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Tuesday, 22 October, 2002, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Israeli press reflects bus blast gloom
Scene of the suicide bomb
Monday's attack killed 14 and injured over 40
The Israeli press is dominated by reports of Monday's suicide bomb attack on a bus in northern Israel, which left at least 14 people dead and more than 40 others injured.

"Fire trap: 14 die in terrorist attack" reads a headline in Yediot Aharonot.


The nightmare returned yesterday, in a big way

Ma'ariv

Ma'ariv has "Burnt alive: 14 die in suicide bombing".

A commentary in the mass-circulation daily Ma'ariv sums up the gloomy mood.

"The nightmare returned yesterday, in a big way."

"The attack shattered the sweet prevalent illusion created after one month without 'serious' incidents."

It laments the resumption of violence.

"From a national point of view... these are the most wasted years of our lives, years in which if we progressed, it was backwards."

Political aims

Ma'ariv fears that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will use the latest attack for his political aims.

"The prognosis for the coming months is not positive and the probability is more of the same.. Sharon will continue along the road that led to here."

Ariel Sharon
Press fears Sharon will use the attack for his political aims

The right-leaning Hatzofe is more supportive of Mr Sharon's policies.

"Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has a strong will, and rightly so, to preserve the government of national unity."

It urges him to reconsider his decision on the army withdrawal from Hebron.

"The prime minister should again reconsider the urgency of the army's evacuation of Hebron. There is no doubt that this is liable to lead to bloodshed."

Eastern border

The independent daily Yedi'ot Aharonot is exasperated by the inability of successive Israeli governments to solve the issue.


The road map that Burns has come to discuss with the relevant parties in the region will turn out to be a map without any roads

Ha'aretz

"With stubbornness that exacts an unacceptable human price... the governments of Israel refuse to establish an eastern border for the state of Israel."

"Meanwhile, a reality is being created in which from the sea to the River Jordan two peoples live side by side... who hate one another."

Destroying mediation

A commentary by Ze'ev Schiff in the left-of-centre Ha'aretz blames the attack on "Palestinian extremists".

"(Their) aim is not merely to kill the maximum number of Israelis, but also to wipe out any mediation attempt that would lead to a renewed dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians."

He looks ahead to Wednesday's arrival of US envoy William Burns.

"If this negative prediction comes true, then from a political point of view, the road map that Burns has come to discuss with the relevant parties in the region will turn out to be a map without any roads."

The newspaper quotes well-placed sources in Jerusalem as saying that "Israel will carry out a pin-point response to Monday's suicide bombing in the time and place suitable for its interests".


We have now been jerked back into the brutal reality of the terrorist campaign

Jerusalem Post

In an article headlined "Back to reality" Jerusalem Post agrees with Ma'ariv that the latest attack has spelt an end to a brief period of peace.

"The lull might have been fun while it lasted, but we have now been jerked back into the brutal reality of the terrorist campaign."

Options

The paper considers several possible solutions to the crisis, such as exiling Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat or targeting leading militants.

But it concludes there are three options, "continued military operations to uncover and destroy the remaining elements of the terrorist network, more separation, and additional measures to convince the Palestinian people that to end their suffering, they must act firmly to stop the terrorism".

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.

See also:

21 Oct 02 | Middle East
21 Oct 02 | Middle East
18 Jul 02 | Middle East
21 Oct 02 | Middle East
24 Jun 02 | Middle East
20 Jun 02 | Middle East
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