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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pesach suicide bombings in Tel Aviv almost became an annual event

I am sure many of you, especially in the US, recall the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv last Pesach (Passover) in which 'quality target' Daniel Wultz HY"D, a 16-year old American, was one of those murdered. Late last night, the IDF announced that it almost happened again.

A suicide bomber entered Tel Aviv on the night of the Seder (last Monday night) with more than 100 kilos (220 pounds) of explosives, planning an attack that was reminiscent of the 2002 Seder night massacre in Netanya. But miraculously, the terrorist returned to Kalkilya, where the car exploded in what the General Security Service (SHABAK) is calling a 'work accident.'
The terrorist who drove the car into Tel Aviv made use of the fact that he carries a blue Israeli ID card. He received the ID as a result of his marriage to an Arab Israeli citizen from Taibeh. The ID made it easy for him to drive past IDF roadblocks from Kalkilya – which is under Hamas/Palestinian Authority control – into the nearby Tel Aviv area. His vehicle, too, carried Israel license plates.
For those who have forgotten several months ago a divided Israeli Supreme Court barely upheld the law that now allows Israel to deny citizenship to Arabs from Judea and Samaria who marry 'Israeli Arabs.' Some of you may also recall the remarks of then-Chief Justice Barak about the ruling. If you didn't know before, now you see why that ruling - and the continued enforcement of that law - are so important to Israel's security. Here's another reason why:
Security officials note that Arab terror organizations routinely make use of family ties to Israeli Arabs in order to facilitate terror attacks. The security services have been enabling relative freedom of movement to and from Kalkilya, which is situated in close proximity to the Greater Tel Aviv area, so as not to harm its economy.
Now you all know why the border crossings with Gaza are closed all the time.
The Kalkilya Hamas infrastructure was responsible for the massacre of 21 young Israelis outside the Dolphinarium discotheque in June 2001. After a period of dormancy it has now rebuilt itself, according to security officials. The officials say that from November 2006, Hamas has been upgrading its terror abilities in Judea and Samaria, and preparing attacks that can be carried out at short notice. Iran and Syria have been assisting this project.

The officials say that Hamas has switched phases from preparation of the attacks to implementation, and is now about to launch additional attacks.
For those who have forgotten the Dolphinarium, here is what I reported about it in June 2001:
The big news in Israel tonight is something about which many of you knew before Shabbos, but which I only heard about after Shabbos. I speak of course of the suicide bombing attack outside a Tel Aviv discotheque late last night Israel time. Another of the wounded died today R"L, raising the death toll to eighteen, and there are at least four more wounded, all of whom are young people, who are R"L "pzuyim anushot" (critical condition). Hashem yerachem.

This afternoon, Arafat YMS"H, under enormous pressure from the United States and the European Union (do they finally get it?) called for a cease fire. This time, for the first time, he did so in Arabic. The government does not put much credence in Arafat's call, and apparently has already decided on military measures, but they are giving Arafat several more hours to see if the cease fire is really implemented. There were already stories on the news tonight that Arafat is claiming that he cannot implement the cease fire because of the closure around the Palestinian territories, and there has been shooting tonight at Israeli positions in Azza.

But perhaps this story, posted to the Jerusalem Post web site this morning, sums up why many of us in Israel have had it with the "Palestinians."

[link no longer works. CiJ]

(11:30 Saturday) Palestinians celebrating Tel Aviv bombing
By Arieh O'Sullivan

Upon hearing of the Tel Aviv suicide bombing, scores of Palestinians reportedly took the streets of the West Bank town of Ramallah in celebration. Some armed men fired wildly into the air.

Meanwhile, Palestinian leaders have warned of an expected Israeli retaliation to the bombing, which killed 17 Israelis, mostly young women.

According to reports, Palestinian security forces have evacuated headquarters and other buildings they suspect Israel may target.


Here's another example (from the Associated Press, no less, which is not exactly known for being sympathetic to Israel):

[link no longer works. CiJ]

(23:00 Saturday) Arab League does not condemn bombing
By The Associated Press

All civilians should be protected and spared the Israeli-Palestinian violence, the head of the Arab League said today, a day after a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Tel Aviv disco, killing 18 Israelis and wounding 90.

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, however, stopped short of condemning the suicide bombing, the bloodiest in five years. Foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan, two Arab nations that have peace treaties with Israel, condemned civilian killings, while radical Palestinian groups hailed the bombing as a show of Palestinian determination.

In a statement, Moussa said Israel's heavy hand dealing with the Palestinians only leads to stronger Palestinian resistance.

Moussa said civilians are paying the price for the collapse of the peace process. He called for peace talks to resume with US mediation.

In Jordan, Foreign Minister Abdul-Illah Khatib more directly condemned the disco bombing and urged Israel to "resort to the language of sanity and reason and refrain from being carried away in reactions that would only lead to escalating the crisis."

"Jordan condemns any action that targets innocent civilians no matter what the justification was and regrets that innocent civilians fell victim in the bombing attack in Tel Aviv," Khatib said.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said he was in contact with US, Palestinian and Israeli officials to try to contain the situation.

"Egypt has confirmed in the past that it condemns any attacks on civilians whether Palestinians or Israelis, taking into consideration that the number of civilian victims of Israeli actions is much higher than the Israeli victims. This clearly shows who the source of violence is," Maher told reporters.

Maher said he asked of Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres that Israel avoid any violent reaction that would increase tension in the region. Israeli violence, he said, "increases the possibilities of counter-violence and the situation today should be handled with diplomacy and wisdom."

Syria's state-run Damascus radio said in a commentary that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promised his people security but "came away with nothing but the death of any opportunity for peace, as expected, from a terrorist overburdened by crimes against Arabs."

Moussa, apparently referring to the likelihood of Israeli retaliation for the suicide bombing, said further reactions would only add to a vicious circle of violence. He also warned against pointing fingers of blame.

The Islamic Jihad representative in Lebanon said Saturday that Israel "will not dare to widen the scale of the conflict."

"Any comprehensive military response against the Palestinian Authority or against our people in Palestine will push the entire region into a (united) front to confront the Zionist entity," Abu Imad Al-Rifai told the privately owned Lebanese Broadcasting
Corporation-International TV station.

In Syria, Damascus-based radical Palestinian groups blamed Israel.

Israel is responsible "because it has spared no weapon to repress the Palestinian people and to kill innocent civilians," said Ali Badwan, spokesman for the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in a statement.

Moussa Abu Marzouk, member of Hamas' political bureau said, "It's the right of the Palestinian people, who are languishing under the Israeli occupation, to resist this occupation by all available means." He predicted further attacks.

Other groups echoed similar sentiments.

"Resistance in all its forms is legitimate according to the principles of international law and the Palestinian people would never surrender or accept occupation," Maher Taher of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, told reporters in Damascus.

He added that the United States shares the responsibility with Israel for the latest flare-up because of its silence over Israeli practices.

Lebanon's Hizbullah, which led a guerrilla war against Israeli forces in Lebanon, praised the attack in a statement issued after a meeting involving Hizbullah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and Sheik Faisal Moulawi, secretary-general of the Islamic Grouping, a Lebanese Sunni Muslim fundamentalist group.

"Participants offer congratulations and blessing over the victorious suicide operation," the statement said, adding that the blast shows Palestinians' determination to "break the enemy's security and military measures."


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