Yesterday (June 20), a Palestinian woman took advantage of a humanitarian medical clearance to attempt a suicide bombing of an Israeli hospital. Israeli security caught Wafa al-Bas at a Gaza checkpoint and safely detonated the explosives that had been tied to her undergarments.
View AP news video of capture.
This episode highlights three important points that remain largely ignored or misrepresented in media coverage of the Mideast conflict:
1) SUICIDE TERROR: ASPIRATION, NOT DESPERATION
Al-Bas explained to reporters why she carried out the act:
I love Allah, I love the land of Palestine and I am a member of Al-Aksa Brigades... my dream was to be a martyr. I believe in death... Since I was a little girl I wanted to carry out an attack.
Though media outlets often rationalize Palestinian suicide terror as a 'desperate' response to Israeli wrongdoing, al-Bas' statement is the latest indication that the main motivation for the heinous crime is a twisted, lifelong aspiration to achieve 'greatness' via mass murder.
A primary source of this problem is incitement in Palestinian media and culture. On Sunday (June 19) PA President Mahmoud Abbas told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and western reporters that official Palestinian media 'no longer incites against Israel'.
But very little has actually changed. As documented by Palestinian Media Watch, imagery promoting violence against 'illegitimate' Israelis and 'conspiratorial' Jews remains prominent in official Palestinian TV and newspapers. This is a direct violation of the PA's roadmap commitment for 'all official Palestinian institutions [to] end incitement against Israel', and it continues to fuel the ideology behind acts such as al-Bas'.
2) IMPORTANCE OF ISRAELI CHECKPOINTS
The latest Amnesty International report accused Israel of 'crimes against humanity and war crimes' that included 'obstruction of medical assistance'. Such reports invariably receive broad, uncritical media coverage that lacks appropriate context.
Al-Bas' act, however, clearly demonstrates the need for strict Israeli administration of checkpoints and medical permits. She is the latest in a long string of Palestinian terrorists who cynically used their status as medical patients or modest women to perpetrate terror attacks.
An important condemnation of al-Bas was carried only in the LA Times:
"We utterly condemn this action in every respect," said Shabtai Gold, a spokesman for Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, which is often critical of Israeli authorities for impeding Palestinian access to medical care inside Israel.
IDF spokeswoman Sharon Finegold put the matter in perspective: 'These terror organizations are not only the enemies of the Israelis but also of the Palestinian people themselves, who suffer as a result of this abuse of the young, the sick, the wounded.'
3) PA EMBRACING, NOT STOPPING TERRORISTS
According to a Haaretz report, Israeli security received a tip on al-Bas' imminent attack, and gave the PA and Abbas detailed information regarding it, but the PA did not act.
Al-Bas' thwarted effort followed on the heels of a brutal ambush of an Israeli civilian car in the West Bank (pictured), which killed 28-year old Yigveny Rider.
The PA continues to do very little to fulfill its roadmap obligation to uproot terror groups, choosing instead to incorporate terrorist operatives into its political and security leadership.
Media outlets continue to ignore this violation of the signed agreement, describing it as a mere 'Israeli demand', as in this UPI report on yesterday's Palestinian violence:
These seemed to be "perfect" examples for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who Tuesday afternoon is to host Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his official residence in central Jerusalem... Sharon never seems to tire demanding a complete cessation of terrorism, violence and incitement, dismantling terrorist organizations and collecting their weapons.
UPI's jab at Sharon is both an unprofessional editorial comment inserted in a news article, and a complete misrepresentation of the PA's own commitment to the world community to uproot terrorism from its midst.
Comments to UPI: firstname.lastname@example.org