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Friday, October 24, 2003

They Want It All

This Reuters article disturbing
Joint Palestinian Attack Kills 3 Israeli Troops

GAZA (Reuters) - Gunmen killed three Israeli soldiers, two of them women, at a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip on Friday in a joint shooting and grenade attack by the two main Palestinian Islamic militant groups.

The combined assault by Islamic Jihad and Hamas followed an agreement by their leaders at talks in Syria this week to increase coordination of attacks against Israelis in the three-year-old Palestinian uprising for statehood.

The Israeli army said at least one militant infiltrated the heavily guarded Netzarim settlement before dawn and opened fire before soldiers shot him dead. Two of the Israeli dead were women and two other soldiers were wounded, one seriously, it said.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad said two gunmen entered the settlement throwing grenades and then fired shots in a "heroic operation." The Jihad member escaped, it said, and the army said efforts to find the second attacker were hampered by fog.

The attack was a further blow to the stalled U.S.-backed peace "road map" after Israel killed 12 Palestinians, including militants and civilians, in air raids on Monday and Palestinian gunmen killed three Israeli soldiers in an ambush on Sunday.

Israel blamed Friday's attack on Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, who says a crackdown on militants would risk civil war.

"It all boils down to Arafat. As long as he is here he will reject any peace efforts," said Gideon Meir, a Foreign Ministry official.

The Palestinians say Israel is blocking peace hopes. The military wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad said their attacks were a response to Israeli "crimes," meaning the recent air strikes and other military raids.

"We will track you with death, at the hands of male and female would-be martyrs. You have no choice but to leave," they said in a written statement.


In an incident that could increase fears for the security of politicians in the region, Arab-Israeli parliamentarian Issam Makhoul said he feared that an explosion that set his car ablaze in Israel's port city of Haifa had been caused by a bomb planted under it.

Makhoul's wife was in the car at the time but was unhurt. Attacks on politicians are rare in the conflict but Israel's parliament tightened security this week, fearing an attack.

The road map has stalled amid violence, Palestinian political infighting and continuing Israeli building at Jewish settlements.

The Palestinians want Israel to leave the West Bank and Gaza, which it occupied in the 1967 Middle East war. Hamas is also dedicated to the destruction of Israel itself.

Hamas said the man killed on Friday was Samir Fouda, a resident of the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza. About 4,000 people attended a pro-Hamas rally which stopped at Fouda's house."Only martyrdom (suicide) attacks will return Palestine, Jaffa, Haifa and Jerusalem," one speaker told the crowd.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad have killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings and other attacks, usually operating independently of each other. Their leaders agreed in Syria on Monday however to strengthen cooperation in battling "Zionist aggression." They did not say how the groups would cooperate but Adnan Asfour, a political leader of Hamas, said by telephone: "The details were left to the field leaders."

Hours before the attack at Netzarim, a Palestinian gunman shot at an Israeli army convoy in Gaza, lightly wounding at least two people. Soldiers then killed him.
I find this article so typically disturbing.

As a supporter of Israel and Zionism, it's worrisome to see Hamas and Islamic Jihad cooperating.

As a reader of news, it is disturbing to see Reuters say, no doubt in the interest of balance, that blah-blah-blah "Palestinian uprising for statehood," yet admitting that "Hamas is also dedicated to the destruction of Israel itself" and quoting the perpetrators of the "uprising" as calling for the return of "Palestine, Jaffa, Haifa and Jerusalem." Look at a map. This damned Arab war on Israel is either for statehood in the Arab terror-tories or it's for all of Israel. No one, not even Reuters, can have it both ways.

BBC map
"About 4,000 people attended a pro-Hamas rally . . . 'Only martyrdom (suicide) attacks will return Palestine, Jaffa (Tel Aviv), Haifa and Jerusalem,' one speaker told the crowd."

See also recent poll: Fifty-nine percent of Palestinians believe that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad should continue their armed struggle against Israel even if Israel leaves all of the West Bank and Gaza, including East Jerusalem, and a Palestinian state is created, - JPost).

Reuters sets my teeth on edge: Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel, yet "The road map has stalled amid . . . continuing Israeli building at Jewish settlements." A battle between destruction (of Israel) and building (of Israel), and Reuters wants to make the two sides appear equivalent? That's just crazy, and crazy-making for anyone who reads it.