ישראל נאמן | Lectures, Articles, Tours: Israel | Mideast onTarget | Elliot Chodoff & Yisrael Ne'eman | Continuing Terror Attempts and a Glimmer of Hope

Continuing Terror Attempts and a Glimmer of Hope

05 September 2002

By Yisrael Ne’eman

In the past few days the Palestinians are trying desperately to succeed in a major terror attack.  Two roadside bombs were discovered just meters from former prime minister Ehud Barak’s home in Kokhav Ya’ir in an assassination attempt and last night at 2 AM a truck loaded with 650 kilograms (1430 lbs.) of explosives was stopped trying to cross from the West Bank to central Israel by use of a dirt path.  Several months ago Barak changed his residency so he was nowhere near the explosives.  The massive truck bomb was caught by the border police whose suspicions were raised due to the time, place and speed of the event.  The terrorists fled on foot, so far have not been apprehended and the chase continues. 

This certainly could have been a mega-terror attack.  The truck got through in an area which is being fenced off at the moment and is known for its many illegal entrances into Israel.  Had it gotten through the road to Hadera, Netanya, Pardess Hanna, Afula and even Haifa is not far off.

In another development, the trial of Marwan Barghouti, Tanzim and El-Aksa Brigades leader opens today in Tel Aviv.  He is accused of terror activities which have killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis.  His lawyers claim Israel has no right to try him since he is an elected official of another legal entity (the Palestinian Authority) and is under occupation.  The Israeli state prosecutor’s office claims it has the right to try anyone committing a crime on Israeli soil.

The trial is being held in a civilian and not military court and attracting world-wide media coverage.  The question of an open civilian trial has been raised since it will lead to a media war between Israel and the Palestinians, give Barghouti a podium to scream about peace, victimization and Israeli conquest of the Palestinian areas.  From the Israeli side Israel wants to show the free world the terror it faces and how a democratic society must deal with the scourge, hoping to gain sympathy and support.

What is not said is that Yasir Arafat is really the one on trial, since one can imagine that many documents with his signature will appear in the Barghouti connection.  Of course the idea is to discredit the 1990’s PA leadership as much as possible forcing the Europeans and certain Arab moderates to agree to the true implementation of reforms in the PA as demanded by President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon.

On a third level Sharon was interviewed by TV Channels 1 and 2 in the traditional pre-Rosh Hashana manner.  He mentioned the beginnings of a political solution with the Palestinians, but only with those who did not engage in terror nor see it as an option.  The inference was that such a solution would be a long time in coming even if successful.  It seems a successful American attack against Iraq may accelerate the pace.

As opposed to two years ago, this Rosh Hashana holiday may see the beginnings of a way out of massive Palestinian terror and violence.  But then again it may only be a false start.