Suicide Attack Reminder that Lull Was Deceiving, Olmert Says
‘In recent weeks we thwarted many attacks,’ PM says; right-wing Knesset members call for halt in transfer of arms to Fatah; ‘I hope attack will bring sanity back to all those who call for negotiating with Hamas, strengthening Abbas,’ MK Eldad says
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday that the deadly suicide bombing attack in Eilat, the first in Israel since April last year, is a reminder that the eight-month-long period of calm had been deceiving.
“In recent weeks we thwarted many attacks, and this has not been always reported,” said the prime minister, who recently ordered the transfer of USD 100 million in frozen tax funds to the Palestinian Authority.
Right-wing Knesset Member Arieh Eldad (National Union –NRP) said he hoped the attack would “bring sanity back to all those who call for negotiating with Hamas and strengthening (Palestinian President Mahmoud) Abbas.
Likud MK Yisrael Katz called on the government to immediately stop the transfer of arms to Fatah, saying “The attack in Eilat serves as a warning sign to those who believe in the ceasefire with the Palestinians.
“The government is permitting the flow of arms to (Fatah strongman) Mohammad Dahlan and his associates instead of dismantling the terror infrastructure,” he said.
‘Reminder of What One Free Terrorist Can Do’
Meanwhile, the Almagor Terror Victims Association released a statement calling on Olmert to “reverse the promise made to Egypt to release terrorists who were caught infiltrating Israel with weapons and cease all negotiations on the release of terrorists.
“The attack is a reminder of what one free terrorist can do,” the group said.
Defense Minister Amir Peretz ruled out reports that al-Qaeda had a hand in Monday’s deadly suicide bombing attack in Eilat.
“For a long period we succeeded in thwarting attacks like these. These are extremists groups who want to end the ceasefire. Estimates that the al-Qaeda was behind the attack are apparently not true, but I say so with reservations,” he said.