Economic war declared on Palestine: Jerusalem bombing
Friday 01 August 1997
Armed troops barred tens of thousands of day labourers from crossing the old "green-line" border to jobs in Israeli agriculture, industry and services. A reinforced military garrison laid siege to seven West Bank towns now under Palestinian self-rule. "No one," a military spokesman said, "can come in or out".
In West Bank villages still under Israeli control, the security services rounded up 28 Palestinians suspected of terrorist activity. The Palestinian police are reported to have detained dozens more. But the Israelis had not yet carried out their threat to send commandos into Palestinian-controlled areas to pick up alleged ring-leaders.
Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition has indicated that the closure will not be lifted in a hurry. "After the Mahane Yehuda bombing," a government spokesman, Moshe Fogel, told The Independent, "we're not going to say business as usual. Yasser Arafat has to convince us that he is serious. There has to be a consistent policy of fighting terror."
Until then, the peace negotiations will remain in limbo. "The basis of the peace process," Mr Fogel insisted, "has to be the understanding that violence is not a legitimate diplomatic tool."
As an example of Israel's demands, he complained that a week ago Israeli forces arrested a band of Palestinian policemen on the way to carry out an attack. The evidence, he claimed, led to the Palestinian police commander, General Ghazi Jabali. Mr Arafat was informed, but did nothing about it. Israel has now issued an arrest warrant against the general.
Israeli investigators were still trying last night to identify the suicide bombers. Inquiries were focussed on two known Hamas operatives from the village of Dahariyeh, near Hebron, who went into hiding a year ago, but police scientists wanted to complete DNA tests before confirming their suspicions. A leaflet in the name of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, claimed responsibility for the bombing, which it said was in revenge for a poster distributed in Hebron last month which depicted the prophet Mohammed as a pig.
The Mahane Yehuda market defiantly reopened for trade yesterday morning. "We cannot be broken," said Uri Mizrahi, who was up at 5.30am to stock his vegetable stall. Shoppers lit candles at the site of the bombing as police stood guard.
Fifty-eight of the wounded were still being treated in Jerusalem hospitals yesterday. One was reported to be in critical condition. Another 13, including two badly-burned teenage girls, were in a serious state. Most of the dead were buried yesterday, but one was still unidentified.
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...