Bulldozer Attack in West Jerusalem

A Palestinian bulldozer operator rammed his vehicle into a bus in West Jerusalem, killing 3 and wounding 44.

Aljazeera International reports:

Sometimes the British tabloid press, precisely because it is sensationalistic, gives a vivid sense of the panic and mayhem in this deplorable act of violence.

Acts of violence such as this one are typically reported without context in the US. Aljazeera International notes that the bulldozer operator had been working on a controversial rail line connecting West Jerusalem to Arab East Jerusalem, which many Palestinians feel will further disadvantage them.

The use of a Caterpillar bulldozer in the attack is probably a symbolic reversal, since Israeli authorities have been demolishing Palestinian buildings in East Jerusalem on “administrative grounds” of lack of permits. The chief cause of a lack of permits is Israeli refusal to grant building permits to Palestinians in East Jerusalem. But they have to live somewhere.

Rapid Israeli encroachments on the Palestinians in the West Bank are raising fears of a water crisis for the native inhabitants of this region. This according to B’tselem.

Those encroachments are attended by violence of Israeli colonists (many of them Americans) against native Palestinians, violence that does not make headlines because Israeli military authorities suppress video and other evidence of it.

Although a truce was recently concluded between Israel and the Palestinians, June was a hot month:

” International Soldiery Society for human rights issued its monthly report for June 2008 on Monday. During the reported period the Society stated that the Israeli army has killed 35 civilians and kidnapped at least 320.

The report shows that during the month of June 2008 the Israeli army killed in total 35 Palestinians, 29 in the Gaza Strip and six in the West Bank.

In addition the International Solidarity Society said in its report that the Israeli army continued to use the policy of extra-judicial assassinations, the report shows that out of the 29 killed in Gaza 22 were killed by this policy meanwhile one out of the six killed in the West Bank was killed in the same way.

The human rights group reported that the Israeli army has kidnapped more than 230 Palestinians among them 40 children who are under the age of 19, during the month of June 2008. All were taken to unknown detention camps.”

The bulldozer operator appears to have been acting alone and was apparently seized with a fit of rage over accumulated grievances in his own mind, real or imagined. Violence against innocent civilians is always condemnable and deplored by IC.

Some are speculating as to whether the incident will affect the peace process. You can’t have a peace process that is hostage to the actions of individuals. If peace is held to benefit two parties in conflict, they will pursue it. If one side or both feel something more might be gained from breaking the truce, they will, whatever the pretext.