Worthy Christian News » Israel-Palestinian Conflict » Palestinian Leaders Justify Latest Suicide Attacks
April 23, 2001
A roadside bomb exploded this morning on the Trans-Samaria highway close to the Jewish town of Ariel. A reinforced military bus, carrying soldiers to bases in the area, was the apparent target of the attack. No one was injured when the bomb blew up as the bus passed by. Army sappers earlier defused another bomb set to explode outside of the Jewish settlement of Bracha. The bomb was connected to a cell phone timer. The incidents came as hundreds of Israelis are gathering for the funerals of two terror victims killed over the weekend. The first is for 37 year old Stanislav Sandomirsky, whose mutilated body was found in the trunk of his car near Ramallah on Sunday morning. The father of two, who immigrated with his family from the former Soviet Union only six years ago, went missing on Friday afternoon after visiting a friend in the north Jerusalem Neveh Yacob neighborhood. Police believe he took a wrong turn while attempting to take a short cut to his home in Beit Shemesh. His wife, a nurse at Jerusalem's Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital, reported him missing later that day. The second funeral is for 52 year old Dr. Mario Goldin, who was hideously murdered in a suicide attack in the town of Kfar Sava on Sunday morning. The radical Muslim Hamas movement took responsibility for the attack today, and identified the dead suicide "jihad martyr." Around 50 Israelis were injured by the blast, including a 14 year old boy who suffered severe wounds to various parts of his body. Dr. Goldin, father of three and an immigrant from Argentina, was in charge of the rehabilitation unit at a nearby health center. Deciding to take the public bus after his car broke down, he was moving with a crowd to board the bus when the Palestinian Muslim, with a bomb strapped to his body under a coat, blew himself up. Among the many mourners expected at Dr. Goldin's funeral this afternoon are victims of earlier terror attacks that he had treated.
A mother and son watched the Kfar Sava attack take place from their nearby apartment. "I was sitting in our living room when I saw a very strange looking man move into the crowd at the bus stop," said eye witness Uri Amram. "I called to my mother who came to take a look. The man was wearing dirty clothes and a dark jacket, which didn't seem right in the heat wave conditions. When the bus pulled up, he moved with the crowd to the rear door and then blew himself up. We knew something was going to happen, but felt totally helpless to prevent it." Amram said body parts landed in the yard outside of the family apartment, and the force of the blast blew out windows and knocked over plants. Meanwhile hospital officials in the town of Beersheva say that an 18 month old Jewish baby boy, severely injured three weeks ago by a Palestinian mortar shell in the Gaza Strip, has been taken out of intensive care and will begin rehabilitation treatment soon. The toddler underwent a series of operations to save his life and repair some of the damage caused by the mortar blast. Several hundred female students from the area where the mortar shell exploded are holding a demonstration today outside of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Jerusalem office, demanding that the government do more to protect Jewish residents of the Gaza Strip. The demonstration comes after a senior Hamas official revealed that Yasser Arafat's forces have not arrested anyone connected to the mortar firings, despite Arafat's reported pledge on Friday to do so.
Israeli officials say they are upset that Palestinian leaders did not condemn the latest suicide attack, but instead justified it. "The Palestinian Authority cannot act against Hamas while Israeli forces are inside our territory," maintained one PA official. PM Sharon said the PA bore ultimate responsibility for the atrocity, saying "the PA is not working in accordance with the agreements it is committed to regarding preventing attacks of terror against Israel." He noted that PA leaders had pledged to do more to halt such attacks at a high level security meeting held on Saturday night. Despite the terror attack, another meeting is scheduled to take place later today. In light on the ongoing assaults and lack of PA condemnation of the same, some members of the cabinet have criticized Sharon's decision to go ahead with the security meetings. In Gaza, Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin praised the suicide bomber and vowed that more attacks will follow. He maintained that the militant group "does not relish carrying out such attacks, but is forced to do so as a result of Israel's barbaric actions against the Palestinian people." The Lebanese Hizbullah movement, due to hold a series of high level meetings with Hamas officials in Iran later this week, hailed the dead 22 year old Palestinian bomber for having "earned paradise for his part in the jihad war against the Zionist enemy." The message was carried on Hizbullah's TV station which is now being broadcast regularly throughout PA-ruled territory.
Two serious, suppressed security stories came to light in the local media on Sunday. One involved the smuggling of Iranian-supplied Hizbullah weapons into PA areas by a Jordanian truck driver. Israel's Channel Two reported last night that a Jordanian gang had successfully smuggled weapons on several occasions into the West Bank, hiding them inside fire extinguishers and engine parts. Among the weapons smuggled into Arafat's zones were machine guns, assault rifles, pistols and hand grenades. A Jordanian driver was reportedly caught with some of the illegal goods while trying to enter Israel across a bridge over the Jordan River in March. He reportedly confessed to having made four earlier runs into PA zones. The second security breach involves some of Israel's classified nuclear secrets, allegedly passed on to Russian agents. Reports say a 75 year old former Israeli army officer, who was once in charge of the military's weapons development department, has been under arrest for nearly one month, suspected of revealing sensitive secrets to Russian agents. Reports said the retired officer, Yitzhak Ya'acov--known as an important developer of Israel's hi-tech nuclear program--became involved with a Russian woman who used her feminine charms to ply information out of him. Israel is widely believed to possess at least 200 nuclear warheads, although this published information has never been officially confirmed.