Jerusalem, June 15, 2003

Further details on April 30, 2003 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The two British Muslims – Asif Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif – who were involved in the April 30, 2003 suicide bombing at Mike’s Place in Tel Aviv were dispatched to perpetrate the attack by the Hamas military command in the Gaza Strip.

The dispatching of foreign Muslims by Hamas to perpetrate attacks against Israel constitutes a dramatic and strategic turning point from Hamas’ point of view.

Such a step means that Hamas is, in effect, ideologically toeing the line with global jihad organizations, led by Al-Qaeda, which have declared total war on whoever is not a Muslim and even against those Muslims who cooperate with the West.

Despite this turning point, Hamas decided not to accept responsibility for the Mike’s place attack, apparently due to the possible ramifications that this might have vis-?-vis its image, and because this would reveal its true ideological face as an organization that is not fighting for its freedom on its land (on "Islamic Waqf" lands, as per its claims) but in order to achieve its dream of a United State of Islam encompassing the entire world.

This aspiration naturally sees countries such as Israel, the USA and the nations of Western Europe as enemies, but also sees the Arab states, African countries and the Palestinian Authority as enemies since these are seen both as "collaborators" with the West and its culture, and as "endangering Islam," according to the fundamentalists.

The Israel Security Agency is now examining suspicions regarding possible cooperation in the Mike’s Place attack between Hamas and Al-Qaeda. It should be pointed out that such ties have been exposed in the past, including with Hamas in the Gaza Strip; however, until the present, no direct operative cooperation in order to perpetrate joint attacks has been revealed.

The ISA investigation is continuing.