Palestinian Carnage Continues

Sunday morning, as Israelis held their breath for the Sharon government to stop the hideous cycle of terror peaking Saturday night at the Jerusalem pedestrian mall, Palestinian terrorists struck again. Snipers shot dead Professor Baruch Singer, a scientist at the Nahal Sorek nuclear reactor, who was driving his jeep on a road between Elei Sinai and Nisanit, in the Gaza Strip. That report was quickly overshadowed by the next blow: at 12:10 Israel Time, 14 passengers were killed instantaneously and 60 injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowded bus in the northern Mediterranean town of Haifa. The morning after the night before, pictures again flashed past of silent covered bodies, a charred and wrecked bus, traumatized commuters and an unusual level of serious injury – as well as the recurrence of the same extra-powerful explosive mixed with nails and bolts that tore into so many young bodies in Jerusalem.
Belying Palestinian official denunciations and protestations of innocence, evidence continues to pour in of a “terrorist coalition” among the Islamic and non-Islamic organizations grouped under the Palestinian Authority, which has launched a wholesale ongoing terror war against Israel on orders from on high. Suicide bombers and terror operatives have been identified as Palestinian police and security officers: Two Palestinian policemen carried out the Afula bus station shooting attack last week. One of the pair of bombers in Jerusalem Saturday night was Nabil Halabiyeh, a salaried member of the Palestinian Authority’s Preventive Security Service in the West Bank, a service headed by Tawfiq Tirawi, one of Arafat’s closest aides.
Nablus has become a bomb laboratory center for all the groups, while Arafat’s own Fatah has established a “suicide unit” in Jenin. The latest cycle of terror attacks are plainly the product of cool, professional planners and organizers. Therefore, the appeals to Yasser Arafat to stop the violence sound increasingly ludicrous.
While President Bush, in advance of his meeting with PM Ariel Sharon in Washington Sunday night, expressed horror and extended his condolences to the Israeli people and “my friend Ariel Sharon”, the would-be US truce mediator, Anthony Zinni, visited the battered and charred Jerusalem pedestrian mall. The former Marines general was moved to describe what he saw as “the deepest evil that one can imagine, to kill young people, children and rescue workers… the work of the lowest form of humanity.”
Israeli government foot-dragging is coming under mounting popular criticism as the funerals proliferate and the terror menace spreads unchecked. No one knows who will be next. The only government member to visit the scene of the Jerusalem outrage was internal security and police minister Uzi Landau. Acting Prime Minister Shimon Peres preferred to call the defense cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv, away from the distraught capital. The mayors of both Jerusalem and Haifa are on overseas junkets.
The deadly terrorist harvest of the last seven days has risen to 32, many of them teenagers. The red terror alert remains in force in all parts of the country. The peak may still be coming. Yet those who bear responsibility for national security mark time for the prime minister’s return. And his reaction too remains to be seen.

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