Arafat Blames Israel for Tel Aviv Bombing

Posted in Israel / Palestine | 12-Jul-04 | Author: Itamar Marcus and Barbara Croo| Source: Palestinian Media Watch

Israeli policemen collect evidence from the bus stop in Tel Aviv where a bomb exploded July 11, 2004.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) as policy attempts to portray itself as victim - even when those killed are Israelis and even when it bears full responsibility. This pattern repeated yesterday as a bomb in Tel Aviv killed a 19-year old Israeli woman soldier and wounded 34. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the terror arm of the Arafat's Fatah, took responsibility for the bombing. The connection between the PA and the Al Aqsa wing is openly acknowledged as PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei recently stressed: "The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, military wing of the Fateh movement will not be dissolved and Fateh will never relinquish its military wing."
[PA official PA website, June 21, 2004]

Two aspects of the Palestinian Authority's statements following the attack are noteworthy:

1. When Arafat and Prime Minister Qurei condemned the bombing, a routine expected by the world media and international community, it was explained not in terms of human loss to Israel but political loss to the Palestinians:
"President Arafat and Prime Minister Qurei repeated their total opposition to actions targeting civilians on both sides. Explosion actions that target civilians are counter to the lofty interests of our nation, hurt the legality of its legitimate struggle against the occupation, and cause damage to its image..."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July, 12, 2004]
2. Moreover, Arafat argued that since Israel was the one benefiting politically from the bombing it was likely that Israel was behind it:
"You know that we are against bombings of this type. We most not forget who stands behind them, as was in Beit Lid [=bombing in 1995 that killed 21 for which Arafat repeatedly blames Israel]. Who stands behind Beit Lid, who murdered [Israeli minister] Zeevi, who is behind Zeevi... [Israel] ...attempts to cover up what happened in Hague." [PA TV July, 12, 2004]

Thus according to the PA, though it was the PA terror wing that planted the bomb and an Israeli who was killed - they are the political victims of Israeli scheming.