Monday’s bombing attempt was only the latest in a series of terrorist attacks involving the exploitation of Israel’s humanitarian flexibility in the face of a very real security threat.

Monday’s abortive suicide attack at the Erez crossing is especially shocking for the Israeli public for a number of reasons:

– The woman bomber was entering Israel using a special medical permit issue in order to provide her with follow-up treatment in a Beersheba hospital for burns sustained a few months earlier in a home cooking accident. At that time, the woman’s life had been saved by the same Israeli doctors and nurses who she was now planning to blow up.

– Monday’s bombing attempt was only the latest in a series of terrorist attacks involving the exploitation of Israel’s humanitarian flexibility in the face of a very real security threat. Yet, despite this difficult reality, many human rights groups are only too quick to criticize Israeli security procedures at checkpoints, such as its insistence on inspecting ambulances.

– The attempted attack by woman terrorist from Gaza illustrates again, in the most appalling terms, the terrorist organizations’ cynical exploitation of the weaker elements of Palestinian society, such as women and children. This scornful and criminal abuse of the vulnerable occurs in stark contrast with the special consideration extended by Israel to the Palestinian civil population, and its efforts to promote their welfare and safety, despite the terrorists who purposely operate in their midst.

– Israeli had passed on specific intelligence to the PA concerning the terrorists’ intentions of dispatching this bomber. However the PA did nothing to prevent the attack. This further demonstrates to Israelis the inability or unwillingness of the PA to prevent terrorism and dismantle terror infrastructures as it has repeatedly and publicly committed itself to do, both to Israel and the international community. Indeed, had this bombing been successful, any hope of maintaining the calm necessary to move the peace process forward on the eve of Israel’s Gaza disengagement would have been lost.

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 Behind the Headlines: Abortive suicide attack at Erez

From an open letter to the Jerusalem Post by Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, an obstetrician and gynecologist from the Jabalya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip who works at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba:

As a Palestinian doctor who has worked at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba for eight years, I was outraged at the cynical and potentially deadly suicide bombing attempt by Wafa Samir Ibrahim al-Biss.

Soroka is a hospital that has opened its doors to treat Palestinians without discrimination, offering the best care available. I have nothing but praise for the doctors, nurses and other medical staff at Soroka Hospital. They show compassion, sympathy and kindness. I was therefore extremely shocked and upset to hear that Wafa Biss, from the Jabalya refugee camp, was wired with explosives to blow herself up at Soroka, a place where she had been treated with kindness and mercy.

Wafa was sent to kill the very people in Israel who are healing Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Israeli hospitals extend humanitarian treatment to Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and West Bank. These efforts continued when all other cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis came to a halt during the most recent intifada.

To plan an operation of this kind against a hospital is an act of evil. Children, women, patients, doctors and nurses were the target. Is this a reward for kindness? Is this an advertisement for Islam, a religion which respects and sanctifies human life? This is aggression and a violation of humanity.