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Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Another attack in the Middle East. This one was in Gaza. This one was aimed at us.

GAZA CITY (CNN) -- A bomb went off underneath a convoy carrying U.S. diplomats in Gaza Wednesday, killing three American members of a security detail and injuring another in an unprecedented attack, U.S. officials said.


The convoy was carrying U.S. Embassy officials to Gaza to interview Palestinian students who have applied for Fulbright scholarships in the United States, Kurtzer said.


A senior U.S. State Department official said the convoy had just entered Gaza through the Erez Checkpoint and was traveling a commonly known route often used by U.S. diplomats.

According to the State Department, a roadside bomb was triggered immediately after the Palestinian police cars in the convoy passed by, hitting the second U.S. vehicle that followed.

(Emphasis added.) So they waited for the Palestinians to pass and triggered the bomb under the car carrying the Americans.

An Associated Press correspondent at the scene reported seeing a gray wire leading from the bomb crater to a small concrete building nearby. He said an on/off switch was attached to the wire. ...

So they watched and waited for the Palestinians to pass and triggered the bomb under the car carrying the Americans.

No group has claimed responsibility. Two Palestinian militant groups -- Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad -- told news agencies they had nothing to do with the bombing.

Well, no one said they were stupid in a tactical sense. Strategic issues are another matter altogether. I think it might finally be getting through to the Palestinians that it is no longer open season on Americans. Even if (as I stongly suspect) they are lying about their culpability.

The attack was believed to be the first aimed at Americans since the beginning of the current Palestinian uprising, now in its third year.

Kurtzer said the Palestinian Authority had been asked to arrest those responsible.

Don't hold your breath.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei strongly condemned the attack, offered his condolences, and promised an investigation.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat also offered his condolences and condemned the attack.

Nice words. Again. No action. Again.

"These people were here to help us," Erakat insisted, saying an attack on what he described as U.S. monitors was not in the interest of the Palestinian people. "I don't think this was a deliberate attack against the Americans.

Let's see. They watched and waited for the Palestinians to get safely by and triggered the bomb under a vehicle they undoubtedly knew to be carrying Americans, maybe even John Wolf, described below as "U.S. special envoy to the Middle East." But this was not an attack on Americans. Oh, and the Palestinian government is cool with blowing up cars passing through Gaza as long as said cars are only occupied by Jews. Why are there still people who believe that this government is itself not a terrorist organization?

"We offer to have an immediate, joint Palestinian-American investigation committee to investigate the matter," Erakat said.

Why do I think that no investigation is necessary, that they know damn well who did it and won't shoot the SOB (or send him to us) because Arafat and the factions he controls don't want to?

John Wolf, special U.S. envoy to the Middle East, was not in the country at the time of the attack despite media reports that said he was in the convoy, the embassy said.

A little bit out of order within the story, but they watched and waited for the Palestinians to pass and triggered the bomb under the car they thought would be carrying an American of ambassadorial rank. But this was not an attack on Americans.

Erakat said the Americans were in Gaza as part of the U.S.-backed "road map" for peace in the region.

The road map -- a plan put forth by the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations -- calls for an end to "violence and terrorism" and envisions an independent Palestine existing side-by-side with Israel by 2005.

Let's try that one again. The roadmap calls for the immediate and unconditional cessation of violence (without the scare quotes) by the Palestinians, dismantling of the Palestinian terror organizations, Palestinian political reform, drafting a Palestinian constitution, and free, fair and open elections under that constitution, with supportive measures and security cooperation by Israel. (Phase One) Anyone see any of those things happen yet? No? So we don't get to Phase II, do we?

Dore Gold, a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, also offered condolences, noting that Israelis "understand exactly the kind of grief this terrible, terrible terrorism causes."

"Clearly these attacks are motivated by the same anti-Western, anti-American feelings that unite all these forces in the Middle East," he said.

Gold said "this attack would never have occurred" if the Palestinian Authority had cracked down on terrorist groups.

He got that last one right. How long do we have to wait until we hear that the failure to award those scholarships (because the people who were going to award them are dead) is evidence of Amerikkkka's racist bias in favor of those Jews?
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