Palestinian Terrorist Using E.U. Welfare Centers and Medical Facilities As Logistical Jump-off Bases To Carry Out Their Terrorist Strikes

by DEBKAfile 19 June 2002

Israeli troops rolled into Jenin, Nablus, Qalkilya, and Hebron Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, June 18-19, in retaliation for a terror attack that was shocking even by the standards of the continually escalating cycle of Palestinian suicide massacres of Israeli civilians. Eighteen commuters and the bus driver died, and more than fifty were injured when, in Tuesday morning’s rush hour, 22-year old Mohammed al-Ghoul from the West Bank refugee camp of Al-Faraa, detonated a huge bomb packed with ball-bearings and sharp nails in the 32A bus at the busy Pat junction of south Jerusalem.

Sixteen victims are from Gilo, the south Jerusalem neighborhood battered for many months by Palestinian gunmen and mortarmen from next-door Bethlehem and Beit Jala. For the close-knit Gilo community this second blow was particularly insupportable.
The victims identified are:
The bus driver, Rachamim Zidkiyahu, 51, Gilo residents Shiri Negari, 22, Leah Baruch, 59, Boaz Aluf, 54 and Liat Yagen, 24, Tatiana Braslavsky,41 and Helena Evan 63, Orit Hayalah, 21, Dr. Moshe Gottlieb, 70, Baruch Gruani, 56, Gila Nakav, 55, Helena Evan, 63, Mendel Bereson, 72, Galila Bugala, 11, Rafael Berger, 28, Shani Avi-Yitzhak, 15, Michal Biazi, 24, as well as Iman Cavha, 23, from Barta’ah.

Of the 50 or more injured, 16 are still in hospital, four fighting for their lives.

The radical Islamist Hamas claimed “credit” for the outrage. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources reveal that Yasser Arafat’s inner circle of terrorist handlers have hit on a crafty way of slipping their ticking bombs - whether Hamas, Jihad or the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah - past Israeli security and military forces guarding Israeli cities and encircling Palestinian towns:

European-funded welfare organizations operating in the Palestinian Authority are logistical jumping-off bases for Palestinian suicides.

European governments fork out millions of tax pounds and euros a year to Palestinian welfare and medical organizations to help beleaguered Palestinians. They certainly do not intend the money to be used for the purpose devised by Arafat’s senior terrorist masterminds, led by Tawfiq Tirawi, General Intelligence head and undercover commander of the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and Mohamed Dahlan, Gaza strongman. However, all donations go directly to Yasser Arafat. It was his decision to pack the staffs of certain welfare and medical organizations with personnel under orders to press their ID and vehicles into the service of bringing suicide killers to their targets unchecked.

After an initial investigation of the Pat Junction atrocity, Israeli authorities arrested the bomber’s brother, Iyad al-Ghoul, a nurse at the St. John’s Ophthalmic Hospital in Jerusalem, having discovered that this respected medical institution was one of a chain abused by Palestinian terror commanders blur the traces of some of their most brutal operations.

This discovery caused deep embarrassment in Brussels. Last week, unconvinced by the evidence Israeli officers presented to prove Arafat’s direct involvement in terror, the EU decided in principle to restore its 15 million euro subsidy to the Palestinian Authority, namely Arafat.

Cherie Blair, the British prime minister’s wife, chose an unfortunate moment to declare how sorry she was for young Palestinians “who feel they have no hope but to blow themselves up.” She stood alongside Jordan’s Queen Rania. Both were attending a Medical Aid for Palestine (MAP) fundraiser. As a result of the Pat Junction atrocity, Tony Blair found out where the British taxpayer’s contribution to Palestinian medical aid really goes.

In Jerusalem, Ariel Sharon’s mini-cabinet decided Tuesday night, June 18, to respond to the Jerusalem bus bombing by expanding military operations against the Palestinians; terrorist operations will henceforth be met with the seizure of Palestinian territory and its occupation so long as the Palestinian terror campaign persists. More terror strikes will lead to more seizures. Foreign minister Shimon Peres (Labor), recalled from a visit to Bulgaria to attend the session, disapproved of expanded Israeli military activity.
The same night, the IDF was ordered into Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya for starters, going next into additional Palestinian locations in a “rolling”, incremental operation.

DEBKAfile ’s military analysts suggest testing the newness of Israeli mini-cabinet’s decision by results. Israel’s Operation Defensive Shield in April bought Israel an almost three-week respite in major terror strikes. Since then, Israeli armor and infantry have been thrusting in and out of Palestinian terror strongholds. The violence level declines in the course of each foray, snapping back as soon as Israeli forces withdraw. This stop-go tactic has the potential for being cumulatively effective, but only in the long term if counted in years. The trouble is that the Israeli army is hauled out of Palestinian areas in the middle of counter-terror actions every time a diplomat, particularly an American, turns up on a “peace mission” – whether he be secretary of state Colin Powell, or his envoy Anthony Zinni. Israel is then strongly urged to abort military action so as not to impede diplomacy. Those peace missions therefore tend to have unhappy consequences, greeted as they are routinely by an upsurge of particularly horrendous Palestinian terror strikes.

The reason for this is plain. The last thing Arafat wants is a Palestinian state conferred by Washington. He therefore continues to orchestrate systematic sabotage for every peace initiative originating in the Bush White House. The diplomatic pressure applied by Washington to halt his campaign of terror and the cycle of Israel’s military reprisals suit the Palestinian leader very well. If President Bush decides to send Powell back to the Middle East, the Palestinian leader can be counted on to turn up the terror heat in honor of the visitor as per usual, proving he does not function at America’s behest. The scent of a diplomatic resolution of the conflict drives him to further extremes of violence. Nothing will stop Arafat until he accomplishes the mission he set himself thirty years ago of destroying Israel.

In this, the Palestinian leader can count on powerful support from the Lebanese Hizballah, whether in the form of rockets, missiles or ground action – or even dropping terrorists inside Israel by air glider. Hours after the Jerusalem suicide massacre, a state of alert was declared in Israeli positions manning the Lebanese frontier following the receipt of information that the Hizballah were getting ready for terrorist action.

Some military sources told DEBKAfile that more and more senior military and security service ranks are coming round to the chief of staff Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz’s conviction that nothing will avail but expulsion of Arafat and his close circle of terrorist commanders. The suicide attacks grow bloodier and more horrendous, they argue, and ultimately, the country will come to the end of its tether. After one murderous suicide attack too many, the Sharon government will have no choice but to cut out the bane at root, or at least lop off its main branches, and expel his senior terror operatives.

Until now, Arafat has lived a charmed life. No American or European source questioned by DEBKAfile admits to hearing Ariel Sharon ever raising the possibility of deporting the Palestinian leader. The Israeli prime minister admittedly gave his word to President Bush not to harm Arafat. But that was many months ago, when no one imagined that Israel would become the victim of the most pernicious terror campaign ever waged against a nation." [Emphasis added]