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Terror in Israel By: John Perazzo
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, August 09, 2002

The smell of burning metal and flesh permeated the warm, morning air of northern Israel last Sunday, as the anguished screams of the wounded echoed across the hills of Galilee. Peeking out from amid the mangled steel and charred human remains was a child’s drawing of two hearts — a silent testament to an innocence that is being methodically snuffed out by barbarians who derive their greatest pleasure from wanton slaughter. Such was the scene in the wake of yet another Palestinian bomber’s attack in a crowded public place — this time aboard a rush-hour bus packed with people on their way to work. Nine Israelis were killed and 37 were injured. Just four days earlier, a Palestinian bombing in Jerusalem's Hebrew University cafeteria had killed seven — including five Americans — and wounded more than eighty.

As usual, a militant Islamic group — this time Hamas — gleefully claimed responsibility for the bombings, which were ostensibly carried out to avenge the recent Israeli air strike that had killed Hamas’s military commander Salah Shehadeh, who sat atop Israel’s "most wanted" list. Reflect for a moment upon the huge moral chasm separating the actions of the two sides. While Israel had slain a man who had engineered the deaths of untold numbers of its people, Hamas achieved "retribution" by massacring civilians who were merely going about their daily lives..

But this is nothing new. The story is always the same. The Palestinians indiscriminately slaughter the innocent, and Israel tries to hunt down specific terrorists who have helped to plan and carry out those murders. Consider the most recent Israeli attempt to strike back at terrorism. After Sunday’s bus bombing, the Israeli army demolished the homes of nine West Bank militants and suicide bombers who had carried out or orchestrated attacks against Jews. The army also arrested dozens of suspected terrorists and destroyed at least two houses that were being used as bomb factories. In the West Bank city of Nablus — which Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer calls "the terrorist capital, the departure point for suicide bombers and other would-be attackers of Israel" — soldiers searched shops and houses for militants known to be responsible for recent deadly attacks. In the course of these searches, another bomb-making factory was discovered and destroyed..

All of this is dangerous business, and there is always a chance that some innocent Palestinians may be injured or killed in the process. Rooting out terrorists is not a sterile, surgical procedure. Indeed, in the air strike that killed Mr. Shehadeh, fourteen others were also killed unintentionally. By contrast, the casualties that the Palestinians inflict upon Israeli civilians are quite deliberate. Even a cursory look at some of their recent attacks which have resulted in more than 600 Israeli deaths since September 2000 reveals the horrific bloodlust that animates them..

On January 17, a Palestinian terrorist killed six and injured 35 when he burst into a bat mitzvah reception in a Hadera banquet hall, opening fire with an M-16 assault rifle. Ten days later, one person was killed and over 150 were wounded in a suicide bombing in the heart of Jerusalem. Five weeks later in the same city, eleven people were killed and over 50 were injured when a terrorist detonated a bomb next to a group of women and their baby carriages. On March 5 in Tel Aviv, three Israelis were killed and over 30 were wounded when a Palestinian gunman opened fire on two adjacent restaurants. Four days later, terrorists shot rifles and threw grenades at cars and pedestrians in the city of Netanya, killing two and injuring fifty. Later that day, a suicide bomber exploded inside a crowded Jerusalem café, killing seven and wounding 54..

On March 17, a gunman fired on passersby in the center of Kfar Sava, killing a teenage male and wounding sixteen. Three days later, seven people were killed and thirty were wounded in a suicide bombing aboard a bus traveling from Tel Aviv to Nazareth. The next day, three were killed and 86 were injured when a bomber blew himself to smithereens in a crowded Jerusalem shopping area; the terrorist’s bomb was packed with metal spikes and nails, so as to inflict maximum damage. On March 27, twenty-nine were killed and 140 were injured in a suicide bombing that occurred during a Passover Seder in a Netanya hotel. Two days later, a female suicide bomber blew herself up in a Jerusalem supermarket, killing two and injuring 28. And the month went out with a bang when a bombing inside a Haifa restaurant killed fifteen and wounded more than forty..

On April 10, a bus explosion killed eight and injured 22. Two days later, five were killed and 104 were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated a powerful charge at a bus stop near Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda open-air market. Two-and-a-half weeks later, gunmen forced their way into several Jewish homes and began firing on people in their bedrooms. On May 7, a suicide bomber exploded inside a crowded club near Tel-Aviv, killing fifteen and wounding 55. Twelve days later, three Israelis were killed and 59 were injured when a bomber blew himself up in a Netanya market. On May 22, a bomber detonated himself in a pedestrian mall, killing two and wounding forty. An ice cream parlor was the target five days later, when yet another bomber killed two and wounded 37..

On June 5, a Palestinian car packed with explosives struck a bus traveling from Tel-Aviv to Tiberias, causing the bus to burst into flames and killing seventeen Israelis. Another bus was targeted on June 18, when a terrorist posing as a passenger detonated a bomb that killed nineteen and wounded 74; many of the passengers were students on their way to school. The following day, seven were killed and fifty were injured when a bomber blew himself up at a crowded bus stop in northern Jerusalem..

It is never difficult to identify the culprits in these attacks. The organizations that train and support them — Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — are quick to proudly and defiantly declare their responsibility for the carnage. They view mass murder as their sacred duty in a war whose stated goal — in the very words of Hamas — is to obliterate Israel and drive every last Jew out of the Middle East..

It is also notable that contrary to his own claims, Yasser Arafat is complicit in all these abominations. For he is the same Arafat who, at a 1996 rally of Hamas supporters, encouraged the attendees to follow in the footsteps of Yechya Ayyash, who masterminded many bus bombings. He is the same Arafat who continues to urge Palestinians to use "the weapon of jihad" to achieve their ends. He is the same Arafat who has exhorted all Palestinians to "bring into this world at least twelve children and give me ten of them in order to continue the [jihad]." He is the same Arafat who recently declared that anyone opposed to Palestinian control of Jerusalem could "drink the water of the Dead Sea.".

So much for the "peace process."

John Perazzo is the Managing Editor of DiscoverTheNetworks and is the author of The Myths That Divide Us: How Lies Have Poisoned American Race Relations. For more information on his book, click here. E-mail him at WorldStudiesBooks@gmail.com

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