The editors of Egyptian government papers hailed a suicide bombing that was recently carried out by Hamas in a Jerusalem neighborhood. At the same time senior Egyptian officials, along with Fatah representatives were reportedly trying to persuade Hamas representatives in the Fatah-Hamas dialogue in Cairo to avoid terrorist attacks inside Israel. The following are excerpts from the editorials:
Al-Akhbar: "Eleven Israeli Terrorist Killed"
An editorial in the Egyptian government paper Al-Akhbar titled "The Jerusalem Operation: The Only Response to Israeli Terrorism," stated that "eleven Israeli terrorists were killed in this operation." The editorial continued: "Reacting to all of the inhuman acts of the Zionist entity intended to subdue the Palestinian people, a martyrdom operation took place yesterday [November 21, 2002] in occupied Jerusalem in order to prove conclusively that Israel deludes itself in its belief that its uncontrollable appetite to kill, destroy, and terrorize will bring security and peace."
"It is inconceivable that the ruling gang in Tel-Aviv will succeed in fulfilling its hope of subduing the Palestinians and forcing them to accept the conditions of submission that Israel has been trying to impose on them for more than half a century."
"This operation in which eleven Israeli terrorists were killed and dozens were wounded stems from a number of reasons, the first of which is that this operation is a consequence of a brave ambush prepared by Palestinian martyrs … in Hebron which … because of the state of madness that over took the ruling Israeli gang led by Ariel Sharon, who seeks to spill more Palestinian blood, especially the blood of children, women, the elderly, and the brave people of resistance."
"In essence, everybody knows that the resistance is the only way for liberation, and there is no alternative. This weapon, the weapon of legitimate force, is the only weapon that Israel fears. Only the resistance can smash the Israeli arrogance and idiocy of its leaders."
Al-Gumhuriyya: "This Valiant Courageous Operation… The Most Honorable Mission"
The editor of the Al-Gumhuriyya daily, Sameer Ragab also wrote in his daily column about the attack in Jerusalem: "The brave Palestinians will continue to be regarded as terrorists by the Israelis as long as they carryout martyrdom operations by which they are trying to react to [just] a few of the crimes committed against them!!! The Israelis will not enjoy security nor stability, as long as they insist on remaining in the territories that they occupied by force and [continue] to destroy homes over the heads of their owners and to spill the blood of innocent people without any pangs of conscious."
"Yesterday a 23 year-old Palestinian martyr blew himself up in a bus in Jerusalem and consequently eleven Israelis were killed, forty-seven wounded, of whom, nine are in critical condition!!! Of course this operation is not the first one, and shall not be the last one, as long as the Israelis continue the policy of oppression, stubbornness, and treachery. [This is] especially so, because they do not want to understand that violence breads violence. The more frustration in the hearts of hopeless people, the more the flames of rage rise."
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"Jerusalem's Mayor Ehud Olmert … looking at the remains of the bodies said, 'we deluded ourselves into believing that terrorism came to an end, but it apparently continues.' Understandably, Olmert who has close ties with the bloody handed Sharon, is entitled to consider those who carried out this valiant, courageous operation as 'terrorists,' overlooking the fact that Israel is a terrorist state in its words and actions, in its appearance and ideas, and that most of its leaders are nothing but war criminals that will not be spared by the tribunal of history, even if it takes a long time."
"At the same time, Minister of Foreign Affairs Benjamin Netanyahu and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon began, as is their wont, to threaten every Palestinian, from Yasser Arafat to the most recently born Palestinian baby. These are insane cries which further complicate the crisis so that the cycle of violence will continue: The Israelis will wake up in the morning put their victims in plastic bags, and a few hours later the Palestinians will embrace each other having pronounced the Shahada (i.e. the Islamic declaration of faith) and be on the way to carryout the most noble, precious, and honorable mission."
"It Is the Jews Who Are Behind Every Calamity"
On the following day (November 23, 2002) the Al-Gumhuriyya editor Sameer Ragab took up the subject again: "On the one-hundredth, perhaps the one-thousandth time, we ask: 'Will reoccupation of the Palestinian areas by Israel and the imposition of curfews, and the destruction of homes - Will all this stop martyrdom operations or bring an end to what they call terrorism?'"
"It is amazing and even shocking that they in Israel don't learn. Whenever they have a few dozen victims, those who contend for the position of prime minister are quick to demand harsh violent revenge. We must again reiterate that Israel is the cause for all that is happening, because it refuses to understand that the age of governing by virtue of military power is over and that the Palestinians have reached a stage in which it is no longer possible to disregard even the slightest of their rights."
"Don't blame Arafat and his men; it is the Jews who are behind every calamity!"
Al-Ahram: When Will Israel Learn?
The editorial of the leading Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram was relatively restrained. Under the title "When will the Leaders of Israel Learn their Lesson" the paper stated:
"Once again, a martyrdom operation in West Jerusalem yesterday, in which eleven Israelis were killed and forty-nine were injured, proved that violence breads nothing but violence and that security measures as tight as they maybe will not prevent the bloodshed of such operations and that the only solution is the return to the negotiating table and the achievement of a peaceful solution that will satisfy both sides and will realize their legitimate claims, especially the one relating to the declaration of a new Palestinian state."