04/20/2016, 14.09
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For Palestinian activist, Jerusalem bombing is the wrong answer to a mistaken occupation

Adel Misk, spokesman for The Parents Circle, slams Israeli policy in the territories for the violence. For him, it is urgent to find a “path to peace” and "determine the cause of the problem". The bus explosion, which is a throwback to similar incidents in the early 2000s, left 21 people wounded.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – The attack in Jerusalem is the by-product of Israel’s “occupation policy,” of Palestinians’ “lack of freedom,” and political leaders’ unwillingness to "sit down and talk, sign a peace deal, and recognise each other,” said Adel Misk, a Palestinian medical doctor and activist.

Speaking to AsiaNews about Monday’s bus attack in south Jerusalem that wounded several people, Adel, who is the spokesman for The Parents Circle – an association that brings together about 250 Israelis and 250 Palestinians, all bereaved relatives of victims of political violence –, noted that “as long as the occupation continues,” the chain of violence “is bound to last. For this reason, it is urgent to find a path towards peace.”

Two days after a bus exploded in south Jerusalem, wounding 21 people, two seriously, no one has claimed responsibility. However, the images of the burning vehicle brought back memories of terrorist attacks of more than a decade ago, when public transit was the main target. This is the first time since 2005 that a bus is hit.

Preliminary reports from Israeli security sources indicate that the bus exploded at 6 pm (local time) as it travelled through Talpiot, southern Jerusalem, wounding several people. The vehicle caught fire along with a passing car and a second empty bus.

Israeli officials responded immediately. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to "punish the terrorists" behind the incident. "Israel will put its hand on whoever prepared the bomb and sent the terrorists," the PM's spokesperson said.

Knesset member and head of the Arab Joint List Ayman Odeh also denounced the attack. "Civilian casualties are unacceptable and harmful to the struggle against the occupation," Odeh, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, wrote on social media. "Netanyahu's government is fuelling the cycle of bloodshed. Only a political settlement will bring security to both (Israeli and Palestinian) people."

As expected, Palestinian groups in the West Bank and Gaza hailed the reported attack. "We bless the Jerusalem operation, and consider it a natural reaction to the Israeli crimes, especially field executions and the desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque," the Hamas movement said in a message on social media.

For Adel Misk, the attack remains murky. It makes matters worse, and does change the problems that weigh heavily on the region. "It is not enough to understand who carried out the attack,” he said. “What is necessary is to go to the root cause of the problem."

“As long as the military occupation lasts, it will be difficult to stop the spiral of violence,” the activist explained. “We are faced with a people under occupation – some protest using peaceful means; others use violent struggle."

Attacks by extremist groups must be seen against the reality of "state terrorism" on the Israeli side, which also reaps its own victims.

For Misk, the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy is made worse by "the world's indifference," by the "lack of interest of the international community," which seems to have become accustomed to the problems of the Middle East, like in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

"The silence of the western world, which does not want to challenge the Israelis (and Americans) makes it guilty and complicitous,” said the activist. “Somehow it legitimates and colludes with the occupation and the violence that is perpetrated on this land.”

For the Palestinian activist, “It is impossible to be indifferent, not take sides.”

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