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PA Forked Tongue: Attacked School Bus ‘Not that Badly Damaged’

As 16-year-old Daniel Viflic clings to life after an Arab rocket attack on a school bus, the PA shrugs it off. “The bus wasn’t so badly damaged.”
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 4/12/2011, 6:41 PM

Israel News photo: Screenshot: Channel 1

Palestinian Authority’s “two polices for two languages” on incitement has hit a new record as PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s advisor shrugs off last week’s rocket attack on a school bus, critically wounding a 16-year-old Daniel Viflic.

The PA tells English-speaking audiences that it does not incite against Israel and carries out punitive measures against anyone who does so. However, its message in the Arab media is entirely the opposite.

Fayyad’s political advisor Omar al-Ghoul said on PA TV Friday, “The bus wasn’t that badly damaged. Israel uses [the rocket attack] as an excuse for it latest war crime, “meaning a counterterrorist retaliatory operation against Gaza terrorists.

His remarks were reported and translated by Palestinian Media Watch. He also charged, “Israel is a country that was founded on aggression and colonialism and lives on the continuation of bloodshed, war and violence.

“The racist Israel apartheid state is incapable of turning to peace and coexistence between nations. This aggression is currently focused on Gaza under the pretext of a shell being fired at an Israeli bus.”

Minutes before the impact of the Russian-made Korent missile, smuggled into Gaza from Iran, the school bus unloaded a large group of students at the nearby Kibbutz Aza, whose fields are located next to the Gaza separation fence.

Hamas has tried to shirk blame for the attack, initially saying that the terrorist organization did not know “that the bus targeted on the outskirts of Gaza carried schoolchildren,” adding that it was travelling on a main highway used by the IDF. However, the school bus is a bright yellow, and whoever fires the laser-guided rocket often used by Israeli military vehicles knows almost exactly where it will explode.

Later, Hamas denied that the bus was carrying school children. In the Hamas daily Falastin, an article translated by Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) was headlined, “Israel's Claim of Attack on Bus Is Exaggerated – Just Like the Holocaust.”

The article claimed that the bus could not have been transporting pupils because it was so far from the child’s home and because there were no photographs of the wounded or of ambulances taking them to hospital.