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« Asserson interview | Main | Prominent Platform for Ashrawi »

Monday, January 19 2004

Wash Post Cites Hamas Website

Kudos to media monitors at Eye On The Post, who caught Washington Post Israel correspondent Molly Moore citing the Hamas website as a reputable source in a Jan. 14 story on the Gaza suicide bombing. Wrote Moore:

The Hamas Web site reported that after the suicide bomber detonated herself, Israeli soldiers began firing weapons in the direction of the Palestinian workers that were inside the terminal. None of the initial reports could be immediately verified because Israeli security officials cordoned off access to the Erez Crossing on both the Israeli and Gaza sides.

This section of the article was later removed, but not before many thousands of readers viewed the outrageous claim. Says Eye On The Post:

Hamas is not a credible source for reporting facts about events on the ground, and it was entirely inappropriate for your reporter to report facts and rely upon Hamas for the same. It now appears the facts were fictitious, because no other news source has reported the same.

For the full, unedited Washington Post article, click on 'continuation' below:

Female Suicide Bomber Kills Four at Gaza Crossing

By Molly Moore
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, January 14, 2004; 5:30 AM

JERUSALEM, Jan. 14 ­ A 21-year-old female suicide bomber detonated explosives inside a laborers¹ pedestrian crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel Wednesday morning killing at least four Israelis, injuring as many as nine other Israelis and four Palestinian workers, according to Israeli and Palestinian officials.


The explosion tore through a corregated metal enclosure used by Palestinian day workers at the Erez Crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel, according to initial reports from Israeli and Palestinian security officials. The attack occurred at about 9:35 a.m. well after the morning rush hour when several hundred workers transit through the checkpoint.

The terminal was completely destroyed,² said Boris Shor, an Israel rescue worker interviewed by the Israeli Y-Net Web site. ³Everything was shattered, glass was everywhere, we saw body parts scattered there.

Israeli officials said that at least three of the four Israelis killed in the incident were soldiers or border security guards.

The militant wings of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Islamic Resistance Movement, known as Hamas, claimed joint responsibility for the attacks, according to the Hamas Web site. The groups said the attack, carried out by a Gaza woman was retribution for the attempted assassination of a militant leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the northern West Bank. The bomber was identified as Reem Saleh Rishi, 21, an activist in Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat¹s Fatah Movement, according to Israel Radio.

The Erez Crossing is designed for allowing Palestinians to work in Israel and put food on the table of Palestinian homes,² said David Baker, an official in the office of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. ³This is clearly a detriment to that goal and works counterproductive to the Palestinians¹ own interests.

Israeli officials could not provide figures for how many Palestinian workers are permitted to use the crossing each day. While thousands of Palestinians were allowed to cross into Israel prior to the ongoing conflict, Israeli authorities have reduced dramatically the numbers, and during some periods have completely shut down the crossing to workers.

Israeli security officials say no Palestinian suicide bomber has managed to escape from Gaza to launch an attack inside Israel since the intifada uprising against Israel began more than three years ago because of a fortified and well-guarded security fence system surrounding the Gaza Strip.

However, several attacks have been launched at crossing checkpoints, including three assaults at or near the Erez Crossing prior to Wednesday¹s incident in which six Israeli security officials were killed.

Last June four Israeli soldiers were killed during an attack near the crossing. On Oct. 14 three American security guards died when a bomb buried in the roadbed detonated beneath their vehicle in a diplomatic convoy about one and one-half miles inside the Gaza Strip from the Erez Crossing.

The Hamas Web site reported that after the suicide bomber detonated herself, Israeli soldiers began firing weapons in the direction of the Palestinian workers that were inside the terminal. None of the initial reports could be immediately verified because Israeli security officials cordoned off access to the Erez Crossing on both the Israeli and Gaza sides.

 

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