After several months of relative calm, two Palestinian suicide bombers blew themselves up inside two buses in the city of Beersheba, in southern Israel. Sixteen civilians were killed, including a three-year-old boy, and another 100 people were injured.

 Behind the Headlines-The Terrorist Attacks in Beersheba

 

Child's toy  behind shattered window of  destroyed bus after bombing (Reuters/Gil Cohen Magen)

After several months of relative calm, two Palestinian suicide bombers continued their murderous campaign of terror against Israeli civilians. The two terrorists blew themselves up inside two buses in the city of Beersheba, in southern Israel. Sixteen civilians were killed, including a three-year-old boy, and another 100 people were injured.
 
The relative quiet of recent months was not the result of a choice by Palestinian terrorist organizations to halt attacks against Israeli civilians. On the contrary – the Israeli security forces have received daily warnings regarding the intentions of Palestinian terrorists to carry out attacks. The relative quiet of the past six months is a result of the preventive operations and interceptions of the Israeli security forces and the presence of the anti-terrorist fence. These two elements combined have prevented Palestinian organizations from carrying out atrocities.

The terrorist attacks took place in southern Israel – an area where the anti-terrorist fence has not yet been established. This is further proof that the fence is effective and successful. The facts speak for themselves. Where the fence has been established, it has succeeded in bringing about a dramatic reduction in terrorist attacks. There is no terrorism in areas where the fence stands. The anti-terrorist fence works. It saves lives, and it exists to protect Israel’s citizens. The fence is temporary and reversible. It can be removed as soon as it is no longer required – on the day that the Palestinian leadership makes a strategic decision to put an end to the terrorist attacks. While the fence is reversible, the loss of human life is not.

Not only does the Palestinian Authority refuse to confront the terrorist organizations. It also supports and encourages the terrorist activity. The Government of Israel has therefore reached the conclusion that in the absence of a genuine and sincere negotiating partner, it must take the initiative with a political plan that is not dependent upon the Palestinian side. This is the Disengagement Plan.

While Israel has adopted a political initiative to bring about an improvement in the situation in the region, the Palestinian Authority has not taken any action, and has failed to implement the first stage of the Roadmap, in which it committed itself to ending terrorism and dismantling the infrastructure of terror.

After every terrorist atrocity, Palestinian spokesmen appear on television screens around the world, as they attempt to justify the murder of innocent civilians, claiming that there would be no terrorism if there were no Israeli “occupation”. It is unfortunate that these spokesmen ignore two basic facts: Palestinian terrorism began many years before the “occupation” that followed the Six Day War. Secondly, they overlook the fact that terrorism is, first and foremost, a byproduct of incitement. The Palestinian Authority encourages the indoctrination of Palestinian children and students with the culture of hatred and violence in the kindergartens, schools, universities and mosques.

Anyone who studies the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot ignore the fact that the Palestinian leadership, through its adoption of terrorism, violence and murder, has been responsible for leading its people to a hopeless dead end.

In spite of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, there are other paths aside from hopelessness and despair. On numerous occasions in the past, Israel has declared its readiness to make compromises, and to pay a heavy price for peace. The path to peace begins with the cessation of terrorism and violence. The complete cessation of Palestinian terror, the disbanding of terrorist organizations and the halting of incitement can pave the way towards political compromise and peace, with hope of reconciliation and a better future for all the peoples of the region.