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TERROR

'DADDY TOLD ME... TO BE STRONG'

On December 11, an Israeli mother, Etta Tzur, and her 12-year-old son, Ephraim, were killed in a drive-by terror attack near their Beit El home in Samaria. Yoel Tzur and four other of his children, ranging in age from four to 17, were wounded in the attack.

The family was travelling home when a car overtook them, and two of its three occupants opened fire on the Tzur's station wagon with AK47 assault rifles, before fleeing in the direction of nearby PLO Authority-controlled Ram'Allah.

Reactions follow:
Tamara Tzur, 13, who lost her mother and brother in the attack, speaking from her hospital bed: "Daddy told me that I have to be strong, but deep inside, in my heart, it hurts."

PLO Authority Justice Minister Freih Abu Middein: "Netanyahu and his government is waiting for something ... Israel needs these incidents, Israel needs these attacks, Israel will find a cover for their delays [in meeting Palestinian demands in negotiations]."

Deputy mayor of the Binyamin Regional Council and a resident of Beit El Yehuda Pinsky: "We were always concerned that the Oslo Accords created a refuge for terrorists in the areas that are under the control of the Palestinian police force."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: "These people [Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza] are part of us. We are committed to their security and will provide them with security ... anyone who thinks they will uproot the people of Israel from its land, and from the heart of its land, by these types of terror attacks, should know that we will uproot them ... [The attack] explains, to all those who doubt, that our insistence on security arrangements [in Hebron] is not a theoretical exercise, is not a trick, it is something that has to do with the lives of children, the lives of women, the lives of families. We insist on these arrangements and we expect the Palestinian Authority to live up to its commitments, not to shelter murderers." Infrastructure Minister Ariel Sharon, addressing Yoel Tzur at the funeral: "How can one console the death of mother and son? There is no solace. Comfort is not what is needed now, but a true Zionist act. That is what the nation expects."

Yoel Tzur: "An Arab who goes out on an attack should know that he is, with his own hands, leading to the building and strengthening of the settlements in Judea and Samaria."

Tamara Tzur: "It happened to other families, so why not to us? We will stay on in Beit El. Jews have to be everywhere in Eretz Israel."

PLO Authority representative Hanan Ashwari: "We live in a situation of tremendous complexity, volatility and injustice. This powder-keg is bound to explode at any moment. The fact that there was another incident of violence demonstrates beyond any doubt that the real reasons for violence have to be addressed, that the peace process has to proceed ..."

Esther Wachsman, an Israeli mother whose soldier son Nachson was kidnapped and murdered by Palestinian terrorists two years ago, responding to Arafat's refusal clearly to condemn the assault: "I was very distressed to see such a blatant insensitivity and even unwise non-reaction by our co-partner in the peace process."

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine spokesman Abu Ahmed Fuad, claiming responsibility for the attack: "We will continue our struggle as long as the occupation and settlements continue."

Back to Middle East Digest - January 1997
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