Sludge Report #77 - Terror's Terrible Timing
In This Edition: Terror's Terrible Timing - Associated Press Reports... - Reuters Reports... - Defeating Terror
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Sludge Report #77
Terror's Terrible Timing
Terror could not have struck Tel Aviv at a worse time this morning NZT. Only hours after a peaceful display of Palestinian solidarity in Jerusalem mourning a fallen hero of the Palestinian quest for peace. Only hours after polce and Palestinian mourners faced one another without violence, seemingly for the first time in more than eight months. At the end of the first week in months, during which, thanks to an apparent change in policy by Israel towards unilateral peaceableness, small signs of a coming peace have been glimpsed.
Associated Press Reports...
"TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) - An explosion late Friday on a crowded beachfront in Tel Aviv killed 15 people, including a suicide bomber who had mingled with young people outside a disco, police said. At least 74 people were wounded.
...The blast capped a week after the United States restarted efforts to bring the two sides together again.
Israeli and Palestinian security chief held two rounds of talks and U.S. diplomats met with Israeli officials to discuss implementation of a report by an international commission headed by former Sen. George Mitchell. The report recommended a staged process of an end to violence, confidence-building measures and a return to negotiations.
However, there have been no Palestinian-U.S. meetings over the Mitchell report since the U.S. expressed displeasure over Palestinian representation at another track of talks, involving security commanders, according to an official close to the negotiations who demanded anonymity. "
"The scene at the nightclub was a sharp contrast to the events earlier in the day in Jerusalem, when the funeral of a senior Palestinian official passed off without major violence.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians marched through East Jerusalem behind the coffin of Faisal al-Husseini, the most senior Palestinian official for Jerusalem, turning mourning into an outpouring of defiance against Israeli rule.
Israeli police stood aside as youths raised Palestinian flags over Jerusalem's Old City and outside Israeli government buildings as the flag-draped coffin was carried through the city that Husseini had hoped to make the Palestinian capital.
Police were out in force but made little effort to dampen what Palestinians said was their biggest display of nationalist fervor inside Jerusalem since Israel annexed the Arab eastern section of the city in 1967.
``This is extraordinary. East Jerusalem was run by our people -- the Israelis were still there but they were also not there. We felt Jerusalem for the first time was liberated,'' Mohammed Nabulsy, a 27-year-old shopkeeper, said. "
In the circumstances it is clear that the terrorists behind this Tel Aviv attack have only violence and hatred at their hearts.
It is clear that the intention of this blast is to drive Israeli PM Ariel Sharon, his government, people, and military into retaliating, and thereby shatterring again what tenuous chances of peace still exist.
But Israel must not fall into this trap. If it does then terror will again win the day.
Fortunately the trap is not too difficult to avoid.
In the circumstances is it even remotely plausible to claim that the Palestinian Authority's leaders were contemplating and planning this as they marched peaceably through East Jerusalem only hours earlier?
But in the circumstances it would be extremely helpful were Yasser Arafat to immediately publicly condemn this act of terror in the strongest possible language.
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