Day of Terror

While Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, Israel is reeling from a string of deadly attacks: a shooting spree that killed six civilians in Beit Shan, a triple-suicide bomb attack aimed at Israeli tourists in Kenya that killed at least 11, including two Israeli children, and the seemingly coordinated double-missile attack of an Israeli airplane in Kenya carrying 271 people.

A previously unknown group calling itself “The Army of Palestine” faxed a claim of responsibility to the Reuters news agency in Beirut. John Malan Sawe, Kenyan Ambassador to Israel, speculated that al-Qaida was responsible.

Terror experts add: The fact that responsibility for both today’s Kenya attacks was claimed almost immediately in Beirut suggests that this is part of ongoing cooperation between al-Qaeda, Fatah, Hizbullah and Hamas to try and provoke an international response by Israel, thereby widening the conflict to make it harder for the U.S. to win Arab backing for an attack on Iraq.

Meanwhile, the Israel Resource news agency points out that the U.S. House of Representatives’ “Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare” found that the duty-free stores at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi, are owned by a PLO financial front company, and have provided the PLO “a base for the procurement of forged travel documents and airline tickets.”

Steven Odero, a waiter at the Mombasa Paradise Hotel, told Associated Press that hotel staff saw a light plane circling over the hotel at the time of the explosion, and three packages — which staff said were bombs — were dropped from the plane, one landing in the hotel pool, one on the roof and one in the ocean.

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In the Israeli town of Beit Shan, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah/Al Aksa Brigades claimed responsibility for the submachine attack that killed six Israelis and injured dozens more at a polling station and the town’s main bus station. One of the gunmen killed by security forces wore an explosive belt that did not detonate, police spokesmen said.

Journalist and commentator Tom Gross adds: Attacks of this kind continue to be funded in part by the $4 million dollars given each week by the EU to Yasser Arafat, according to anti-Arafat democratic forces in Ramallah. It will be left to historians to examine the extent of European collaboration in the present round of suicide murders of Jewish civilians.

HonestReporting encourages members to monitor your local media to see how they are reporting Thursday’s attacks.