Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

2 Iyar 5761 - April 25, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Miracles and Violence: A Car Bomb in Or Yehudah
by M. Plaut

An afternoon bomb in the market area of the Tel Aviv suburb of Or Yehudah set a stolen car ablaze and ignited several other cars in its vicinity. In order to increase the scope of damage, the bomb, which was in the trunk of the car, was filled with nails, like other bombs used lately by Palestinians. Eight people lightly wounded by the bomb were hospitalized and released. Senior police officers said it could only be described as a "miracle" since the area was packed with pre-Independence Day shoppers.

One person, Yaakov Lilmaiyev of Tel Aviv, told a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, "I came to change some shoes and had just got out of my car and started to walk in the direction of the shop when there was a tremendous explosion. My car was totally destroyed, together with another one and the car that exploded. I was just lucky I got out when I did."

According to reporters on the scene, dozens of other people had similar lucky escapes.

The possibility of another suicide bomber was raised because of the confused statements issued by Hamas in claiming responsibility for Sunday's attack in Kfar Saba, in which local resident Dr. Mario Goldin was killed and 50 people wounded, most of them lightly.

In another incident, an alert messenger raised the alarm over a suspicious object near the Checkpost junction on the northern outskirts of Haifa on Sunday evening. His quick thinking in calling the police and stopping a worker at a falafel stand from lifting the bag prevented a potential disaster.

Police called upon the public to continue as normal while keeping their eyes open for any suspicious persons, vehicles, or objects, and to report them immediately.

For the first time in months, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat yesterday condemned a bombing attack in Israel, commenting on the Or Yehuda car bombing that "there is no doubt we do not agree to any form of attack on Israeli or Palestinian civilians." He made the comment after meeting with Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel yesterday in Ramallah.

However, according to Arieh O'Sullivan and Nina Gilbert of the Jerusalem Post, a senior defense official said that achieving peace with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat appears impossible. The defense establishment believes Arafat is in full control of the violence, but doesn't believe he is capable of making peace and may leave it up to his successors. The unnamed official said that Arafat has not changed his positions in 35 years, and appears relatively unconcerned about his people. However, he seems not to be capable of reaching agreement, and only understands conflict. The official maintained that the next level of Palestinian leadership, such as Jibril Rajoub, Mohammed Dahlan, and Amin Hindi, is ripe for making a deal.

In testimony before the Knesset Foreign Affairs Committee, a senior officer said that there are many warnings about upcoming terror attempts, both in the territories and in Israel. This is the beginning of the execution of a strategic decision by Arafat who saw the Oslo period as a transitional one that was to bring a permanent settlement that would include a right of return which would bring some 150-200,000 Palestinians back to Israel at least. He created an obligation to his people to bring about these goals, and if not to return to violence. Now we are in the stage of violence that is a direct result of Arafat's strategic decision.

The senior officer in military intelligence said that there are two main arms that are behind the terror. One is the collective security apparatus of the Palestinian Authority plus the Tanzim, and the other is the freed prisoners including Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

Also Hizbullah and Osama Bin Laden are trying to move in.

Arafat believes that only talks together with terror will bring him the results he feels that he needs.


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