Terrorism’s youngest victim, just moments old

July 17, 2002


1. Not all settlers
2. "Baby boy is conflict's youngest victim" (Jerusalem Post, July 17, 2002)
3. Headlines from the Hebrew press today
4. Amazingly, Amnesty International issues condemnation on behalf of Jewish children
5. "Terror in disguise" (New York Post, July 17, 2002)
6. Other attacks so far today, July 17, 2002
7. PA stops short of condemning terrorist attack at Emmanuel
8. "Two suspects held in Toronto for David Rosenzweig murder" (July 16, 2002)
9. "Car explodes near Helsinki synagogue" (July 16, 2002)


[Note by Tom Gross]

I attach some pieces concerning the latest violence in Israel and also updates on the attacks in Canada and Finland.

Please note that contrary to what the BBC, CNN and others are saying (all of which rely on the skewered information put out by AP and Reuters) not all the dead and injured in yesterday's terror attack were "settlers." At least one of the dead, for example, lived in the Tel Aviv suburb of Givataim.

Two more Israelis died today a second baby as a result of yesterday's attack, and a soldier (Lieutenant Elad Grenadir, 21, from Haifa) was killed while trying to apprehend the gunman responsible for yesterday's attack.

Among the organizations rushing to claim responsibility was the Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades, which is under the control of Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction of the PLO. The dead include two babies, a 16-year-old boy and a 20-year-old girl.

Marking a change of policy that began earlier this month, Amnesty International issued a press statement condemning the attack. "The fact that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories are illegal under international humanitarian law does not mean that settlers may be attacked," announced Amnesty. (The full statement is copied below.)

-- Tom Gross


Baby boy is conflict's youngest victim
By Mayan Jaffe
The Jerusalem Post
July 17, 2002

Doctors rushed to perform a Caesarean section on a seriously wounded woman moments after the terror attack in Emmanuel, but her baby died Wednesday, becoming the youngest known victim of the 21-month conflict. The baby's mother remains in serious condition in Beilinson Hospital.

Sixteen people remained hospitalized Wednesday at least one in critical condition following Tuesday's bombing and shooting attack near the West Bank settlement.

Among the seriously injured was 22-year-old Yehudit Weinberg, who was hit in the pelvis and legs. Her fetus was unharmed by bullets but was born without a pulse because the mother had lost a lot of blood, doctors said. Nine hours after delivery, he died.

The baby became the youngest known victim of the 21 months of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, although women in advanced stages of pregnancy and their fetuses have also been killed.

The infant had no pulse after the surgery, Professor Lea Sirota, director of the neonatal intensive care unit, told The Jerusalem Post.

"We worked on the baby for 40 minutes only to discover he had brain damage, " Sirota said.

While doctors succeeded in reviving him, the baby succumbed at 2 a.m. Wednesday to the brain injury, she said.

Among other victims in Tuesday's ambush were three generations from the same family: 8-month-old Tiferet Shilon, her father and maternal grandmother. Shilon's twin sister, two-year-old brother and mother were injured in the attack.



Ha'aretz Headlines
July 17, 2002

1. Three terrorists detonated bomb next to armored bus, and after it stopped opened fire on trapped passengers.

Seven Israelis murdered in bomb and shooting ambush on bus near Emmanuel.

20 wounded, seven in serious condition; four wounded children. Suspicion of faults in IDF action and civilian security. Terrorists escaped: Four terror organizations took responsibility

2. Daughter and grandmother killed in bus; father who arrived to rescue them killed.

3. Arafat's hypocrisy: Fatah took responsibility for attack; PA condemned it.

4. IDF arrested female Tanzim terrorist in Jenin who was planning to carry out suicide attack.



[Amnesty International issues statements on behalf of Palestinians all the time. It is very rare for them to denounce the killing of West Bank Jewish children. -- TG]

Amnesty International
Press Release

AI Index: MDE 15/117/2002 (Public)
News Service No: 122
July 16, 2002

Israel / Occupied Territories / Palestinian Authority: Amnesty International condemns attack on bus near West Bank settlement

Amnesty International condemns the attack on a bus near the Israeli settlement of Emmanuel in the West Bank that killed at least seven people and wounded 19 others, including children.

"There is no justification for the targeting of civilians," Amnesty International said. "The fact that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories are illegal under international humanitarian law does not mean that settlers may be attacked. They are still civilians and civilians are not legitimate targets."

Apparently the bus was attacked by roadside bombs that detonated under the bus. The attackers then opened fire on the fleeing passengers. Two Palestinian armed groups Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) have claimed responsibility for the attack.

"Deliberately killing civilians violates fundamental principles of international law and we call on all Palestinian groups and individuals to cease such attacks immediately," the organization added.

Amnesty International has recently published a report on attacks against civilians unreservedly condemning these attacks, whatever reason the perpetrators give to their action. The report Without distinction attacks on civilians by Palestinian armed groups documents 128 attacks in which more than 350 civilians, most of them Israeli, have been killed since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa intifada in September 2000.

"Israel and the Palestinian Authority have a responsibility to bring to justice people within their jurisdiction who order, organise, assist or carry out attacks on civilians," Amnesty International said. "In doing so they must act strictly in accordance with international humanitarian law and human rights standards."



Terror in disguise
The New York Post
July 17, 2002

At least three Palestinian terrorists wearing Israeli army fatigues staged an elaborate and deadly ambush yesterday, killing seven Israelis on a bus outside an ultra-Orthodox West Bank settlement.

Among those killed in the first deadly attack on Israeli civilians in nearly a month were an 8- month-old baby and her father who was running to save her while another 14 were badly wounded, said Ron Nachman, mayor of nearby Ariel.

Yesterday's horrific attack at the Emmanuel settlement was so sly that three terror organizations instantly clamored to take credit for it.

It was a near replica of the attack on Dec. 12 that killed 11 people in the same place at the entrance to Emmanuel, between the Palestinian-controlled towns of Qalqilya and Nablus.

Sources said the terrorists, dressed in Israeli army fatigues, planted 65 pounds of TNT on the road and detonated it as a bus filled mostly with women and children passed by.

Although the bus was made of steel armor a precaution taken since the December attack the bombing forced the bus to skid to a halt.

The gunmen, positioned on top of a nearby cave, then threw grenades on the bus roof which was not reinforced and sprayed it with bullets before escaping.

Authorities say a family by the name of Shilon was particularly devastated by the ambush. Mr. Shilon whose first name could not be learned last night was walking in the settlement when news of the attack came over the central public-address system.

"He went running toward the bus," a source said. "He saw the gunmen, but he was desperate to save his family, and they shot him dead."

His baby daughter, Sarah, and his mother-in-law were both killed by gunfire.

His wife and 2-year-old son were shot, but they are expected to survive.

Sarah's twin sister was unharmed.

Three terror groups claimed responsibility: Hamas, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which is affiliated with Yasser Arafat.



News Agencies
July 17, 2002

Gunmen shoot at Netzarim and Neve Dekalim

Palestinian gunmen opened fire on the IDF outposts in Netzarim and Neve Dekalim, in Gush Katif.

Palestinians stab Meah Shearim man
July 17, 2002

The man who was stabbed by Palestinians in the Meah Shearim orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem an hour ago is in moderate condition, Israel Radio reports.

Explosive device discovered near Arab village of Sinjel
July 17, 2002

An explosive device was discovered near the Arab village of Sinjel, south of the Jewish community of Shilo in the Shomron, during the night, media sources report.

Soldiers closed Route 60 in order to deal with the discovery.

Soldiers prevent major terrorist attack in South
The Jerusalem Post
July 17, 2002

Members of the Southern Command's Desert Patrol Battalion discovered an 80-kilogram bomb along the Egyptian border near Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip yesterday, preventing an attempt by Palestinians to carry out a major terrorist attack.

The large bomb, similar to the type used to destroy Merkava III tanks, was safely detonated by sappers in a controlled explosion.



PA fails to formally condemn yesterday's attack
July 17, 2002

The Palestinian Authority has denounced attacks on civilians, but stopped short of specifically condemning the terrorist attack at Emmanuel.

In a statement sent to the French news agency in Gaza, the Authority says it rejects any operation aimed at civilians, Israeli or Palestinian.

The statement also noted that peace and security will not be obtained through a military, but only through a political solution.



Two suspects held in Toronto for David Rosenzweig murder
By Noah Sarna and Amy Carmichael (edited)
July 16, 2002

Two suspects have been arrested in the weekend murder of David Rosenzweig outside a kosher pizzeria.

Christopher McBride, 20, and Mercedes Asante, 19, also known as Sylvia Asante, were arrested at a home in Toronto's west end late Monday, police said. McBride, who faces a first-degree murder charge, was out on bail and charged with possessing a stolen vehicle in Ottawa when Rosenzweig was killed.

The Toronto Jewish community reeled in shock as it gathered to bury David Rosenzweig, 49, in Toronto yesterday evening.

Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Ontario Premier Ernie Eves both issued statements yesterday condemning anti-Semitism.

Jewish leaders in Canada say the crime is a result of the anti-Semitism inflamed by the conflict in Israel and unjustified criticism of the Jewish state.

"When they were shouting 'Kill The Jews!!' at rallies on Bloor St. [in downtown Toronto], B'nai Brith Canada warned the police and the community that that brazen call would be heard in some hate-filled corners of the city," said Frank Diamont, Executive Vice President of B'nai Brith Canada. "This has, to our great sorrow, come to pass... As we have been doing for the last 6 months, we again call upon the prime minister to issue a clear statement denouncing anti-Semitism, and indicating that Canadians will not tolerate it in any shape or form."

A CPA and Orthodox Jew, Rosenzweig was stabbed while helping his son fix a damaged car in front of the King David Pizzeria, a popular kosher restaurant in the center of the city's Jewish neighborhood, shortly after 1 a.m. Rosenzweig's 16-year-old son Ezra, a new driver, had just been in a car accident not far from the pizzeria.

Rosenzweig was murdered on his birthday. He is survived by his wife, and six children: Meir, 24; Shalom, 22; Shira, 20; Ezra, 16; Shragi, 12; and Yehiel, 8. His parents, originally from Poland, were survivors of the Holocaust. He also has an aunt and uncle who live in Petah Tikva.



Car explodes near Helsinki synagogue
July 16, 2002

A car exploded about 200 meters from a synagogue in Helsinki, Finland, early yesterday, killing the driver and wounding another man, police said.

Helsinki police said they did not know whether the synagogue was the target. The blast killed the driver, a 30-year-old Finnish citizen, while he was driving, and wounded a man in another car, which was also badly damaged.

Gideon Bolotowsky, president of Helsinki's small Jewish community, told Reuters he had no information yet to indicate the blast was an attack on the synagogue, which received a bomb threat earlier this year.

"I think we will have to wait and not jump to any hasty conclusions about what could have been," he said. "There is a chance there could be a link with what is going on in the Middle East, but that is pretty remote I would think."

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.