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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > US and EU to meet with perpetrators of school bus bombing -Israel Law Center condemns contact with PA's Mohammed Dahlan

US and EU to meet with perpetrators of school bus bombing -Israel Law Center condemns contact with PA's Mohammed Dahlan

March 22, 2007


Dahlan is the key suspect in the bombing of an Israeli school bus in November 2000

Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center condemns the decision by the United States State Department and European Union governments to maintain diplomatic contacts with PLO officials in the new Palestinian Authority (PA) unity government. The newly stated policy includes the decision to meet with recently appointed PA Security Advisor Mohammed Dahlan, a high-ranking official of the Fatah terrorist organization.

Shurat HaDin accuses Dahlan, a former boss of the Gaza Preventive Security Service and his former deputy, Rashid Abu Shabak, of being the chief perpetrators of the November 20, 2000, bombing of an Israeli school bus outside of Kfar Darom.

In the attack two Israeli teachers, Miriam Amital and Gabriel Biton were killed and many school children were seriously injured. American citizen Rachel Assraf was also badly wounded in the attack.. The bombing of the school bus, which crippled three young children from the Cohen family, shocked Israelis and brought international condemnation of the Palestinian Authority.

  • Immediately following the attack on the children, then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak dispatched the Israel Air Force to level Dahlan's Gaza headquarters.
  • Then opposition leader, Ariel Sharon called for Dahlan's "immediate
    assassination" in the Knesset.
  • The Ha'aretz newspaper wrote at the time: "Security sources said yesterday that Israel obtained 'hard' intelligence, prior to the aerial bombardment of Gaza Monday night, that senior figures in Fatah and in Mohammed Dahlan's preventive security apparatus were responsible for the bomb attacks against Israelis in the Gaza Strip, including the bomb which struck a school bus at Kfar Darom on Monday morning, killing two adult passengers and wounding several children."
  • Shortly afterwards, the daily Israeli newspaper HaTzofeh ran a story claiming that American intelligence agencies had intercepted a phone call between Dahlan and Abu Shabak incriminating them in the school bus bombing. Reportedly, the United States had convincing evidence of Dahlan's involvement.
  • Then Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert wrote in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on June 3, 2002, that: "Mr. Dahlan's involvement in terrorism has not been confined to mere nonfeasance but, rather, gross malfeasance as well. Mr. Dahlan, along with his assistant Rashid Abu-Shabak, are the primary suspects in the terror attack on an Israeli school bus in Kfar Darom in November 2000 . . . No democratic state should ever allow itself to do business with those individuals who deliberately target a school bus . . . Criminals such as Mr. Dahlan and Arafat can never be reformed; they must be eradicated by force."
  • Dahlan and Abu Shabak are currently defendants in civil actions filed by the bus bombing victims and their families.

Shurat HaDin believes that maintaining contacts with and promoting an accused terrorist like Mohammed Dahlan, who has targeted Israeli school children, to bolster the so-called "moderate elements" in the new unity government ensures the continuation of the Palestinian Authority's strategy of criminal violence to advance their political goals. The dangerous message being sent is - you can attack Jewish school children and the US and EU will still label you a Palestinian moderate and clamor for your diplomatic involvement.

Shurat HaDin is calling on American and European law enforcement agencies to investigate the Kfar Darom School Bus bombing and undertake efforts to bring Dahlan and Abu Shabak to justice. Those who perpetrated the bombing of an Israel school bus and maimed young children are not acceptable partners for diplomatic efforts. The State Department and the EU must recognize that there is no difference between Dahlan and the other Palestinian Authority leaders from the Hamas who have also targeted Israeli buses.

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