Internal Arab Terrorism Strikes a Gaza School and a PA Official

Local Palestinian Authority terrorists burned out an international school in Gaza and injured a high-ranking PA security official in Kalkilya.

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz,

PA Al-Qaeda affiliates bombed a Gaza school
PA Al-Qaeda affiliates bombed a Gaza school

Recent violence in the Palestinian Authority, apparently executed by local terrorists, burned out an international school and sent a high-ranking PA security official to hospital with moderate injuries.

In Gaza, three bombs were detonated in two buildings of the 600-student American International School. The attack began around 4:00 am Saturday, when terrorists reportedly overpowered guards, poured gasoline and set charges around the school. Most of the institution's furniture was burnt and there was heavy damage to the buildings, but there were no injuries in light of the early hour of the bombings.

A statement released to the press later on Saturday said the attack had been perpetrated by Al-Qaeda. The cell claiming responsibility for the bombings said that their organization was "fighting the influence of the Great Satan in the motherland."

The American government gave $160,000 to the American-style school which is under the jurisdiction of the Hamas Education Ministry. Micaela Schweitzer-Bluhm, a spokeswoman at the United States Consulate in Jerusalem, told The New York Times that the State Department financed scholarships for needy students at the private school, which opened its doors more than six years ago.

School officials called the attackers "enemies of the Palestinian people." "How could any Palestinian think it is in the Palestinian interest to carry out such a barbaric act?" school principal Ribuji Salem, told The New York Times.

In previous attacks on the American International school, where 150 students are enrolled, the principal and a teacher were briefly kidnapped. All of the foreign teachers on the staff left the area a year ago amid growing violence.

In early 2006, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) told reporters that Al-Qaeda had already established a presence in Gaza. His admission confirmed earlier Israeli intelligence assessments. The infiltration to Gaza by Al-Qaeda came after then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon unilaterally surrendered the southern Mediterranean coastal region to the Palestinian Authority.

Islamic fundamentalist terrorist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda have been attacking Internet cafes, businesses owned by Christians, PA officials, coffee shops and other targets deemed by the attackers to be sources of moral corruption in Gaza for over a year.

In a related report, Arab sources said on Friday that a high-ranking PA security official had been injured by gunfire from an unidentified attacker near the Samaria city of Kalkilya, adjacent to Israel's pre-1967 border. At the time of the attack, the official was reportedly standing next to his car, which carried PA plates, near the entrance to the town. A witness said that the gunfire came from a passing vehicle, but PA sources did not confirm the information. The injured man was said to be in moderate condition.

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