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Sunday, February 22, 2004

Communique: 22 February 2004
Dear HonestReporting Subscriber,

This morning (Feb. 22) a suicide bomber on a Jerusalem bus killed 8 Israelis - including two teenagers on their way to school - and injured over 60.

The attack was perpetrated by a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. While it is generally accepted that this terrorist group is connected to Yassir Arafat's Fatah party, most major news agencies continued to downplay that relationship in today's reports:

- Associated Press: "The Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a militant group loosely affiliated with Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the attack and identified the bomber as Mohammed Zool, 23, from the village of Hussan near Bethlehem."

- Washington Post: "Hezbollah television station Al-Manar reported that the bombing was carried out by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the militant group that associates itself with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement..."

- CNN: "The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades - the military offshoot of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement - claimed responsibility for the blast in a statement."

- Agence France Presse: "The bombing, claimed by the radical Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed offshoot of Arafat's Fatah movement..."
Roger Simon adds the New York Times to the list.

The evidence, however, clearly indicates that the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade is not some "loose offshoot," but rather has a direct and ongoing bond to the Fatah party, which holds a majority of seats in the Palestinian parliament. The Palestinian government, therefore, bears direct responsibility for the group's heinous terrorist acts. The BBC gets it:
The militant al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, part of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction, has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.
* Documents captured by the IDF in 2002 indicated Fatah's "systematic, institutionalized and ongoing financing" of the Al Aqsa Brigades, including a special allocation to the Bethlehem branch of the organization (the very group that dispatched today's bomber). After inspecting these documents, President Bush called for Arafat's removal in June, 2002.

* The leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Tulkarm told USA Today on March 14, 2002: "The truth is, we are Fatah, but we didn't operate under the name of Fatah...We are the armed wing of the organization. We receive our instructions from Fatah. Our commander is Yasser Arafat himself" . . .


te close ties that bond the Fatah-led PA to terrorist groups are the fundamental problem that prevents progress toward peaceful reconciliation. The dominant political party in the PA remains a direct sponsor of ongoing terrorism; the ruling politicians and the terrorists are one and the same.

If media outlets fail to convey this, their readers and viewers certainly can't understand Israel's position in the raging debate over the security fence, which tomorrow reaches the world court at The Hague.
HonestReporting.com goes on to point out that there are no less than three op-ed pieces in today's Chicago Tribune, "railing" against the security fence. Not much of a pun, is it? ... oh well. I'm still impressed if you read this far.