- The Washington Times - Friday, June 21, 2002

JERUSALEM The death of a 23-year-old Israeli-Arab student in a Palestinian suicide bombing this week is threatening to drive a deeper wedge between the Arab minority in Israel and Yasser Arafat's leadership in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Though expressions of anger by Arab citizens of Israel against the 21-month uprising are typically muted, Wednesday's funeral of Ayman Kabaha triggered an explicit condemnation by his family.
"The bombs don't distinguish between Jews and Arabs. I'm very angry with those who send these young men to kill themselves and many others," said the victim's father as he laid his son to rest on a rocky hillside that straddles the Green Line.
Zaki Kabaha, a cousin, was more explicit: "I want to tell our Palestinian brothers that they will never get a state if they continue with this way. They should reconsider their strategy. Too many people are dying in this struggle. Enough is enough."
Mr. Kabaha, a student, was among the 19 Israelis killed in Tuesday's suicide bombing of a bus in the Jerusalem suburb of Gilo.
His death highlighted the daily peril faced equally by Jewish and Israeli-Arab citizens as they go about their lives in Jerusalem.
A statement by Mr. Arafat yesterday called for a halt to "terrorist activity against innocent people, Israeli and Palestinian civilians."
Palestinian officials do not define as civilians any Jews who live in East Jerusalem or on lands not held by Israel before 1967.
That means none of the venues for the three attacks this week would be considered illegitimate targets, Palestinian analysts said.
The BBC World television satellite channel quoted Mr Arafat as saying elsewhere that targeting civilians was "justified."
The Kabaha family had excellent relations with their Jewish neighbors, said several people who attended the funeral. Many of their sons are working as doctors, nurses and teachers in Israel.
Many Jews, including friends of the dead student from the David Yellin Institute, attended the funeral.
There were no flags, no representatives of the government. Thousands participated in the funeral, including family members living on the other side of the Green Line.
The village where the family lives lies precisely on the old Green Line that divided Israel from the Jordanian-occupied West Bank prior to the 1967 war.
Under the new plans for a security fence to keep terrorists out, the "Palestinian" part of the village will be included inside the fence, meaning the whole village will lie within Israel.
A friend who gave her name as Nassar, said that many of her friends at the college all are Arab Israelis are now afraid to board Israeli buses.
"Some are even thinking of leaving Jerusalem and returning to their villages inside Israel."
But many Arab Israelis said they plan to stick it out.
"It's a great place to live," says Jacqueline Youssof, who runs a large hairdressing salon bordering on Gilo, near where Tuesday's bomber did his killing.


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