Min. Dichter: deport Israeli Arabs involved in terror
An eastern Jerusalem-based Palestinian terrorist entered last night Jerusalem’s Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, the heart of national-religious Zionism, and murdered eight people, all but one of them teenagers, studying in its library, while wounding and maiming eleven others. No specific terrorist group has yet claimed responsibility, although Hamas indicated that it might yet do so and welcomed the murders in any case, issuing a statement that said, “We bless the [Jerusalem] operation. It will not be the last.” Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas, according to senior aide, Saeb Erekat, condemned the attack in words that equated legitimate Israeli counter-terrorist operations with the Palestinian terror attacks, saying, “President Mahmoud Abbas condemns the attack in Jerusalem that claimed the lives of many Israelis and he reiterated his condemnation of all attacks that target civilians, whether they are Palestinians or Israelis.” In Gaza City, residents went out into the streets and fired rifles in celebration in the air after hearing news of the attack on the yeshiva.
Secretary of State Rice said, “The United States condemns tonight’s act of terror and depravity This barbarous act has no place among civilized peoples and shocks the conscience of all peace loving nations. There is no cause that could ever justify this action.” The U.S. drafted a statement for an emergency UN Security Council session, called to debate an attack stating, “The members of the Security Council condemn in the strongest terms the terrorist attack that took place in Jerusalem March 6, 2008 which resulted in the death and injury of dozens of Israeli civilians,” but Libya, one of the Council’s 15 members, backed by several other council members, prevented its adoption. The Libyans wanted to include in the statement language condemning the recent Israeli incursions into Gaza and deaths of Palestinians there, but the U.S. Ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, rejected this, saying that the killing of students in a school was different from the unintentional killing of civilians, as has happened in Gaza (Shlomo Shamir, ‘British PM: Violent bids to halt peace process must be stopped,’ Haaretz, March 7, 2008).
Already last Friday, Israeli Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, called for the expulsion to the West Bank of Arabs in eastern Jerusalem who have been involved in terrorist activity, saying that, “We need to find a legal and legitimate way to kick those few Palestinian Arabs in east Jerusalem who make it their choice to aid and take part in terrorism back to Ramallah” (‘Police chief says attack does mark beginning of third intifada,’ Jerusalem Post, March 7, 2008).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We are saddened and distressed at this horrific murderous attack on innocent Jews, which of course Hamas praised unreservedly and which Mahmoud Abbas had the indecency to compare to lawful Israeli actions against the terrorists which inadvertently harm civilians whom the terror groups use as human shields. Such a statement by Abbas makes his alleged condemnation of this terror act worse than useless, an insult to the dead and injured. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the dead and wounded and wish the wounded a speedy recovery.
“ZOA believes that this incident, which would be a daily occurrence if not for the vigilance and indefatigable efforts of the Israeli defense and police forces generally and the presence of Israeli forces in Judea and Samaria, shows that the Palestinian movement revels in the murder of Jews and is unable to truly condemn the act. In fact, former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon, has personally told me that the IDF and police forces foil dozens of terror attacks every month and that Palestinian Arabs have not stop trying to commit terror attacks. Moreover, the PA does not act against terror but, as we have repeatedly pointed out, glorifies it and inculcates into Palestinians, especially Palestinian youths, via the school curriculum, religious education, textbooks and television programs. The PA does not act against terror groups, like its own Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, but rather sponsors and protects them. This is why Mahmoud Abbas is useless as a peace partner and it is why we reiterate our call for both Israel and the U.S. to sever all ties to the PA.”