Israeli settler kills four aboard bus in Arab town
SHFARAM, Israel (Reuters) - A soldier from a Jewish settlement shot dead four people on a bus in an Israeli Arab town on Thursday in what Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called an attack by a "bloodthirsty terrorist" ahead of a Gaza pullout.
The teenage attacker, wearing a military uniform and the skullcap of a religious Jew, was killed by residents of the town of Shfaram, who stormed the bus and smashed the windows after the shootings.
Security agencies had warned that Jewish militants against the evacuation of Gaza settlements, due to start in two weeks, could attack Palestinians to stoke conflict and wreck a pullout they see as rejecting a biblical birthright.
In addition to the four dead, at least 22 people, all but seven of them Arabs, were hurt in the shooting and the ensuing fracas. Hamas threatened reprisals for the attack, the deadliest by a Jewish radical since 29 Palestinians were killed in 1994.
Sharon called it "a sinful act by a bloodthirsty terrorist."
"This terror incident is a deliberate attempt to harm the relations between the citizens of Israel. Terror between civilians is the most dangerous thing for the future of Israel and its democratic stability," his office said in a statement.
The army said 19-year-old Eden Nathan Zaada had "deserted and was of a problematic background."
His father, Yitzhak, told the Israeli news Web site Ynet that he had left his home in the Israeli city of Rishon Letzion in favor of the West Bank settlement of Tapuach after he did not report back to his military duty two months ago.
He had been a staunch opponent of Israel's planned Gaza pullout and left a note at his base that condemned the plan, the Web site said.
The government has accused some ultranationalists of trying to incite violence ahead of the plan to remove 9,000 settlers from Gaza and a corner of the West Bank, the first time Israel will uproot settlements from land Palestinians want for a state.
Mainstream settler leaders, who have vowed peaceful resistance, condemned the attack.
The rest here...
See that: MORAL FUCKING CLARITY.
The Jewish leader can call a Jewish person a terrorist when that person acts like a terrorist.
The Muslim population, and its leaders, would call this "resistance."
Tell me I'm wrong.
Can’t agree with you more, but I’m hoping things have changed since Arafat’s went to burn in hell.
North American Muslim scholars issue fatwa against terror
Thu Jul 28,12:08 PM ET
North America's premier council of Islamic scholars issued a fatwa against terrorism, telling young Muslims they would be committing a sin against God if they indulged in extremism.
The religious edict, issued by the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), ruled that suicide bombings were "haram" (forbidden) and said anyone guilty of such "barbaric acts are criminals, not 'matyrs.'"
The fatwa was the latest bid by the US Islamic community to distance itself from extremism, and to quell fears of a repeat in the United States of the London bomb attacks in which Muslims turned against the country of their birth.
"There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism," said the fatwa, issued in Washington in English, Arabic and Urdu.
"All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are 'haram' (forbidden) in Islam," the edict, endorsed by more than 120 Muslim groups and leaders, went on.
"It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence.
"It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians."
The fatwa contained a prayer for "our country" the United States, and for inter-faith harmony across the world, but did not specifically mention Osama bin Laden or the Al-Qaeda network.
Its release follows signs of frustration from US Muslim leaders that repeated condemnations of terrorism in the wake of the London attacks, and the September 11 strikes in 2001, failed to filter through to the non-Muslim community.
Community and religious leaders who gathered to issue the fatwa said it targeted young Muslims to ensure they would not be lured into violence.
"When the scholars say something is haram, anybody that will do that is committing a sin against God," said FCNA President Muzammil H. Siddiqi.
Salan Al-Maryati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said the fatwa, the first such edict ever issued in North America, was purely an act of faith.
"We do this not out of political expediency, but out of Islamic obligation," he said.
Unfortunately, the moderate elements of Islam seem to be heard from less than the extremist elements. However, what is noteworthy to me is that this particular edict was issued in English, Arabic and Urdu (Pakistan / Afghanistan). It doesn't appear to be a case of "Arafat - condemning in English, Praising in Arabic.
See my comments in RED.
Don't fall victim to the "secret" code of the Islamofacists.
When they say "terrorism" and "civilian" or "innocents," they have a VERY different view.
Indeed, see Ward Churchhill, actully, for something closer to their view. (He said those folks in the WTC were not "innocent."). OBL says no american is innocent. And all americans becuase of our political system, are combatants in the extremists view.
I would agree that the extremists view all Americans as combatants. I agree 100%.
However, (and boy, am I going to start a shit storm here)...
Not all Muslims are extremist.
There, I said it.
Nail on the head if I ever saw it.
Indeed you did.
I respect and admire you a great deal.
But pick up a copy of the Yousef Ali or Pritchard translations of the Koran, and read the whole thing. Then, and more importantly, read the Hadith
Not all Muslims are extremists, but Islam itself is extreme. And DEVOUT Muslims who follow the Koran and Hadith ARE extremists.
There. I said it too. By definition, a "good devout" Muslim is, in absolute terms, an extremists. If (s)he considers the holy writ of the faith to be binding, then extremism will result because the writs themselves are extreme.
No disagreement here, there is a minority group of Muslims that do believe their religion is actualy "Peaceful"
Religious tomes are subject to interpretation. I was raised a Lutheran, but I don't follow the writings of Martin Luther - for I choose not to burn down a Jew's home because he is Jewish....yada, yada, yada.
Now, that's a pale example to the examples of Islamic extremism....admittedly.
However, and I have learned this from my very own personal experience. Not all Muslims are extremist.
The religious of Islam is sucking hard right now due to the extremists and the extremist supporters. There is a divide between the extremist and moderate elements of the religion. I would like to see the moderate elements speak out more clearly than they are. It just may be the one thing that saves them for when Bin Laden really manages to pull off a big one. Then again, they face a Catch-22 when they try to speak out as the vocal crowd immediately claims that they are being disengenuous. But, then again, the moderate elements share a certain amount of responsibility for that reaction.
It wasn't my intent for this thread to take this direction, but it has. My intent was to show how this young Israeli soldier committed an act of terrorism in order to thwart the current withdrawal process in Israel. It's not enough that the Israelis are having to deal with Hamas, but they have to fight from within their own ranks as well.
Hey, quit ruining it for the rest of us!
seriously though, fuck that asshat for sinking down to their level and making a bad situation worse.
Sorry for the thread hijack. Its true, that the Israeli's have had to deal with nuts on both sides. Look at the assasination of Rabin in '95.
Regarding what I highlighted in red above, my study has caused me to conclude that this is where most Westerners "miss the boat" when it comes to Islam.
Muslims believe that the Koran, in particular, is "THE VERBATIM WORD OF GOD." In other words, it is not filtered through Muhammad, or impacted by is human falibility, but is the actual divine word of god and is NOT SUBJECT to interpretation.
Thus, when the Koran says that that christians who believe in the Father, Son and Holy spirits are apostates marked for death unless they accept Allah and the teachings of his prophet (i.e., unless they accept Islam), there's not much room for interpretation.
"Smite their necks" seems pretty clear to me.
It will take a reformation movement where Islam gets to the point of viewing the Koran as possibly "impacted" by Muhammad's culture and the 12 century mentality before we will see an end to the extremism.
As it stands, the book "Satanic Verses" which earned that guy a Fatwa and death sentence was a criticsm of the Koran based on historical evidence that Muhammad wrote in and then took back two verses which showed his "pagan" origins and inspiration, only to take them back out and say that "the devil made me say that."
In the last two years, several people have been executed in Pakistan, Iran, etc., for "critical" analysis of the Koran -- i.e., for the very interpretive bent that you point out needs to occur.
Personally, I don't think we're going to see a reform movement being led from the middle east. The current Arab mindset won't allow it.
If we see a reformation, it will have to come from Indonesia or another prominent Muslim culture outside of the Arab region.
The a-rabs lynched him
A teenage Israeli soldier shot dead four people in a blazing row over the country's imminent withdrawal from Gaza before being lynched by furious residents of an Arab-Israeli town.
The shooting, the first deadly incident connected to Israel's controversial plan to uproot all troops and settlers from Gaza and parts of the northern West Bank, heightened fears about possible violence during the historic pullout.
The 19-year-old religiously observant Jew, dressed in army fatigues, unleashed a volley of fire inside a bus in the northern Galilee town of Shfaram in an argument over the pullout, police said.
Four Israeli Arab passengers died in the hail of bullets. The gunman was lynched by a furious crowd as hundreds flocked to the blood-smeared bus in a Druze neighbourhood of Shfaram shortly after the attack, police and witnesses said.
Among the victims were two students, the driver of bus 165, which served the route between Shfaram and the main northern city of Haifa, and a local Shfaram resident. Four other passengers were also injured, two of them seriously, public television said.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon swiftly issued a statement in which he condemned the shooting as "a reprehensible act by a bloodthirsty Jewish terrorist who sought to attack innocent Israeli citizens".
"This is an extremely serious incident and we have mobilised our forces to deal with any eventuality," Dan Ronen, commander of the police's northern division, said.
"The gunman, Nathan Zaada (eds: correct), was a 19-year-old soldier who was originally from Rishon Le Tzion (near Tel Aviv) and had recently turned to religion," he said.
Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra urged Israel's 1.2 million-strong Arab population to remain calm.
"I call on you to do everything possible to enable us to carry out the disengagement plan," he said.
Bentzi Lieberman, chairman of the main settler organisation Yesha, condemned the shooting and said disengagement "has led individuals to lose their head."
The Palestinian Authority urged the Israeli authorities to prevent similar attacks in the context of tensions over the Gaza pullout.
"The Israeli government must collect the weapons of the settlers and take steps against the settler leaders because they endanger Palestinian civilians and the general Israeli system," Samir Hileelah, secretary general of the Palestinian cabinet, told AFP.
The shooting came just hours after Palestinians in Gaza celebrated the pullout -- less than two weeks before the withdrawal is due to begin.
Partly to appease radical settlers, Sharon has insisted that disengagement from Gaza will be an opportunity to strengthen Israeli control over the West Bank.
Israel's housing ministry said it was inviting tenders for scores of new houses south of Jerusalem, in direct contravention of the internationally drafted roadmap peace plan launched two years ago.
"We have issued appeals for 72 housing units in Beitar Ilit," Kobi Bleich told AFP, adding that the project had been approved last year.
"These buildings will be constructed within the existing boundaries of Beitar Ilit and will form part of Gush Etzion", a large bloc of settlements.
Under the terms of the roadmap, endorsed by the government in 2003, Israel is obliged to freeze all settlement activity.
The Palestinian Authority condemned the Israeli expansion plan, with chief negotiator Saeb Erakat warning it "could wreck the peace process and destroy any possibility of relaunching negotiations on a final status agreement".
Outside the parliament building in Gaza City, Palestinians celebrated the imminent departure of Jewish settlers from the territory after a 38-year occupation.
Prime minister Ahmed Qorei told the crowd of around 10,000 people that the pullout would be the first step towards the creation of their promised state, including the whole of the West Bank with east Jerusalem as its capital.
He said the dismantling of all 21 Gaza settlements and another four in the northern West Bank must be a precursor to further pullouts.
"There is no way that this Israeli move can be a final move. It must be the first step," he said.
As part of efforts to prevent attacks by Palestinian militant groups during the pullout, Israeli military sources said that the army had begun reinforcing its presence in Gaza.
Israel has threatened to launch a massive ground offensive into the Gaza Strip should Palestinian militants open fire during the pullout.
What you forgot to add that 3 of the signers of this document are unindicted co-conspiratorators in antiterrorist cases, and they neglected to publish a version of this in arabic, so the people outside the borders of the US who needed to read it aren't able to -- This was strictly a PR move.
yes, the Isreali Arabs.
Except Islam doesn't recognize the existence of civilians in the Dar al Harb, gutting the whole deal.