Most people we spoke with during the last few days (not only here in Jerusalem but also in Paris where we had to be for some work-related meetings this week) seem to have no idea Palestinian Arab terror continues to be a central feature of Israeli lives.
TV and newspaper reports we saw in Europe and here in Israel are largely focused on Abbas smilingly wanly at the cameras while Hamas steamrollers ahead unhindered with its Iranian/Syrian-sponsored offensive, and on the US secretary of state receiving the usual kindergarten lesson from the Pal-Arab ruling junta on how and why things never get better in this part of the world.
For those who get their information from the brand-name news sources, here's some information you probably didn't see or hear. It's about the massive terror attack of last week in Tel-Aviv. The one that, thanks to active counter-measures and divine intervention, never happened.
Four days ago, on February 20th 2007, a Palestinian Arab man exited the village of Jalboun, near Jenin in the northern Samaria district, and headed off in the direction of the Tel-Aviv area. The police say he had a backpack containing a large quantity of instruments of death, mainly explosives. As far as they can tell, his plan was to go to a central bus station - one of the many in the Tel-Aviv area - or a shopping mall - ditto - and meet his 72 virgins by means of a massive act of murder and self-mutilation.
In other words, precisely the sort of action that the current political leadership of the Pal-Arabs praises constantly.
It seems he got as far as Rishon Letzion, one of Tel-Aviv's southern suburbs by the early afternoon. Something then happened, possibly a technical fault. As a result, he threw his bombs into a public garbage dumpster and headed off to an apartment in Bat Yam, another suburb of Tel-Aviv, where he was evidently assured of some shelter and protection. No details of who or why or where have been released at this stage. He was arrested there - again the details are not a matter of public knowledge at this stage.
The police took him back to Rishon Letzion and he showed them where the bomb or bombs had been thrown away. There's no suggestion that this story is fabricated. The man, it's fair to assume, was proud of what he set out to do. His organization publicly confirmed to the media that he was trying to carry out a massacre.
After his apprehension, Israeli security forces, presumably acting on information provided by the arrested terrorist, immediately mounted an action focused on the Jenin "refugee" camp. This happened the day after the arrest - on February 21st. There they intercepted Muhammad Ibrahim Qassem Ubeid. he's known as Abu Jahim in the pro-murder publicity announcements that Pal-Arab society has grown so proficient at propagating. Ubeid was riding around in his car at the time, equipped with an M-16 rifle. The IDF says in its official report that explosive devices were found in his car. Ubeid was one of the most wanted Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists in the area. He is the person who dispatched Jalboun, the failed bomber. He was responsible for recruiting other murderer/bombers and for manufacturing explosive devices. He will no longer engage in acts of barbarism or terror because, in the course of the security forces' activities this week, his life ended.
In case you have forgotten just how soaked with innocent blood these people are, here's a brief reminder of the role played by Palestinian Islamic Jihad:
- Headquartered in Damascus and sponsored and supported by Iran and Syria, PIJ is designated as a terror organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Australia and Israel.
- PIJ has been responsible for more murder/bombing attacks in Israel than any other terror group. In the past year, it executed two massacres in Tel Aviv including one on 27th April 2006 at a felafel stand near the Old Tel-Aviv Bus Station. Two attacks that left 9 people dead and 110 injured.
- Its most recent 'achievement' is the Eilat bakery murder we described three weeks ago. That multi-murder was done in collaboration with agents of Fatah, the mainstream Pal-Arab terror organization that owes its loyalty to Abbas. (Currently the president of the Pal-Arab Authority, Abbas is absurdly called 'moderate' by many of the reporters active in the field.)
- Dozens more PIJ attempted massacres have been thwarted by Israeli police, army and other security services and by solid, unpublicized undercover work in the past year.