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Suicide attack at bus station Arab response to razing of Jewish Gaza - daily terrorist attacks all over Israel

August 28, 2005

Suicide Attack in Be΄er Sheva Sunday, August 28, 2005

Less than 5 days after Israel completed its expulsion of Jews from Gaza and N. Shomron, 2 people are seriously injured after an Arab terrorist blew himself up outside the Be'er Sheva bus station.

At approximately 8:30 this morning, a terrorist approached the central bus station in the Negev capital and tried to board one of the buses. Security guards suspected and stopped him, at which point he detonated the explosives with which he was equipped. The two guards were seriously wounded, with shrapnel throughout their bodies.

Over fifty others were taken to Be'er Sheva's Soroka Medical Center for treatment, most of them suffering relatively minor injuries or shock.

The terrorist was apparently headed for one of Israel's largest hospitals, Soroka Medical Center. A bus driver of the MetroDan company, who said he was the first to notice the terrorist, recounted, "I was parked at the #9 bus stop when the terrorist arrived and asked if I get to the hospital. I told him that the #12 bus gets there. I saw that he had a large and full backpack and a plastic bag in his hand. I suspected him, and told the guard. He kept his eye on him, brought another guard, and then the explosion happened."

Southern District Police Chief Uri Bar-Lev, who just completed overseeing the cleaning-out of Gaza of Jews, declined comment on reports that the bomber may have been planning a car bomb attack. He suggested that "we wait patiently" until police can piece together all the pieces of the puzzle. Security sources are in pursuit of a suspicious vehicle seen leaving the area of the attack just before the explosion.

Likud MK Ehud Yatom said that today's attack "is a manifestation of the Palestinian intentions, as expressed by Muhammed Def [in his recent videotape] and the Islamic Jihad, to pursue and murder us as humiliated victims. We must restore our deterrence capacities in full strength in order to prevent the fulfillment of the Palestinian dream for another retreat from Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem."

MK Uri Ariel (National Union) said, "The terrorist organizations received a green light from the Prime Minister. He has shown them that terrorism pays off, as it brings to our surrender and retreat."

Ariel further said that Sharon has "already proved to everyone that human life is not a high priority for him. He must resign immediately, before he turns Israel into a terror-stricken country."

Almost a year ago to the day, on Aug. 31, 2004, 16 people were murdered by Palestinian terrorists who perpetrated a double bus bombing in Be'er Sheva.

Hudna Shmudna

Had it not been for the vigilance of an individual bus driver, there would have been wholesale carnage yesterday. That was the intent of the perpetrator of a suicide-bomb attack at the entrance to the central bus station in Beersheba, and of those who sent him.

Suicide bombing isn't an individual undertaking; it is the culmination of a carefully orchestrated effort. The bomber is the agent of an entire terror infrastructure.

It is this infrastructure that the Palestinian Authority has been called upon to dismantle, time and again. Yet when the PA leadership convened yesterday at Abu Dis, they did so not to order the destruction of the terror infrastructure, but to escalate their campaign against Israel's security barrier – a passive defensive measure against Palestinian instigated mass murder. The lack of a fence in the south probably allowed yesterday's bomber to reach Beersheba's bus terminal.

Why does Mahmoud Abbas want to deprive Israel of the physical protection Palestinian terrorism forced it to construct and without which Israelis – like the Beersheba passengers – would be more vulnerable to terrorist predations? There is no way Israel will agree to halting construction of the security fence, and the PA propaganda apparatus might as well get used to that reality.

In the context of the country's painful disengagement from Gaza and parts of northern Samaria, the international community could help stabilize the situation by telling Abbas flat out: Don't expect our support on the barrier while you refuse to crush the terror organizations.

Abbas promised just prior to yesterday's Beersheba blast that the truce he committed the Palestinian side to long ago – a hudna, which was in fact never genuinely enforced – would be of unlimited duration. The world laps up his oratory and makes light of disturbing contradictions such as suicide bombings and the shelling of Israeli towns. But we cannot afford the luxury of overlooking persistent threats to our safety.

We know that many more attacks are hatched than are actually perpetrated.

Israeli security services foil most of them. While promising to continue the hudna, Abbas simultaneously warned he'd be unable to prevent vengeance for Israeli prophylactic strikes. In other words, he denies the legitimacy of Israeli self-defense, arguing that preventing terror will only be punishable by yet more terror.

Thus did Abbas "balance" his condemnation of Sunday's bombing with a condemnation of Thursday's IDF strike in Tulkarm which killed Adel al-Gawi, the Islamic Jihad activist involved in planning several deadly attacks.

Meanwhile, having praised the terrorists to the hilt and credited them with pushing Israel out of Gaza, Abbas continues to campaign resolutely to make sure they are armed to the teeth. This is the dangerous subtext of his demands that Israel forfeit all controls on incoming land, air and sea traffic into Gaza.

Given the murder of Shmuel Mett in the Old City last Wednesday and the stabbing of a border policeman Friday near Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs, it's starting to look as if Abbas wants it both ways: to "condemn" terror, but not to take any practical steps that could put it out of business.

Were he sincere about eradicating terror he'd have put Hamas master bombmaker Muhammad Deif behind bars instead of allowing him to remain at large within his fiefdom to dispatch taped messages exhorting Palestinians to greater bloodshed in order to wrest Jaffa, Safed, Nazareth and Ashkelon from Israel.

Deif's in-your-face harangues are emblematic of what is wrong with the PA.
After giving himself up to its security forces to avoid being captured or killed by Israel, Deif, whose hands are stained with the blood of hundreds of innocent victims, was then allowed to escape from PA custody.

In the new post-disengagement era, Jerusalem cannot afford to ignore prevalent Palestinian perceptions that Israel is on the run. The government must dispel the impression that terror pays.

If, as is bitterly proving the case, Abbas will not dismantle the terror groups himself, he leaves Israel no choice but to do so – starting, as soon as it has established who was responsible for Sunday's attack, with those perpetrators.

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