Another post from Ann Hansen, the LDS reporter living in the Galilee. She reports Fatah claims responsibility.
Str. Hansen contributes to My readers will find loads of information from 2006 to present about the life these mothers of soldiers’ lives,their special stories and many insights into life in Israel.

Please, pray daily for peace in Israel. If she falls, western civilization will follow. We also urge your prayers that those who oppose her will have a change of heart and pursue a path of peace in the Middle East.

“I am on a break at work and stopped to check the news. There was just a bus bomb in Tel Aviv – the first time in years. Responsibility was claimed by a Fatah affiliate out of the West Bank. Fatah (the former PLO) and Hamas are bitter enemies. All the news attention is now going to Hamas in Gaza and away from Fatah’s intention to declare statehood at the UN next week. I think this is an effort to re-focus attention, especially since Hilary Clinton and the head of the UN are in the area today.

The bus driver stopped at a bus stop and opened the rear door (usually to let in ladies with baby carriages, or someone carrying large bags). When the door opened the bombers threw the bomb inside and ran. The police are still looking for him.

Because the frame of the bus is basically intact I am assuming the bomb was fairly small – probably about 2 kilos (under 5 pounds). Larger bombs will blow off the roof and sides of the bus. Doctors at the hospital said that x-rays show that the bomb was packed with nails, most of which now have to be removed from the internal organs of those who were on the bus. There were no dead, thank heavens, and the explosion occurred close to a major hospital so medical help was received quickly. There are 22 injured, 2 very seriously but none with life-threatening injuries.

In the past, “serious” can include 3-degree burns over the entire body, extensive organ damage, crushed skulls, etc. “Moderate” can include 2- or 3-degree burns over part of the body, amputated limbs, the need for facial reconstruction, broken bones, loss of teeth. No description covers the pyschological and emotional damage.

Last night a 60-year-old Israeli woman driving south of Bethlehem (near Gush Etzion) was nearly killed when her car was hit with about 60 rocks. One went through her windshield and hit her in the head. She is still unconscious in critical condition.

There was also an attack on the Israeli guards at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv. An older Jewish man carrying an axe attacked them. He was shot in the leg and quickly caught. It turns out that he has a long history of mental illness. One guard was lightly injured.

There was another incidence on the Syrian border yesterday, the second one so far this week.There is no ceasefire in sight in the south. I will try to write more later tonight if I have time.Happy Thanksgiving, and please give serious thanks for where you are and what you have.

Ann, Israel
Following is a short guide to the players against Israel.

Hamas is an acronym for the Arab words for Islamic Resistance Movement; the word itself means “zeal.” It was founded in 1987 at the time of the Palestinian uprising, the intifada, in Gaza and the West Bank. It is one of 28 groups officially declared a “foreign terrorist organization” by the State Department. Its goal is to destroy Israel and to put in place an Islamic Palestinian state. Its methods include assassination, raids, bombing, and suicide bombing. It also runs a network of mosques and social service organizations, such as medical clinics. Its Web site lists “The Glory Record,” 85 incidents of terror. Hamas opposed the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) 1988 acceptance of the United Nations resolutions acknowledging Israel’s right to exist and further objected to the 1993 peace agreement and mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO.

Hezbollah, also spelled Hizballah, means “party of God.” It is a Shiite Muslim organization headquartered in Lebanon whose goal is a fundamentalist Islamic state there and beyond and the obliteration of Israel. It was created in 1982 after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and last May forced the Israeli withdrawal from that country. Hezbollah is also on the State Department’s foreign terrorist organization list, and its head, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, received his own title as a Specially Designated Terrorist, meaning he has supported violent means to threaten the Middle East peace process. Enlarging its role in the current turmoil, Hezbollah just kidnapped three Israeli sergeants and a lieutenant colonel in the air force reserve and says in exchange for information on the soldiers it wants release of all Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. It trains Hamas militants and is seeking to further arm Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. For those Palestinians without guns, Hezbollah encourages them to stab Israelis to death.

Fatah, also known as Al-Fatah, is an acronym for Palestine National Liberation Movement; the word itself means “conquest.” Founded in the 1950s by, among others, Yasser Arafat, its goal was the creation of a Palestinian state; its means were terrorist war largely against Israeli civilians. It was a rival with the PLO, which was founded in 1964 by then Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser, until Arafat took over the PLO in 1969, joining the two groups. Fatah remains a Palestinian political faction and in recent days has called for a renewed intifada. An increasingly active offshoot is the Tanzim, which means “organization.” It is a hard-line militia group responsible for the destruction of the Jewish site Joseph’s Tomb. Made up of an estimated 50,000 young men in the occupied territories, Tanzim members fire at Israeli soldiers from crowds.

Islamic Jihad means “Islamic Holy War.” It is a name used by many disparate groups throughout the Arab world, some of which have been designated as foreign terrorist organizations by the State Department. The first Jihad movement was founded in Egypt in the 1960s, but with the Iranian revolution in the late 1970s, the movement gained momentum. The groups’ goal is to conquer secular Arab governments and replace them with a fundamentalist Islamic one. They see the destruction of Israel as the first step toward that goal. Hezbollah sometimes undertakes terrorist actions either using the Islamic Jihad name or in cooperation with factions in Lebanon. Palestinian Islamic Jihad, founded in 1979, is a small group devoted exclusively to terrorist activities. It is headquartered in Syria and receives much of its funding from Iran.

Each day the forces of evil and the forces of good pick up new recruits. Each day we personally make many decisions that show where our support will go. The final outcome is certain–the forces of righteousness will finally win. What remains to be seen is where each of us personally, now and in the future, will stand in this fight–and how tall we will stand. Will we be true to our last-days, foreordained mission?

Great battles can make great heroes, but heroes will make great battle. You will never have a better opportunity to be a greater hero in a more crucial battle than in the battle you will face today and in the immediate future. Be warned that some of the greatest battles you will face will be fought within the silent chambers of your own soul.
Ezra Taft Benson

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