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

May 13, 2003

Terrorists from Arafat's compound murdered Israeli

Was it earlier this week or last week that it was reported that the terrorists who were expelled from Bethlehem last year after taking the Church of the Nativity hostage, were asking to return to their homes? Regardless, no doubt international pressure will increase that Israel should allow those thugs to return. But we're not talking about worthy boy scouts here. We're talking about the sort of person who's holed up with Arafat in his compound. As the Jerusalem Post reports:
A terror cell left Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's Mukata compound in Ramallah on Remembrance Day Eve, murdered Gideon Lichterman, 27, of Ahiya, near Shvut Rahel, then returned to the compound, security officials said on Monday.

Officials believe the terrorists, who may be members of the Palestinian Authority's security forces, received their orders from inside the Mukata.

"The terrorists responsible for Lichterman's murder left the Mukata to perpetrate the attack and then returned to the compound. The same cell also shot at a vehicle on the Aboud bypass road last Thursday night, but no one was wounded. We cannot rule out, but have yet to ascertain, that the same cell also murdered Zion David [north of Ofra] on Sunday morning," an IDF officer said.
Gee, do you think the NY Times or Washington Post will report this? Or will they keep claiming that Israel's holding up the Road Map because its stalling for time? I can answer that. Nope. Neither the NY Times nor the Washington Post published this damning charge.

Each of those papers had other items of note. From the Washington Post ("Sharon's Refusal To Accept Plan Vexes Powell Trip "):
Further complicating the picture during Powell's visit for talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the Israeli military imposed the tightest crackdown on travel between Israel and the Gaza Strip since the current Palestinian uprising began in September 2000, closing Gaza's borders to everyone except diplomats and aid workers. Maher indicated the tightened closure undercut earlier gestures announced by Israel to ease Palestinian suffering that Powell had hailed as "very promising."

At the same time -- and adding to the impression that Powell's tour has not eased tensions -- three Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, including a farm worker who Palestinian news reports said was tilling a field near an army observation post in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.

Israel's position on the peace plan, known as the "road map," has stirred anger in the Arab world and has become a major point of contention during Powell's tour of the region. Palestinian officials have accepted the road map, and they complained that Israel's crackdown in Gaza, which also barred journalists, belied the symbolism of any of the gestures announced earlier.
In three of the first 4 paragraphs, the Washington Post puts the full onus of the lack of progress on Israel. It even mentions the killing of a "farm worker" according "Palestinian news reports". If the reporters had read Ha'aretz, they'd know that Minister of Defense Mofaz made that charge. It would also support Israel's hestitation over making any further concessions. Alas the only way reporters know how to present the Middle East is whether or not there's been talks. Actions - particularly Arab actions against Israel - get ignored.

The New York Times, surprsingly, does a little better.
In the Gaza violence, the Israeli Army said troops had found two tunnels used by weapons smugglers in the town of Rafah, on the border with Egypt. Soldiers in the area spotted two Palestinians trying to plant a an explosive device and shot them, the army said. Palestinians said both were killed.

Israeli troops also shot a Palestinian farmer dead in his fields outside the nearby town of Khan Yunis, according to the Palestinians. The army said it was checking the report.
noting that Israel found weapon smuggling tunnels. Still the Times mentions the dead farmer quoting unidentified "Palestinians," but no mentions of Mofaz's charge.
Cross-posted on IsraPundit and David's Israel Blog.