - and one regarded as relatively pragmatic?

It is not clear whether Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had a green light from Washington.

He may have thought he had.

But coming hard on the heels of the bombing in Baghdad, the death of the ceasefire is a serious setback for the Bush administration's efforts to reform and reshape the Middle East.

How long before Israel kicks all Arabs out of Israel for security reasons? America -Please stop pushing Bible Probe

Is any plan to create a terrorist state a "Peace Plan"?

Why can't the U.N. prove their worth by resettling all of these bad Israeli Arab "citizens" with their own kind in West Jordan? Bible Probe agrees with Israeli Foreign Minister Netanyahu that the U.S. plan of creating a Palestinian state within Israel (and giving them full independence by 2005), is an existential threat to the state of Israel, and no roadmap where tiny Israel gives up land can lead to any good outcome. Israel belongs to the Jews by a divine Deed, and nobody else. It says so in the Jewish-Christian Bible, and it says so in the Islamic Qu'ran. God promises to "Bless those who bless the Jews" both via His Word in Scripture, and by His Son's reassurance that Scripture is true...

President Bush is either naive or stupid to think that the Palestinians will follow any road map. They want all of Israel essentially because of their Islamic decree that once a territory is occupied by Muslims it cannot be returned. They have not followed any of the "rules of the road map" and don't intend to. Palestinian "puppet President" is being controlled by Arafat, which in no way a democratically elected official. Israel has taken all steps to comply. When Israel began erecting a security fence to protect themselves (and the Palestinians) the Palestinian propaganda machine began screaming bloody murder, claiming Israel's fence is against the peace process and is causing the Palestinians "unbearable" economic problems. Even though more free billions in aid have been given the Palestinians than any other people, the Palestinians have built no economic infrastructure and rely solely on Israel for economic survival. Where did all that aid go? Look to secret private bank accounts, weapons purchases, propaganda payments, and payments to families whose children blow them selves up for the promised evil orgy in the sky that is Islam. Has anyone told you yet that Libya is now chairing the United Nations Human Rights Commission?

The 4 October 2003 "Palestinian" suicide attack in Haifa ripped apart a popular seafront restaurant where Jews and Arabs had worked together and lived together for decades.

The Maxim restaurant, run jointly by a Christian Arab and a Jewish family, was packed with families having lunch.

Suddenly we heard a tremendous explosion. We saw smoke pour out of the restaurant," said a passing motorist, Navron Hai.

"Families were dead around the tables, there were children without limbs."

Israel's history of bomb blasts

There have been well over 100 Palestinian suicide bombings in the past four years. Below are some of the most deadly.


Feb 22, 2004 - A suicide bomber on Sunday killed at least seven passengers on a crowded bus in Jerusalem at the height of rush hour, according to police in the city and Israeli ambulance services. The suicide bomber also died in the terrorist attack, which wounded more than 50 people, 11 of them seriously.

Jan 29, 2004 - Eleven people were killed and over 50 wounded, 13 of them seriously, in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus no. 19 at the corner of Gaza and Arlozorov streets in Jerusalem. The Fatah-related Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack, naming the bomber as Ali Yusuf Jaara, a 24-year-old Palestinian policeman from Bethlehem.

Jan 14, 2004 - Four Israelis - three soldiers and one civilian - were killed and 10 wounded when a female suicide bomber detonated a bomb at the Erez Crossing in the Gaza Strip. Hamas and the Fatah Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed joint responsibility for the attack.


Dec 25, 2003 - Four Israelis were killed and over 20 wounded in a suicide bombing at a bus stop at the Geha Junction, east of Tel Aviv, near Petah Tikva. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack.

Nov 3, 2003 - A suicide bomber blew himself up in the West Bank village of Azun, near Kafr Qasem, when he saw Israeli security officials searching for him. One IDF soldier was lightly wounded. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade claimed responsibility for the failed attack

4 October: A suicide bomber blows herself up in a packed Haifa restaurant, killing at least 19 people including three children.

9 September: Two separate suicide attacks leave at least 15 people dead and scores wounded in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

In the first attack, at least eight people were killed - including the bomber - at the entrance to the Tzrifin Israeli Defence Force base, near Tel Aviv.

Hours later, a bomb attack outside a popular cafe in west Jerusalem left at least seven dead.

19 August: A suicide bomber wrecks a bus in Jerusalem, killing at least 20 people and injuring up to 100 others, in a serious blow to peace efforts. Hours later, Israel halts the handover of West Bank towns and cuts off contacts with Palestinians officials.

12 August: At least four people are killed and dozens injured in two suicide attacks by Palestinian bombers in Israel and the West Bank.

In the first attack, an explosion rips through a shopping centre in the central Israeli town of Rosh Haayin near Tel Aviv, killing two people and injuring at least 10 others.

Shortly afterwards, another suicide bomber blows himself up among a group of Israeli soldiers at a bus stop outside the Jewish settlement of Ariel, in the West Bank.

19 June: A suicide bomber kills himself and an Israeli man, owner of a grocery shop in Sde Trumot, a small village a few kilometres from the West Bank in northern Israel.

11 June: Sixteen people are killed in a bus bomb in Jerusalem, in the first suicide attack since US President Bush's peace summit a week before. It follows an Israeli air strike on 10 June aimed at killing Hamas leader Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi in Gaza.

Within an hour of the bus attack, Israeli helicopters launch another attack in Gaza, killing several people, reportedly including a top militant.

19 May: At least three people are killed and 18 injured in a suicide attack on a shopping mall in the northern Israeli town of Afula. The bomber is reported to have been a woman.
Earlier, three Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip are injured when a suicide bomber riding a bicycle detonate explosives strapped to his body.

18 May: Seven people are killed when a suicide bomber blows himself up on board a bus in northern Jerusalem. A second attacker kills himself minutes later as emergency crews arrive but no-one else is seriously hurt. The blasts come hours after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon held the first talks with his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, better known as Abu Mazen.

17 May: A Palestinian suicide bomber disguised as a religious Jew kills an Israeli man and his pregnant wife in the West Bank town of Hebron.

An attacker targeted a popular nightspot in Tel Aviv

30 April: A suicide bomber attacks a popular cafe in Tel Aviv, just hours after a new Palestinian cabinet wins approval under Abu Mazen who has pledged to crack down on militants. At least four people including the bomber are killed and dozens more injured.

24 April: An Israeli security guard is killed as he confronts a Palestinian suicide bomber outside a railway station in the town of Kfar Saba.

5 March: A powerful bomb blast ripped through a bus in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, killing at least 15 people. About 40 people were wounded, some of them seriously, in the explosion.

5 January: At least 23 people are killed and 100 wounded when two suicide attackers set off charges in crowded, parallel and adjacent streets during rush hour in Tel Aviv, echoing an attack in July 2001.


21 November: A suicide bomber blows himself up on a packed rush-hour bus in west Jerusalem, killing 11 passengers and injuring scores more.

21 October:A suicide bomber drives a jeep packed with explosives into a bus near Pardes Hanna, killing at least 14 people, as well as the bomber.

10 October: A suicide bomber kills himself and a woman in an attack on a bus stop near Tel Aviv.

19 September: A suicide attack on a bus in Tel Aviv kills five and injures more than 50. A sixth victim - a medical student from Scotland - dies from his injuries the following day.

18 September: A six-week lull in suicide bombings comes to an end, when an Islamic Jihad militant kills himself and an Israeli policeman in the north of the country.

4 August: At least 10 Israelis are killed in a series of violent incidents, including a suicide bomb attack on a bus near the northern town of Safad.

31 July: A bomb in the students' cafeteria at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem kills seven - five of them Americans - and wounds more than 80.

30 July: A suicide bomber kills himself and wounds several Israelis in a fast-food store in Jerusalem.

17 July: A double suicide bomb attack near the old Tel Aviv bus station leaves five dead, including the two bombers, and injures about 40.

19 June: Eight people die including the bomber and 35 are injured in a suicide attack at a bus stop in the French Hill neighbourhood of East Jerusalem.

18 June: A suicide bomber kills himself and 19 civilians in a bomb attack on a bus in southern Jerusalem.

5 June: At least 14 are people killed in an attack on a bus at Megiddo junction, near the border with the West Bank. A suspected suicide attacker is believed to have driven up in a car behind the bus and detonated a bomb.

19 May: Three Israelis killed and nearly 30 injured when suicide bomber disguised in Israeli army uniform blows himself up at market in Netanya.

7 May: Suicide bomber attacks social club in the town of Rishon Letzion, killing 16 people and injuring more than 50. The attack was claimed by the armed wing of Hamas.

12 April: A suicide bomb attack at a bus stop in West Jerusalem, kills the bomber and six other people and injures about 50 more.

10 April: A suicide attack on a bus traveling near the Israeli city of Haifa kills at least eight people and injures dozens more.

31 March: Bomber attacks restaurant in Haifa, northern Israel, killing himself and 14 Israeli Jews and Arabs. On the same day, another bomber kills himself and wounds four people in an attack on an office for paramedics at the Jewish settlement of Efrat, south of Bethlehem.

27 March: In the Israeli resort of Netanya, a bomber blows himself up at a hotel, killing 28 Israelis celebrating Passover. The attack claimed by the armed wing of Hamas was the deadliest since the beginning of the uprising.

20 March: Seven people killed in a suicide bomb attack on a bus carrying mainly Arab labourers near the northern town of Umm el-Fahem.

9 March: At least 11 people killed and 50 injured in suicide bomb attack on a crowded cafe in west Jerusalem, near the official residence of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

2 March: Nine people killed including two babies, and 57 injured after suicide bomb attack in an ultra-Orthodox area of Jerusalem.

27 January: Two people - one a female suicide bomber - die in an attack in a busy shopping area of central Jerusalem.


2 December: A Palestinian suicide bomber blows up a bus in the northern coastal city of Haifa, killing 15 people and wounding more than 100 others.

1 December: Twelve people, including two suicide bombers, are killed in an attack on a Jerusalem shopping centre.

29 November: At least four people die in a suicide bomb attack on a bus in the northern town of Hadera. Islamic Jihad claim responsibility.

9 September: Three people are killed in a suicide bombing at a crowded railway station in the town of Naharia. The bomber is the first Israeli Arab to carry out such an attack.

9 August: Fifteen people are killed and about 90 others injured in a suicide attack on a busy restaurant in the heart of Jerusalem. Hamas admits responsibility.

1 June: Suicide bomb attack on a disco in Tel Aviv leaves 21 people dead and more than 60 others injured. Islamic Jihad claim responsibility.

18 May:Five Israelis are killed and around 100 injured when a suicide bomber belonging to Hamas blows himself up outside a shopping centre in Netanya.

28 March: Three people killed and several others severely injured in a nail bomb attack near a bus stop close to the central Israeli town of Kfar Saba. Hamas admits responsibility.


22 November: Two Israelis killed and 55 wounded by a car bomb that explodes during the rush-hour in northern town of Hadera.

2 November: Two Israelis killed by a powerful car bomb at central Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market, a frequent target of attacks.

"Palestinian" Authority tells Arabs to "Resist US in Iraq"...Palestinian newspapers are full of cartoons and articles mocking the US losses in Iraq and praising the attacks on US soldiers. Jerusalem Post, 10 Nov 03Palestinian Authority National Security Adviser Jibril Rajoub on Sunday launched a scathing attack on the United States and called on Arabs to support "resistance operations" against American troops in Iraq.FULL STORY 

Jibril Rajoub
Photo: Associated Press

Can we forget the Palestinians "dancing in the streets" on 911?

Picture: Reuters A Palestinian fires his rifle as children dance around him at a refugee camp near Sidon in southern Lebanon.

Jubilant Palestinians dancing and chanting in the streets…Palestinian Authority policemen firing their assault rifles in the air…Children being tossed candy in a gala celebration. These are the brazen images the American people saw on their screens as they sat stunned in the aftermath of the barbaric attacks on the United States on September 11. But this footage of Palestinian Arabs reveling in the massacre of thousands of Americans and the destruction of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was only briefly aired.

Palestinian children in east Jerusalem celebrate news of the terror attacks in the US. (AP)

The many anti-American rallies held in Ramallah, Jericho, Gaza, and other places in the territories were not broadcast. Not newsworthy? The Palestinian Authority decided it wouldn't be the best public-relations move and suppressed further coverage.

A student at An-Najah University in Nablus displays her 'official' Osama bin Laden notebook at a protest against the US on 9 Oct 01.

24 Elul 5761 03:47 Wednesday September 12, 2001, Israel Stands with America, Israel declares day of mourning for US attacks, by Herb Keinon

Esther Wachsman, whose son was slain by Hamas in 1994, holds a flag and candle at a solidarity rally at the US Consulate in Jerusalem.

JERUSALEM (September 12) - The fight against terror is an "international struggle of the free world against the forces of darkness, who seek to destroy our liberty and way of life," Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said after midnight last night, in a brief announcement during which he declared today a day of national mourning.

"On behalf of the people of Israel, I wish to send our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the American people, President Bush, and the entire US government following the terror attacks against the US and our common values," Sharon said.

"At this most difficult hour," he said, "all Israelis stand as one with the American people. Our hearts are with you, and we are ready to provide any assistance at any time."

Flags at all government offices will be flown at half staff, and the programs on state-owned radio and television will be compatible with the nature of the day.

In addition, the security cabinet last night decided on a number of security precautions, including:

* the closing of ground passages to Israel;

* the closing of air passages to Israel, except on airlines that have Israeli security;

* a tightening of the blockades around Palestinian cities;

* the passage of messages, through diplomatic channels, to the Palestinian Authority to end the terror.

Magen David Adom has asked that Israelis with Type O blood donate today to MDA stations in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Tel Hashomer. The blood will be flown to the United States.

No comments: