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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

February 09, 2003

International Law for Dummies (and Europeans)

This is how Israel's enemies violate the sanctity of the Geneva Conventions and relinquish whatever de facto protection they might have had under it:

Fury after bomb found stashed in Taiba mosque

The device which contained about 10 kilograms of explosives, and was apparently to have been used in an attack in the Sharon area was discovered by police sappers following the interrogation of two Islamic Jihad terrorists arrested at a roadblock between Nablus and Tulkarm on Thursday afternoon.

"This incident has changed reality in Taiba," Mayor Salah Jabara told The Jerusalem Post. "The town's residents are furious. There were 1,500 worshipers in the mosque on Friday night. Had the bomb exploded, the devastation would have been frightening."

"It is terrible that someone who calls himself a Muslim would leave a bomb inside a mosque. I utterly condemn such despicable behavior. These terrorists must be stopped," Jabara said
"A mosque is an open place like a synagogue.


"The security forces' reaction to the incident was fair. They showed sensitivity to the holiness of the building, and endangered their lives by moving the device to a nearby quarry, where it was neutralized. I thank them," Jabara said.

"It is wrong to use a mosque for purposes other than religious political or otherwise. I am totally against using violence as way of achieving political means," he said.

"I heard that the terrorists tried to leave town on Thursday evening, but turned back when they saw all the roadblocks," said Azam. "They obviously panicked, and assumed that a mosque would be the safest place to hide their bomb... I just thank God that it did not explode. Hundreds may have died. If such a disaster had taken place, we would go into the territories ourselves to do what has to be done if the government let us."

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The mayor certainly sounds sincere and I sympathize with his frustration at being used by terrorists. I am sure this is not the first time the safehaven of a religious site has been abused (remeber the Church of the Nativity?). This situation raises a number of complicated issues as Taibeh is not in the "territories". Was there not someone aware of their violation of religous sanctuary? Obviously the captured terrorists knew. Is it possible that a religious figure had a part in this?