Monday, October 17, 2005


Attack in Gush Etzion by Arlene Kushner

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October 16, 2005

Three people -- two young women and a 13 year old boy -- have been mowed down in a drive-by shooting in Gush Etzion. The victims were standing at a hitching post on route 60, waiting for a ride, when a Palestinian car going in the direction of Kiryat Arba drove up, killed them in a bloody hail of fire, and kept going.

Al-Aksa Brigades has taken responsibility for this attack. (Didn't I just write about the al-Aksa announcement that they would be continuing attacks? They wasted no time.)

According to Arutz Sheva, David Baker, an official from the prime minister's office, accused the Arabs of exploiting "humanitarian gestures." These "gestures" including the removal of roadblocks, were made by Israel recently ahead of a summit that was supposed to take place between PA chief Mahmoud Abbas, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon -- but which never did take place. Made in spite of the warnings that terrorism was going to increase in Judea and Samaria. Made in spite of awareness that such gestures are abused time after time.

What is it with these gestures? This need, under pressure, to demonstrate our "good faith" and our willingness to "strengthen" Abbas, even when it puts Israelis at risk??

It could have been prevented, says Shaul Goldstein, head of the Gush Etzion Municipal Council: "I sat with army heads at this very intersection last week, pointing out the dangers of the situation on our roads. It's simple: all of the roads were opened up to Arab traffic, and our lives are at risk."

Very painful to contemplate. Seems the more things are supposed to change, the more they stay the same. Where is Sharon's "tough on terrorism" stance? And why was this "goodwill gesture" sustained when the plans for the Sharon-Abbas meeting fell apart because Abbas demanded too much?

Needless to say, with the holiday approaching, the country is on high alert. Please G-d let us see no more this week.

Note: Gush Etzion is a bloc of 15 settlements southeast of Jerusalem, with an enormously rich Jewish history going way back. It serves as a significant security buffer for Jerusalem.

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