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February 10, 2003

The mosque, the ambulance and the donkey: the limits of Teflon

I have pointed out in the past that the Islamist and the “Palestinian” terrorists have acquired an inordinate skill to coat themselves with Teflon, so that no outrageous conduct they display ever sticks to them. A case in point is the use of mosques in their campaigns of terror. A recent news story from Times Online reported about an arms cache found in a London mosque. The relevant news story, published on January 21, 2003, read as follows:
A small arsenal of weapons, including a stun gun and a CS gas canister, was seized during a police raid on the controversial Finsbury Park Mosque in North London, Scotland Yard said last night.

Detectives also recovered hundreds of documents including forged passports, believed to be French, faked French identity cards and counterfeit credit cards.
Israel, of course, has had its share of mosques being used for terrorism. Just the other day, on February 8, 2003, the Jerusalem Post reported that
An explosives belt destined to have been used by an Islamic Jihad terrorist to carry out an attack in the Sharon district was discovered inside a locker in the toilets of a mosque in Taiba in the Triangle early on Friday morning.

The bomb, composed of between five to 10 kilograms of explosives packed with nails and screws to cause maximum casualties, was removed from the mosque by a police robot and was detonated afterwards without causing any casualties or damage.
The existence of the bomb in the mosque came to light following the arrest on Thursday afternoon by soldiers of two Islamic Jihad terrorists at a roadblock between Nablus and Tulkarm.

As a result of information, the security forces were able to trace the intended route of the terrorists and track down the bomb they had intended to use.
This was not the only abuse of a house of worship that the Israelis discovered. Thus, on April 9, 2002, the Jerusalem Post ran the following story:

IDF units on Saturday discovered 20 Kassam rocket launchers and related apparatus in a mosque in the town of El Bireh, near Ramallah, the IDF said this morning.
The outrage of the “international community”, seeing a house of worship being hitched to the engine of terror, was nowhere to be found. Islamist terrorists, like their “Palestinian” counterparts of all shades, are coated with Teflon.

The same applies to the incidents in which the “Palestinian” terrorists used ambulances in pursuit of terrorism or attacked Israeli ambulances. Here are a few examples that happened to reside on my e-desk - there are probably many, many more such examples.

On 14 February 2002, an IDF spokesperson issued a press release entitled, Use of Ambulances and Medical Vehicles by Terrorist Organizations , in which stated:
The most prominent example of this phenomenon is the apparent use of a medical vehicle or medical accreditation to help carry out the suicide terror attack on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem on January 27. The woman suicide bomber, Wafa Idris, a resident of the Amari refugee camp near Ramallah, worked as a medical secretary for the Palestinian Red Crescent.
This is not the first incident in which ambulances have been used by terrorist organizations. Last October, Israeli security forces arrested Nidal Nazal, a Hamas operative from Kalkilya, brother of Natzar Nazal, one of the leaders of the Hamas in the city. Nidal Nazal worked as an ambulance driver for the Palestinian Red Crescent and there is information indicating that Nazal exploited his relatively easy movement around the West Bank towns as an ambulance driver to serve as a messenger between Hamas headquarters in the
various towns.
Ha’Haretz, 28 mar 2002:
Reserve soldiers at the Rama roadblock, north of Jerusalem, arrested an ambulance driver for the Palestinian Red Cross on Wednesday morning, after discovering that he was carrying an explosive device in his ambulance.

The man said that he was transporting the explosives, which were strapped to a belt, from the area of the West Bank city of Nablus at the request of an activist from the military wing of Fatah, which is headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.
Arutz 7, April 1, 2002 :
At approximately 5 PM [on March 31], another suicide bomber detonated himself in the Gush Etzion town of Efrat. The explosion occurred at the Magen David Adom emergency medical service "jump-off" point, and one young paramedic-in-training is in serious condition. Several others were lightly hurt.
Arutz 7, April 1, 2002:
Chief of IDF Planning Branch Maj.-Gen. Giora Eiland revealed yesterday an incident in which Palestinian Red Crescent Society ambulances were exploited by the Arabs for non-emergency purposes. Following a gun battle between IDF forces and Arab troops within Yasser Arafat's Ramallah headquarters, PLO officials requested that Israel allow a Red Crescent Ambulance to enter the compound in order to evacuate two wounded gunmen to a nearby hospital. Israel agreed to this demand on humanitarian grounds. Upon the vehicle's exit, Israeli forces inspected it. Inside they found fourteen healthy Arabs along with the two wounded men, who were trying to smuggle themselves out of the besieged building.
Arutz 7, November 27 , 2002:
Arab gunmen shot at an IDF ambulance today near N'vei Dekalim. No one was hurt, but the ambulance was damaged. Other Incidents today included an Arab firebomb hurled at a bus near Chomesh in the Shomron and shootings at IDF soldiers in N'vei Dekalim and southern Gaza.
To all these egregious acts of terror the “international community” turned a blind eye and a deaf ear. And then came the semi-farsical incident that demonstrated the limits of Teflon: this one stuck.

On January 27, 2003, Jerusalem Post reported that
A donkey rigged with explosives blew up as a bus passed on the road from Jerusalem to Gush Etzion, approximately 80 meters from a nearby IDF roadblock and the ascent to Har Gilo and Beit Jala on Sunday morning.

No one was wounded, though a bus passenger was treated for shock.
As everyone knows by now, this news item brought a rebuke to the “Palestinians” from PETA; specifically, PETA president wrote in this matter directly to “President” Arafat and the letter is posted on the PETA site for all to enjoy. Which goes to underscore, as I have already noted, that even Teflon has its limits. And as many commentators have already observed, the murder of Israeli civilians at the hands of terrorists is of much less concern to the likes of PETA than is a donkey rigged with explosives.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland. This piece is cross-posted on IsraPundit and Dawson Speaks.