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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 October, 2003, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Gaza attack worries Mid-East press

Palestinian commentators denounce Wednesday's attack on a US diplomatic convoy in the Gaza Strip in which three Americans were killed.

They linked it to the US veto of a UN Security Council resolution calling on Israel to stop construction of its controversial West Bank barrier and predicted the attack would only play into the hands of Israel.

But Israeli commentators pointed the finger of blame at Yasser Arafat and Palestinian radical factions.

We view what happened with suspicion and await with apprehension a cunning evil being prepared for us. We disagree with the US administration and with its decisions and political approach to our case, but we have no interest in killing Americans... We are hurt by what has happened, but Israel is the beneficiary.

Palestinian al-Hayat al-Jadidah - commentary by Fuad Abu Hijlah

Disregarding the unfortunate bombing in Gaza that was condemned by the different Palestinian factions... the US administration recorded the day before yesterday another biased stance in Israel's favour when it vetoed a draft resolution presented by Syria denouncing the construction of the racist separation wall.

Palestinian al-Quds - editorial

Any person cannot but link the unjust US veto with this unjust explosion but the speedy denials by the Palestinian factions will not convince the Americans that the operation was not meant to hurt them. We strongly condemn the rude veto that is used only against us at the Security Council. At the same time we denounce the unjust bombing operation against the convoy, not because that it was carrying a friendly delegation, but because it damages the interests of our people.

Palestinian al-Hayat al-Jadidah - commentary by Hafiz al-Barghuti

The killing of three Americans is tragic from the humanitarian point of view and is condemned from the political viewpoint, whatever party was behind it. It is doubtful that it was a Palestinian party... The explosion was not prepared for the Americans because if it was its perpetrators were aiming to destroy Palestine's highest national interests.

Palestinian al-Hayat al-Jadidah - commentary by Basim Abu Samiah

Why did Israel blow up the US security vehicle accompanying a US delegation to Gaza?... there is no Palestinian policy, neither on the official level nor on the factional and public one, dictating the start of confrontation or war with the US.

Palestinian al-Ayyam - commentary by Talal Okal

The terrorist attack is Arafat's moment of truth. From now on, the Americans will examine him with a magnifying glass. If he acts decisively to catch the perpetrators of the terrorist attack and put them on trial, his status will improve. If he washes out the investigation, he is liable to find himself outside the [occupied] territories, following a green light the Israelis will get from the Americans.

Israel's Yediot Aharonot - commentary by Roni Shaked

Yesterday, in Bayt Lahya, the seeds of hatred were reaped... Hamas and Islamic Jihad can try to dissociate themselves from the terrorist attack, that places them in the US' gun sights, but their contribution to the explosion is preparing the ground and ripening the legitimacy for it.

Israel's Maariv - commentary by Amit Cohen

[The attack] adds more complication and more confusion to the Palestinian scene. No one will benefit from it except the enemies of the Palestinian people.

Jordan's Al-Ra'y

Intifada leaders have confirmed that their policy is to target no other nationalities but Jews. Theirs is not a struggle against Americans, or Europeans or any other... Who is the culprit then? Without reservations, the fingers point to the Zionist occupation force and Sharon the butcher and his myrmidons.

UAE's al-Bayan

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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