March 15, 2002 Special Dispatch No. 356

Egyptian Government Daily Praises the Martyrdom Attack on Jerusalem Cafe: 'A Heroic Operation'

March 15, 2002
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 356

A recent editorial in the Egyptian government-sponsored daily Al-Akhbar, titled "Advice to General Zinni on his New Mission," [1] read:

"The heroic operation carried out by the military arm of the Hamas movement, the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, in West Jerusalem is an important turning point in Palestinian resistance activities."

"This is because it was 50 meters away from the official residence of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in one of the most [heavily] defended areas in Israel. This means that the resistance movements have developed and are capable of striking painfully at Israel, even close to the homes of the leaders of the bloodthirsty Israeli regime."

"Maybe this operation did not [cause] the most bloodshed, but the important point here is the site where it was carried out. The target was a well-known café near Sharon's residence. This was a direct message to the Israeli leadership: The Palestinians, who have nothing to lose, are capable of making horror, the Israelis' daily bread."

"This message has two parts. The first part is that if Israel can get to Arafat and turn his Gaza headquarters to ruins, the resistance can reach the residence of the blood-shedder Sharon. The second part of the message is that there is no safe place left for Israelis…"

"Despite this picture, Sharon still, in his stupidity, persists with a military solution, continuing to attack while disregarding all international counsel. Thus, the region has entered an equation with only two solutions: Either Sharon succeeds in setting off the powder keg in the Middle East, or influential international bodies, led by the U.S., the E.U., and Russia, intervene to stop the insane Israeli war…"

"We hope that the Bush administration will translate [into practice] the positive declarations stating that Sharon's terrorist attacks on the Palestinian people will lead only to more bloodshed. Everyone understands that President Mubarak's efforts have made Bush aware of the failure of the [non-intervention] strategy he declared when he took office…"

"But the dangerous state the conflict has reached proves the justice of President Mubarak's approach: He warned of the possibility that the conflict could get out of control and threaten not only the Middle East but also international security and peace."

"We hope that Zinni…will keep this advice in mind."

[1] Al-Akhbar (Egypt), March 12, 2002.

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