Arab terrorist throws firebomb (file)
Arab terrorist throws firebomb (file) Reuters

Among the several Palestinian terror attacks in and around Jerusalem over the weekend, the fire that engulfed a bus en route to the capital is finally now revealed to have been an attempted mass murder.

A car attack, rocks thrown at the mayor, an attempted stabbing, and an Arab riot – all this happened in Jerusalem over the weekend. At the end of the list in most news reports was the bus that caught fire on Route 443, just north of the capital.

All the incidents were serious: Four policemen were wounded, including a 20-year-old woman listed in moderate condition, when a Palestinian terrorist plowed into them with his car near Yeshivat Beit Orot near Mt. Scopus on Saturday night. Quick intelligence work led to the terrorist's arrest on Sunday morning; his remand was extended for nine days this morning (Monday). Mayor Nir Barkat and a volunteer medic, both of whom arrived at the scene of the attack shortly after it occurred, were attacked by Arab rock-throwers, causing light injuries to the medic and some damage to their vehicles.

The bus fire was all but forgotten, and it took nearly two days before the police announced that it was the result of a firebomb – a Molotov cocktail – hurled at it. The bus was empty, except for the driver, and no one was hurt. Route 443 passes by several Arab villages, yet the police gave no hint as to the identity of the perpetrator(s).

The police announced today that upon investigation, they have concluded that "the bus was set afire by a firebomb hurled at it. Police and soldiers then searched the area and found another firebomb ready to be thrown."

The firebomb hit the roof of the bus, then caught fire in the air conditioning vent, which then spread throughout the bus.

The police have long been known to delay announcements of terror attacks – perhaps in order to reduce the chances of civilian flare-ups between the Jewish and Arab populations, or, alternatively, in keeping with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch's approach to security. Several months ago, several protests were held against his handling of his job. "There is one person who is responsible for this [situation in] which there is no security today in Jerusalem, and that man is Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch," said Jerusalem City Councilman Aryeh King, "who simply does not allow the police to stop terror." 

Most recently, the run-down terrorist murder of Shalom Yohai Sherki two weeks ago was originally announced to be an apparent accident, then became the subject of an "investigation," and was finally deemed a terrorist act after about three days. Two other notable murders – that of window-cleaner and rappeler (abseiler) Netanel Arami this past September and of Rabbi Moshe Talbi, in March 2011 – were also handled in this manner. In both cases, months passed and the families protested strongly before the police finally declared them victims of Palestinian terrorist murders.

In a related item, Palestinian Arabs threw rocks at the light-rail near Shuafat late last night. No one was hurt. 

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