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The blast went off around 10:15 A.M. Wednesday as a three-car U.S. diplomatic convoy drove near a gas station on the outskirts of the town of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, along the main north-south road.
Both the militant Islamic Jihad and Hamas movements denied responsibility for the attack.
Witnesses at the scene said a silver Cherokee jeep used by American diplomats was completely destroyed by the blast. Parts of the vehicle were strewn in a 30-meter radius around a crater created by the explosion.
If Islamic Jihad and Hamas are denying responsibility, what about the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade, a division of Yasser Arafat's al-Fatah faction? They've been known to plant bombs as well. My guess is that, unlike other attacks in the area, no one will be in a rush to claim this one as their own. As Oxblog states:
An attack on a nation's diplomats is an act of war, and a government which refuses to crack down on terrorists is complicit in that act.
This is the rationale offered for removing the Taliban from Afghanistan, after all; a government that hides terrorists after attacking Americans will be targeted in the war on terror. Will the Bush administration apply this policy to Arafat and the Palestinian Authority? Or Syria, for that matter, which openly hosts Hamas? But to do that would risk losing the goodwill and sympathy of Palestinians after this terrible crime:
Later in the day, American security officials investigating the bomb attack left the scene abruptly after Palestinian youths threw stones and rocks at them. The investigators were taking pictures of the bloodied, twisted remains of the van when half a dozen kids threw stones and rocks at them as about 200 Palestinians looked on.
Uh, never mind.Sphere It View blog reactions
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