Daily Israel Report

Israel Responds

Sixteen Jews were murdered on a bus in downtown Jerusalem yesterday - yet Israel still finds itself having to answer charges of "causing a cycle of violence" and "childishly trading 'you started it' claims" with the Arabs.
First Publish: 6/12/2003, 10:30 AM

Sixteen Jews were murdered on a bus in downtown Jerusalem yesterday - yet Israel still finds itself having to answer charges of "causing a cycle of violence" and "childishly trading 'you started it' claims" with the Arabs.

The IDF, doggedly trying to get its point across, explained once again today that well before Israel's attempted assassination of Hamas leader Rantisi on Tuesday, Hamas was trying to suicide-bomb Israelis all over the country. Israeli forces caught twenty such would-be murderers in the past month - half of them since the Aqaba summit over a week ago. In addition, the terrorist who committed yesterday's carnage departed on his mission "a few days ago," according to high-level security officials.

At a meeting held at the Defense Minister's office last night, it was decided that all Hamas leaders are potential targets for Israel, including Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. This decision was put into practice in Gaza today when Hamas terrorist leader Iman Abu Taha and Jihad Srour were targeted and killed by Israeli helicopter gunships at around 4:00 this afternoon. Taha's wife and two children were killed in the attack as well. This was Israel's fifth attack in Gaza since Tuesday morning: three targeted attacks against Hamas leaders, including Rantisi, and two against cells of Kassam-rocket launchers.