Two days after the November 6, 1998 bomb attack at Jerusalem’s Mahaneh Yehuda market injured 25 Israelis, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is blaming Israel for the incident and for previous attacks against Israeli civilians. The main headline in the official Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda of November 8, 1998 proclaims:
“Palestinian Sources Believe
Israeli Intelligence is Behind the Bombing.”
Following are excerpts from the article:
“the investigations revealed that an Israeli intelligence officer had frequently visited the house of Yusef al-Zughayar, one of the perpetrators of the Jerusalem explosion, after his release from an Israeli prison a few months ago. These sources said that “infiltration” activity by one of the Israeli [intelligence] services was behind the bombing, just as happened with the grenade attack at the Beersheba bus station a few weeks ago, after which it became known that the perpetrator had been drafted by Israeli intelligence.
Palestinian sources told the French press agency that the Palestinian security forces had a number of reports and indications that an outside party was behind the latest action [i.e. the terrorist attack] and the chain of actions which recently took place, all of which had a political objective to embarrass the Palestinian Authority and prevent the implementation of the agreements a previous military action attributed to the Islamic Jihad was the double suicide bombing in early 1997 near the Netzarim and Kfar Darom settlements, after which the PA presented a man named Ibrahim al-Halabi to the media who drafted the two bombers and planned the action. Al-Halabi confirmed that he worked on behalf of Israeli intelligence and that he had organized the action at their request to cause tension between the Palestinian Authority and Israel and to stop the implementation of the agreements signed between them.”