By Jerusalem Newswire Editorial Staff
August 28th, 2005
A senior Palestinian Authority official said the attempted massacre of Jewish civilians in Beersheva Sunday morning was a legitimate response to Israel’s ongoing war on â€œPalestinianâ€ terror.
At least fifty people were wounded, two seriously, when a â€œPalestinianâ€ homicide bomber blew himself up adjacent to a crowded public bus in the southern city.
â€œThose who committed the massacre in Tulkarm had to expect some kind of response,â€ PA National Security Advisor Jibril Rajoub told the Voice of Palestine.
Rajoub was referring to the killing of five Islamic Jihad terrorists, three of them senior commanders, during an IDF anti-terror raid in the Samarian town of Tulkarm last week.
The IDF Spokesman said Tulkarm had become â€œthe center of the Islamic Jihad terror organization in Samaria,â€ despite PA promises in June to curb all terrorist activity in the town after the Israelis handed over security control there.
The army said wanted Islamic Jihad terrorists now operate freely in Tulkarm, â€œwhile the Palestinian Authority turns a blind-eye to their activities.â€
PA â€œpresidentâ€ Mahmoud Abbas called the Tulkarm operation a â€œdeliberate provocationâ€ of the Palestinian Arabs, while PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia labeled it a â€œbrutal crimeâ€ that â€œshows Israel does not want calm.â€
Both statements were likely to be seen by terror groups as a green light to attack Israelis.
Following Sunday’s Beersheva bombing the PA did issued a condemnation, but Arab media analyst Michael Widlanski noted it was â€œterse [and] did not call the ‘operation’ an act of terror, and it came more than six hours after the…terror attack.â€
â€œIn addition, unlike Dr. Abbas’ frequent condemnations of Israel, the statement was not read by Abbas himself and was not echoed by other PA officials,â€ Widlanski pointed out.