In Israel, two suicide bombers have killed at least sixteen people, including a four-year-old child. More than one-hundred others were wounded in the August 31st attacks on two buses in the city of Beersheva. The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas claimed responsibility. In Gaza, Hamas supporters held a demonstration to celebrate the murderous attacks.
U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher says, “There can be no excuse for violence and terrorist attacks that the Israeli people have been forced to endure:
“Palestinian leaders must take immediate credible steps to end terror and violence. The time for excuses is long past. We need to see actions that send a clear message that terrorism will not be tolerated. Attacks as these not only kill innocent civilians, but they undermine the aspirations and the hopes of the Palestinian people as well.”
Since the beginning of the year, about fifty people in Israel have been killed in nine suicide bombings. But the Beersheva attacks were the first suicide bombings since March 14th, when two eighteen-year-old Palestinian youths killed ten people in the Israeli port city of Ashdod. Along with the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Hamas also claimed responsibility for that attack.
Founded in 1987, Hamas is one of the most vicious terrorist groups in the world. Its goal is to destroy the state of Israel and replace it with a fundamentalist Islamic state. Both Iran and Syria support Hamas. State Department spokesman Boucher says these terror groups should be eliminated:
“. . .we see Hamas as a terrorist organization. We say terrorist organizations need to be put out of business.”
Despite many setbacks, the U.S. will continue working for a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The U.S. remains committed to the vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. In the words of President George W. Bush, “A two-state solution for the good of Israel, a two-state solution for the good of the Palestinian people.”