[Note by Tom Gross]
As a general rule, I don't send details every time there is a terror attack in Israel, because usually these are carried by the general media.
Because of the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, many media are not covering the massive suicide terror attack on a packed Jerusalem bus today.
An unspecified number of people were killed and dozens were wounded, including many young children, in the explosion on the number 2 Egged bus in the Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood of downtown Jerusalem. It was carrying several ultra-orthodox Jews on their way to pray at the Western Wall. Many children are among the victims.
Both the international media and UN officials are freely and repeatedly using the terms "terror", "terrorist", and "a criminal act" in relation to the UN bomb, but are NOT using these terms for the Jerusalem bus bomb even though this bomb, unlike the Baghdad one, targeted civilians. Indeed CNN anchors have already called this a "tit-for-tat" attack -- as though Israel or Israelis have ever deliberately targeted a bus full of Palestinian civilians.
As a reminder, there is meant to be a "hudna" (ceasefire) in place, but in fact it has been violated on a daily basis by various Palestinian terror groups, including Abu Mazen's own Fatah faction. During his months as prime minister, Abu Mazen has done nothing to disarm terror groups, as required by the first stage of the Road Map which he signed to great fanfare. The international media (obsessed with things that aren't in the Road Map, like pressuring Israel to release more Palestinian terrorists from Israeli jails) has done virtually no reporting on this failure by the Palestinian Authority, and virtually no foreign government has exerted pressure on Abu Mazen, even those governments in Europe and elsewhere that profess to be interested in promoting peace and a better future for Israelis and Palestinians.
I also attach one article about the killing by Yasser Arafat's Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade of one of its own today. No doubt the New York Times will add it to their number count of "Palestinians killed by Israel" -- as they have done with such killings in the past.
-- Tom Gross
AL-AQSA MARTYRS' BRIGADE MARTYRS ONE OF ITS OWN
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade martyrs one of its own, seriously injures another
By Khaled Abu Toameh
The Jerusalem Post
August 19, 2003
One Palestinian was killed and another seriously injured in an armed confrontation between rival Fatah gangs in Nablus Tuesday.
Sources in the city said all those involved in the firefight were members of Fatah's armed wing, Aksa Martyrs Brigades.
The sources said the clash erupted in the Nablus Casbah between a local gang and gunmen from the nearby Balata refugee camp. They said a young Fatah activist from Balata, known by his nickname al-Ishi, was shot dead during the clash.
Witnesses said the two sides used pistols, automatic rifles, homemade bombs and hand grenades.
Palestinian journalists in Nablus told The Jerusalem Post that the latest incident is in the frame of a power struggle between warring Fatah militants from Nablus and Balata refugee camp, a stronghold of disgruntled members of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades.
One journalist said Tuesday's clash erupted following an apparent attempt by Fatah gunmen from Balata to kidnap a woman from Nablus. He added that residents of Nablus have been subjected over the past few months to a campaign of intimidation and terror waged by the Balata gang.
A Fatah leader in the city said the situation there was on the verge of explosion. "The situation is very dangerous and we need to put an end to the state of anarchy and lawlessness," he complained. "The city is run by armed gangsters who are terrorizing innocent civilians. We are living in a jungle."
Following the shootout in Nablus, armed gunmen from Balata kidnapped Naser al-Aloul, the brother of Nablus Governor Mahmoud al-Aloul, and where holding him in a secret location. The Balata men also set fire to a restaurant owned by another one of the governor's brothers.
The governor, who has frequently lashed out at the Balata gangsters, has been targeted on several occasions. Last month, two of his cars were set on fire.
Tuesday's incident is the latest in a series of shootings that have claimed the lives of at least 10 Palestinians over the past two and a half years.
On Saturday, masked gunmen shot and killed Shuaib Shakshir, a resident of the Nablus Casbah who worked in a furniture shop. Witnesses said Shakhshir was killed when he tried to prevent the gunmen from kidnapping his employer, Bashar al-Bizreh.
In a similar incident last month, a mother of three from Nablus was shot and killed by masked gunmen during a failed attempt to kidnap a Palestinian suspected of collaborating with Israel in the Rafidiyeh neighborhood.