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Read This Before The Next Suicide Bombing

Read This Before The Next Suicide Bombing

Translations by Sol Salbe


Some time in the next day, week or month a lot of us will be putting pen to paper condemning a Palestinian suicide bombing in which innocent civilians have been killed. But, more than any other time in the past we would be condemning the other side as well. For the Israeli government, will be sharing the blame.

Last year when she was in Australia, Hanan Ashrawi alluded to Israel's ability to press Hamas's button. Even the Australian and international media covered the killing of 15 Palestinian in one day two days ago. On that occasion, the IDF did not go in with the intention of stopping a "ticking bomb" or even arresting any particular Palestinian in mind. As Ze'ev Schiff put it in Haaretz, "The forces did not have a specific objective, but were merely attempting to make combative contact with Hamas gunmen and squads." So much for Sharon's babbling on about evacuating Gaza.

But Hamas's button had already been pressed a few days earlier. As the two items below indicate Israelis had already been bracing themselves for a Palestinian revenge attack. Rami Yitzhar of Einyan Merkazi ( had already warned of it. Even more frightening is the item by Amnon Regular of Haaretz. This item didn't appear in the English edition. Read carefully between the lines. It was the IDF who broke the informal arrangement that resulted in just under four months with no attacks on Israeli civilians.

- Sol Salbe


How many Israelis would pay with their lives for the latest liquidation in Gaza City?
By Rami Yitzhar
Translation by Sol Salbe

There is no doubt about it: Abdullah Shami doesn't make idle threats.

His unequivocal warning of a hard and painful blow in revenge, is a matter of days if not hours.

People will die. There will be new graves dug in Israeli cemeteries. Having been identified by our forensic experts those ruptured and torn bodies will be cast aside. Families will mourn. Coffins would be carried around accompanied by tearful eulogies.

Another chapter would be added to the bloody annals that record the cruel unending cycle of violence between Palestinians and Israelis.

On the last occasion when the army killed 10 "armed personnel" (by its definition) in an operation in the southern Gaza the revenge was another suicide bombing. That one took the lives of 11 people on bus route 19 in Jerusalem. Dozens of others were injured. They would join the thousand of others who would carry their physical and mental scars till their dying day.

The real problem is that no one on our side really cares.

No one is interested to find out if the 12-year-old youth who was killed by the missile that liquidated Aziz Shami was innocent or not.

The Palestinian nation struggle for independence floats on rivers of blood: its own and that of the Israeli occupier's.

Both sides have got t used to the situation. They act as if their destiny was written in the stars and there is no way to escape its inevitability. Is that really the case?

Arik Sharon is the eternal proof that the people of Israel only understand force. But the disengagement plans shows that while our leadership understands brawn it has simultaneously lost its brain.

A unilateral withdrawal may solve the enormous financial problems that accompany the very existence of the settlements in Gaza and the West Bank but it won't bring us any closer to a political solution.

Considering the billions that they cost us, even that saving may be worthwhile.

[Translated by Sol Salbe original Hebrew article at]


IDF-Palestinian organisations understandings eroded
Translation by Sol Salbe

The assassination of Aziz As Shami, head of Islamic Jihad in Gaza strip highlighted the quiet but persistent erosion of the rules of engagement between the IDF and the main Palestinian opposition organisations - Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Shami had recently replaced his predecessor, Makled Hamid who in turn was assassinated by Israel on 25 December 2003.

In the period since the end of September till the [29 January] bombing in Gaza Street in which 11 Israelis were killed the Hamas had stopping its suicide bombing campaign inside Israel. In return it received unofficial assurances that Israel will not target its political leadership. The military wings of both organisations remained outside the understandings but in effect, until a month ago when the IDF assassinated Hamid, those assassinations had ceased.

In the absence of a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the increased pace of assassination of military activists and the resumption of suicide bombings in Israel indicate an erosion of the previous fragile understandings. We are seeing a return to previous mould of bombing and Israeli counter attack that so typified the past year.


[Translated by Sol Salbe. ]

[Translator's note: I've have deliberately kept the vernacular tone of the expression "liquidate' with its mafia overtones as it does convey the actual term used by the Israeli media. Often the English language version of the same publication would use a sanitised expression like "assassinate." Similarly Sharon's nickname of Arik is also unchanged. - Sol Salbe]

[The Independent Middle East Information Service is generously sponsored by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society]

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