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March 07, 2003

'Israelis got what was coming to them'

The "neighbors" in East Jerusalem, according to this report by Danny Rubenstein after the recent bus bombing.
Satisfaction among Palestinians following Wednesday's suicide bus bombing was far greater than after previous attacks, according to a group of Palestinian journalists who interviewed West Bank and Gaza Strip residents.

A youth enrolled in a computer course in East Jerusalem said that when he arrived at class yesterday afternoon, everyone welcomed him saying, "Finally! The Israelis got what was coming to them!"

"We have 40 killed every week, so don't expect us to sit in silence," an Al-Aqsa Brigades member told reporters in Ramallah.

Even senior Palestinian Authority officials who condemned the attack said that it was only to be expected considering Israel's "daily slaughter," as indicated by a PLO spokesman in Ramallah.

Palestinian spokesmen noted the high number of Palestinian deaths during the intifada and particularly the number killed over the last few days.

According to Dr. Moussa Barghouti, a human rights activist from Ramallah, about 85 percent of the Palestinians killed since the start of the intifada have been civilians.

Other Palestinian sources said that since the last suicide bombing - on January 6 at Tel Aviv's old central bus station - 156 Palestinians, including 17 children, have been killed; only 40 of those were armed.

During the past few days, for example, a pregnant woman and a 75-year-old man were killed in the Gaza Strip and a deaf youth was killed in Tul Karm.

Meanwhile, Hamas spokesmen were furious with the PA's condemnation of the attack. "They are speaking as if they had autonomy," Hamas members said. Making reference to the IDF's damaging a Rafah mosque earlier this week, they added that "it was clear that the IDF would have to pay for this." [more]