Just one week after President Bush met with the Israeli and Palestinian Prime ministers, 25 Israelis and Palestinians were killed in suicide bombings and Israeli military attacks in one of the bloodiest days in the region in years.
Israeli army radio is reporting the Israeli army has been ordered to use whatever means necessary to completely wipe out the militant Palestinian group Hamas. Every member is a legitimate target, from the top leadership to the lowest member.
This comes after one of the bloodiest days in the region in years.
Yesterday, a Palestinian suicide bomber boarded a rush-hour bus in Jerusalem and detonated a bomb, killing 16 people. More than 100 were injured. Hamas claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Immediately afterwards, the Israeli military launched a missile attack on Gaza City. Two Hamas members were killed including a senior commander, Tito Massaoud. The Israeli Ha’aretz reports six bystanders were also killed and 25 people were injured.
The deadly suicide bombing came just one day after Israel attempted to assassinate Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a top political leader and spokesman for Hamas. Rantisi was injured, but at least two others were killed.
According to the Guardian of London, there is an uncommon consensus ranging from the Israeli far right to the Palestinian leadership that the assassination attempt on Rantisi is bound up in Sharon’s reluctance to start down the Bush administration’s so-called “road map to peace.” Foreign diplomats and Israeli newspapers are asking of the assassination attempt: why now?
Just last week, President Bush met with the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers in a historic peace conference in Jordan. Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen pledged to exert full efforts to ending the armed intifada. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state is in Israel’s interests and pledged to dismantle some 'unauthorized' outposts.
- Gideon Levy, Israeli journalist working for Ha’aretz. Speaking from Tel Aviv.
- Michael Tarazi, PLO legal advisor.