|Suicide bombing at the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem
August 9, 2001
15 people were killed, including 7 children, and about 130 were injured in a suicide bombing at the Sbarro pizzeria at the corner of King George Street and Jaffa Road in downtown Jerusalem. Concealing the explosives in a guitar case which he had carried with him into Jerusalem, the terrorist entered the restaurant just before 2 PM and detonated the bomb. The 5 kg.-10 kg. bomb, which was packed with nails, screws, and bolts to ensure maximum damage, completely gutted the restaurant, which was full of lunchtime diners.
The terrorist was killed in the blast. His controller was on the list of wanted terrorists submitted by Israel to the Palestinians Authority this week. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.
The names of the victims:
The Israeli response: Foreign Minister Peres (August 9): “If the Palestinian Authority had acted with the necessary determination and carried out preventive detentions of Hamas terrorists and their operators, the murders today in Jerusalem would have been prevented.”
In response to these terrorist attacks, Jerusalem police closed down the PLO’s east Jerusalem Orient House headquarters and nine other Palestinian buildings, while the IDF has taken control of Palestinian military and political headquarters at Abu Dis just outside Jerusalem early Friday morning. The IDF also attacked the Palestinian Authority’s West Bank police headquarters in Ramallah.
US President George Bush:
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
In the past two weeks, there has been a Palestinian effort to concentrate terror attacks in Jerusalem, as follows:
July 26: Small arms fire on from an ambush towards an Israeli vehicle close to Givat Ze’ev. An Israeli youth was killed and his father was wounded.
July 27: A watermelon containing an explosive charge based on high explosives, standard and improvised, nails and a cellular detonating system was placed in a bus parked near the Malha shopping mall and was neutralized following a bus driver’s alertness.
July 29: Following intensive incitement regarding the Israeli intention to take over the Temple Mount, there were severe disturbances by Muslim worshippers on the Temple Mount, resulting in the injury of 15 policemen and some 20 Palestinians.
July 29: A car bomb (containing 5 gas canisters, a hand grenade and nails with an alarm clock) exploded in the car park of an apartment building in Pisgat Ze’ev in Jerusalem. Two persons were lightly injured.
July 30: A beer can containing high explosives, nails, and a digital watch was placed in the commercial center in the city center, probably by a member of Hamas from Nablus. There were no casualties.
July 31 and August 4: Small arms fire towards Gilo nieghborhood, resulting in an injured woman and 14 damaged apartments. Carried out by Fatah operatives.
August 1: Explosion of a pipe bomb in the King David Hotel car park – there were no casualties. The Hamas claimed responsibility.
Re-enactment of the Sbarro bombing (Sept 23) Commemorating the year-old intifada against Israel, students at Al-Najah University in Nablus opened an exhibition on Sunday (Sept 23) that included a grisly re-enactment of a suicide bombing at the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem (August 9), with body parts and pizza slices strewn around the room.
Posts Tagged ‘Jihad’
Op-ed: Leaked documents refute US President Obama’s fundamental assumptions
| Recently published Wikileaks documents expose the failure of President Obama’s counter-terrorism policy.
While reaffirming a 1,400 years old Muslim track record, the documents refute Obama’s fundamental assumptions, which have shaped his counter-terrorism policy: that the Palestinian issue is a root cause of Middle East turbulence and anti-Western terrorism; that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are allies of the US; that there is no Islamic terrorism since Islam promotes peace and not terrorism; that there is no Jihadist terrorism since Jihad is a process which purifies the soul; that there is no global terrorism; that Islamic terrorists represent a Muslim minority which rejects modernity and that Islam has always been part of the American story.
According to the documents, Islamic terrorism has afflicted the globe from Latin America through the US and overseas American targets, Western Europe, the former USSR, Africa, the Middle East (hitting mostly fellow-Muslims), South Asia, the Far East and Australia.
The worldwide proliferation of Islamic terrorism is orchestrated and executed, also, by multi-lingual graduates of Western universities, who proficiently use the Internet, Blackberry, iPod, Twitter and Facebook. Contrary to Obama’s assumption, modern-day Islamic terrorists do not reject modernity. In fact, they leverage modernity in order to advance Islam’s historical values and goals. They believe that Islam’s destiny of religious and territorial domination of the globe is divinely-ordained. And, they pursue their goals via violence, intolerance toward “infidels” and “apostates,” totalitarianism and “Holy Wars” (Jihad) against civilizations and entities that undermine their megalomaniac aspirations, which transcend the Palestinian issue and Israel’s policies or existence.
Irrespective of the Palestinian issue and the Arab-Israeli conflict, Muslim terrorists operate along the joint border of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, as well as in San Paulo, Foz do Iguacu and Parana, Brazil. Independent of Israel’s policies and existence, the Lashkar-E-Taiba, Jaish-E-Mohammed and other Islamic terrorist organizations – operating with the backing of Pakistan – target India. Moreover, Lashkar-E-Taiba expands its presence in Pakistan – where it collaborates with the Inter Services Intelligence – Sri Lanka and Nepal in order to intensify terrorism in India.
Tailwind to terrorists
According to WikiLeaks – quoting a December 2009 Secretary of State Clinton memo – Saudi Arabia (especially), Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are the chief financial supporters of global Islamic Sunni terrorism, such as al-Qaeda, Taliban and Lashkar –E-Taiba, raising funds for terrorism through seemingly philanthropic organizations during pilgrimages to Mecca.
The May 31, 2010 edition of The Sunday Times reported that Afghanistan’s financial intelligence unit, FinTraca, documented a $1.5 billion transfer from Saudi Arabia to Afghani terrorists, mostly Taliban. The British daily asked: “One wonders how much of this money was used to buy weapons that killed 1,268 American soldiers and maimed thousands more in Afghanistan?!”
Undersecretary of the Treasury for Financial and Terrorism Intelligence, Stuart Levey, testified at an October 6, 2009 Senate Banking Committee hearing that “money is leaving Saudi Arabia to fund terrorism…Undoubtedly, some of that money is going to Iraq, to South-East Asia and to any other place where there are terrorists…”
For example, the Riyadh-based al-Rajhi Bank was implicated in funding the Islamic Chechen Mujahedeen. Saudi involvement in anti-Western Islamic terrorism was also reported in 2009 by Pakistan’s police, including a $15 million transfer to Jihadists who were involved in the murder of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. A November 15, 2010 report by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), a US Congress investigative unit, maintained that Saudi Arabia made progress in curbing terror-funding within the kingdom but did not cooperate in de-funding Islamic terrorism outside the kingdom.
Saudi-funded Islamic non-profit foundations – with direct and indirect ties to terror organizations – proliferate globally. The first foundation, the Muslim World League was established in 1962, five years before the Six-Day War, before the first settlement was established, while Jordan and Egypt occupied parts of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza and the Palestinian issue did not preoccupy Western
policymakers. More Saudi-supported foundations followed, including the USA-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIS), the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), etc.
However, President Obama has overlooked the fact that those who finance and incite terrorism are more culpable than the brainwashed terrorists who execute terrorism. President Obama has subordinated counter-terrorism to wishful thinking, oversimplification, misreading of the writing on the wall and a series of wrong assumptions, such as a supposed linkage between the Palestinian issue and countering-Islamic terrorism and preventing Iran’s nuclearization. Thus, wrong assumptions have produced wrong policies, which have yielded tailwind to terrorists and rogue regimes and headwind to Western democracies.
Whether they are from Turkey, Ireland or Cyprus, those that participate reek of hypocrisy.
By DANNY AYALON
A couple of years ago, a Palestinian refugee camp was encircled and laid siege to by an army of tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers. Attacks initiated by Palestinian militants triggered an overwhelming response from the army that took the life of almost 500 people, including many civilians. International organizations struggled to send aid to the refugee camps, where the inhabitants were left without basic amenities like electricity and running water. During the conflict, six U.N. personnel were killed when their car was bombed.
Government ministers and spokesmen tried to explain to the international community that the Palestinian militants were backed by Syria and global jihadist elements. Al Qaeda condemned the government and the army, declaring that the attack was part of a “crusade” against their Palestinian brothers.
AFP/Getty ImagesA Palestinian refugee collects metal and plastic objects at a garbage dump in the Palestinian refugee camp of Beddawi near Tripoli.
While most will assume that the events described above took place in the West Bank or Gaza, they actually took place in Lebanon in the summer of 2007, when Palestinian terrorists attacked the Lebanese Army, which struck back with deadly force. The scene of most of the fighting was the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in Northern Lebanon, which was home to the Islamist Fatah al-Islam, a group that has links with al Qaeda.
At the time, there was little international outcry. No world leader decried the “prison camps” in Lebanon. No demonstrations took place around the world; no U.N. investigation panels were created and little media attention was attracted. In fact, the plight of the Palestinians in Lebanon garners very little attention internationally.
Today, there are more than 400,000 Palestinians in Lebanon who are deprived of their most basic rights. The Lebanese government has a list of tens of professions that a Palestinian is forbidden from being engaged in, including professions such as medicine, law and engineering. Palestinians are forbidden from owning property and need a special permit to leave their towns. Unlike all other foreign nationals in Lebanon, they are denied access to the health-care system. According to Amnesty international, the Palestinians in Lebanon suffer from “discrimination and marginalization” and are treated like “second class citizens” and “denied their full range of human rights.”
Amnesty also states that most Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have little choice but to live in overcrowded and deteriorating camps and informal gatherings that lack basic infrastructure.
In view of the worsening plight of the Palestinians in Lebanon, it is the height of irony that a Lebanese flotilla is organizing to leave the port of Tripoli in the next few days to bring aid to Palestinians in Gaza. According to one of the organizers, the participants are “united by a feeling of stark injustice.”
This attitude exposes the dishonesty of the whole flotilla exercise. Whether it is from Turkey, Ireland or Cyprus, those that participate in these flotillas reek of hypocrisy. There are currently 100 armed conflicts and dozens of territorial disputes around the world. There have been millions of people killed and hundreds of millions live in abject poverty without access to basic staples. And yet hundreds of high-minded “humanitarian activists” are spending millions of dollars to reach Gaza and hand money to Hamas that will never reach the innocent civilians of Gaza.
This is the same Gaza that just opened a sparkling new shopping mall that would not look out of place in any capital in Europe. Gaza, where a new Olympic-sized swimming pool was recently inaugurated and five-star hotels and restaurants offer luxurious fare.
Markets brimming with all manner of foods dot the landscape of Gaza, where Lauren Booth, journalist and “human rights activist,” was pictured buying chocolate and luxurious items from a well-stocked supermarket before stating with a straight face that the “situation in Gaza is a humanitarian crisis on the scale of Darfur.”
No one claims that the situation in Gaza is perfect. Since the bloody coup and occupation by Hamas of Gaza in 2007, in which more than 100 Palestinians were killed, Israel has had no choice but to ensure that Hamas is not able to build up an Iranian port on the shores of the Mediterranean. Until Hamas meets the three standards laid out by the international community, namely renouncing violence, recognizing Israel’s right to exist and abiding by previously signed agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Hamas will continue to be shunned by the international community.
While Israel’s policy is to continue to see that all civilian needs are addressed, it can not allow Hamas to rearm and use Gaza as a base to attack Israel and beyond. For this reason, Israel initiated a blockade, fully legal under international law, to ensure that no items can be appropriated by Hamas to attack innocent civilians. Organizations that wish to join the U.N. and the Red Cross to deliver goods or aid to Gaza are welcome to do so through the Kerem Shalom crossing or even through Egyptian ports. Those that refuse and seek to break the legal blockade to boost Hamas are interested in provocation. If Israel allows these confrontational flotillas to successfully open up a shipping lane for arms smuggling for an Iranian proxy, then the region will suffer from continuous conflict. Actions that embolden the extremists will be at the cost of the moderates and this will pose a grave danger to moving the peace process forward.
The latest flotilla preparing to leave from Lebanon fully exposes not only the hypocrisy but the danger of these provocative vigilante flotillas. The Lebanese flotilla, whose organizers claim injustice while ignoring the dire human rights situation of the Palestinians in Lebanon, amply demonstrate that these flotillas have nothing to do with humanitarian concerns and everything to do with delegitimizing Israel.
Mr. Ayalon is Israel’s deputy minister of foreign affairs.
Photo by: Associated Press
Flotilla delayed by glitches again
By YAAKOV KATZ AND JPOST.COM STAFF
Ships said to be in Cypriot waters; activist: We’re unarmed.
The Israeli Navy, monitoring the ships, reported there was “hardly any movement” among the group.
An activist of the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), which is involved in the campaign, said in an interview with Army Radio that the ships were on the open sea, still within the territorial waters of Cyprus.
The activist said the purpose of the flotilla was only to deliver humanitarian aid. “We have no weapons on board and do not intend to offer resistance [to Israeli forces] in cases where self-defense is not necessary,” he said, adding that “if Jews were being blockaded anywhere in the world, Israel would respond exactly as we have.”
The IHH was previously blamed for channeling funds to a global Jihadist organization, a matter the activist refused to comment on.
Also Sunday, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon criticized the effort, saying anti-Semitic chants voiced by the activists on board earlier in the day showed the “real motivation” for the campaign, which he termed an “armada of hate.”
‘Activists chant slogans that threaten Jews’
According to a Foreign Ministry press release, participants on the flotilla were recorded shouting “Khaybar Khaybar ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad saya’ud,” which means “Jews, remember Khyabar, the army of Mohammed is returning.” This cry relates to an event in the seventh century when Muslims massacred and expelled Jews from the town of Khaybar, in modern-day Saudi Arabia.
“Israel condemns the anti-Semitic chants that were publicized this morning,” Ayalon said. “This amply demonstrates that many are not against a particular policy of the Israeli government, but have very real and dangerous hatred for Jews and the Jewish State.”
He further noted that “the main organizer of the flotilla is an extremist Islamic organization with ties to Hamas and global Jihad and it is unfortunate that there are those who are duped into thinking that this exercise has anything to do with humanitarianism or human rights.”
The organizers of the protest flotilla said the ships were set to arrive in Israeli waters on Monday. The flotilla was originally slated to arrive in Gaza on Saturday but faced several delays because of technical difficulties.
While eight ships were initially scheduled to sail to Gaza, in the end a total of five ships were reported to be on their way after three suffered technical malfunctions.
Danon demands MK Zoabi’s arrest upon arrival
One of the highest profile figures on the ships is Balad MK Haneen Zoabi, who said she was proud to do her part to end what she called a siege on Gaza. Right-wing MKs called for Zoabi’s arrest and ouster from the Knesset.
“Zoabi is working together with Israel’s enemies to encourage terrorism and harm Israel’s image internationally, and these acts constitute treason,” Likud MK Danny Danon wrote to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein in his request for him to order Zoabi’s arrest upon her arrival in Israel.
The navy is prepared to stop the ships before they reach Gaza and has put most of its forces on operational standby since Friday. The ships will receive a number of warnings as they begin to approach the Gaza Strip, starting from a distance of about 65 kilometers. If the ships are commandeered, they will be sailed to the Ashdod Port, where the government has set up tents to hold the activists.
The activists will be taken to the tents for identification and medical attention, and asked to leave the country voluntarily. If they refuse, they will be arrested and transferred to the custody of the Prisons Service and the Interior Ministry.
Gil Hoffman and AP contributed to this report