Special Jerusalem Report
Apr 1, 2002
PERES: WAVE OF SUICIDE BOMBINGS COULD SPREAD ACROSS THE WORLD
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said today the wave of suicide bombings by
Palestinian youth is likely to spread to the rest of the world if not
thwarted here and now.
"The idea to return human sacrifice to the altar of political ambition is
barbaric and dangerous," Peres said. "It is dangerous not only to Israel,
but for the rest of the world if this will become a tactical strategy.
Everybody may use it. We have to do whatever we can, morally, legally,
politically, and militarily to stop it. This crime will spread to the whole
He also blasted Arab regimes for failing to condemn any of the suicide
bombings, particularly of Jews worshiping. "They never said a word," Peres
said. He noted the Palestinians had been offered most of the disputed
territory and a state and they had refused both. "No one in Israel can
understand why the Palestinians are fighting and killing, since whatever
they are demanding was offered to them at Camp David, namely a Palestinian
state," Peres said. "What they are trying to achieve by murder they could
have already gotten on the negotiating table."
MUSLIMS SPLIT OVER DEFINITION OF TERRORISM
Muslim countries were split over whether to condemn Palestinian suicide
bombers as terrorists at the start of a major Islamic conference Monday.
Fault lines appeared immediately as the Palestinian representative disagreed
with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, the meeting's host, who said
that suicide bombers killing Israeli civilians should be regarded as
terrorists "It is not necessary to condemn the suicide bombers, because we
have to take into consideration the reasons behind somebody willing to lose
his life," Palestinian Foreign Minister Farouk Kaddoumi told reporters at
the conference. Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories is "the
highest and worst kind of terrorism, and the human being, if he sacrifices
his life there must be a reason," Kaddoumi said. "The reason is state
terrorism." Deputy Foreign Minister Ivica Misic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, chief
of his country's anti-terrorism team, disagreed. "I don't care about race or
religion," Ivica said. "I agree that if a person kills or harms a civilian
he is a terrorist, no matter how noble his struggle may be."
PRIME MINISTER SHARON SPEAKS TO THE NATION
Israel is fighting a war for its home and will emerge victorious as in the
past, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said last night in a five-minute address
to the nation intended to boost the country's spirit. "Citizens of Israel,
the State of Israel is at a crossroads in its history. The situation is not
easy, but we have known more difficult situations than this in the past, and
we overcame them all. This time, as in the past, we will have the upper hand
We will win this time, and when this happens, we can live here together in
peace," Sharon said in a speech delivered from his Jerusalem office.
The address did not give any indication of Sharon's plans, but did reiterate
the cabinet decision of last Thursday declaring Palestinian Authority
Chairman Yasser Arafat the nation's enemy. He said Arafat "is an enemy of
Israel... of the entire free world."
The decision to address the nation came after yesterday's security cabinet
meeting, where Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Justice Minister Meir
Sheetrit urged Sharon to talk to the nation continuously during the present
crisis, so people hear not only about what Arafat is eating and whom he is
meeting, but also what the prime minister has to say.
After saying that in the last few weeks Israel has cooperated with US
special envoy Anthony Zinni and Vice President Dick Cheney, has withdrawn
its troops form Palestinian cities, and given up its demand for seven days
of quiet, all in order to promote a cease-fire, Sharon said Israel has
received in return "terrorism, terrorism, and more terrorism."
"We must fight this terrorism in an uncompromising war to uproot these
savages, to dismantle their infrastructure, because there is no compromise
with suicide bombers," Sharon said. Sharon said it is impossible to
compromise with those - like suicide bombers in Israeli cities or those who
attacked the twin towers in New York - who are willing to die only in order
to kill innocent civilians. "One man directs and initiates this terrorism,
the head of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat," Sharon said. "Arafat
is the head of a coalition of terrorism and employs a strategy of terrorism.
Sharon said, "All those who strive for freedom, who were educated on the
values of liberty and democracy, need to know that Arafat is an obstacle to
peace in the Middle East. Arafat is a danger to stability in the whole
region." The speech followed a three-hour security cabinet meeting, where
the ministers were briefed by senior security officials on the current
military operation. No operative decisions were made, and there was no
decision to move up the various military plans because of yesterday's
Finance Minister Silvan Shalom, who at last Thursday's cabinet meeting
advocated expelling Arafat and not merely isolating him, took Peres to task
for worrying about Arafat at a time when Israelis are being killed. Among
other issues discussed was the possibility of deporting the families of
suicide bombers in an attempt to deter the attackers. No decision on the
issue was made, and Sharon said the matter needs to be studied.
EIGHT ISRAELI SOLDIERS INJURED IN SHOOTING IN RAMALLAH
Eight Israelis soldiers were injured, two of them seriously and six
moderately to lightly, in a shooting attack Monday afternoon in the Ramallah
area in the West Bank. The attack took place at around 3:30 P.M. and the
eight were taken to the settlement of Beit El and from there to Jerusalem's
Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital.
Three Palestinians were reported to be seriously injured after two buildings
in the heart of Ramallah came under heavy fire from IDF troops.
Large forces of IDF infantry, armor and combat engineers poured into and
took over the West Bank town of Qalqilyah overnight, as Israel's "Operation
Defense Wall" entered its fourth day Monday. Eight soldiers were injured
during the thrust into Qalqilyah, one of them seriously. They were hurt when
a nearby bomb exploded during searches for wanted men and weapons in the
city, Army Radio reported.
TWO FATHERS AND THEIR CHILDREN AMONG THOSE WHO DIED IN HAIFA BOMBING
Fifteen people were killed, among them two fathers and their children, and
over 30 injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the "Matza"
restaurant, at around 2:40 P.M. on Sunday, in the Neveh Sha'anan
neighborhood of Haifa, near the "Grand Kanion" shopping mall. Sixteen people
were still in hospital Monday, one of them is in critical condition, three
are in serious condition and the rest suffer moderate and light wounds.
The funerals of six of the 14 people killed will be held Monday in Haifa.
Daniel Manchell, 22, will be buried at 2:30 P.M.; Shimon Koren, 55 and his
sons Ran .18, and Gal, 15, will be buried at 3:30 P.M.; Moshe Levin, 52,
will be buried at 4:30 P.M.; Carlos Wagman, 51, will be buried at 5:30 P.M.
Suheil Adawi, 32, will be buried at at 4:30 in the Galilee village of Turan.
The names of seven others killed in that attack are: Orly Ofir, 16, from
Haifa; Dov Chernevroda, 67 from Haifa; Moshe Levin, 52; Ya'acov Shani, 53;
Aviel Ron, 54, his daughter Anat, 21 and his son Ofer, 17, from Haifa.
PRIME MINISTER'S LIFE THREATENED
The Al Aqsa Brigades have threatened a new wave of suicide attacks against
Israeli targets, including Prime Minister Sharon himself. Please keep this
matter in prayer.
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