Israeli security forces are on high alert Tuesday after the first suicide bombing inside Israel in a year killed one woman and injured at least seven other people in the southern city of Dimona. Police shot and killed another person wearing an explosive belt, preventing a second attack. (Voice of America)
What the commentators said
The most surprising thing about this deadly bombing is that “it’s news,” said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. Palestinian radicals remain as determined to destroy Israel as ever, but “Israel's increasingly successful antiterrorist efforts” have restored security since the second intifada reached its height in 2002, when 451 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks that included 14 suicide bombings. Critics said that Israel’s supposedly “illegal” security fence and targeted assassinations of terrorist leaders would “feed” a cycle of violence. Instead, these measures “proved that terrorists can be defeated.”
It looks like Israel had good reason to fear that “terrorists had joined thousands of Palestinians who streamed" through the breached security fence between Egypt and Gaza, said Tim McGirk in Time.com. “The bombers' route probably took them into the Sinai, where Egypt's long and sporadically unpatrolled desert border is riddled with smugglers' trails.” Hamas militants celebrated the bombing, but Palestinian “realists" know that this fresh threat to the peace process will make it harder to persuade Egypt to keep the border open so Gaza residents can get supplies despite an Israeli blockade.
“Pacifying Gaza” would do more for peace than the “all-but-doomed process President Bush is pursuing,” said The Providence Journal in an editorial. So maybe the West should pressure Egypt to take back the Gaza Strip, which once belonged to it. Then “Egypt would be compelled to restore some order to Gaza, and stop terrorists from firing off rockets,” which is why Israel imposed the blockade in the first place. “But from the perspective of the kleptocratic Arab states that bound democratic Israel on three sides, and rely on attacking Jews to distract attention from their regimes, what would be the fun of that?”