Photo: AP

Jerusalem-----January 27..........Pure Islamic barbarism struck the heart of Jerusalem this afternoon claiming the life of an 81-year-old man and wounding over 130 innocent bystanders. The Arab terrorist attack claimed more than just tearing off the skin and limbs of women and children enjoying a midday lunch.
This was a direct attack on both Jew and Arab, Israeli and Palestinian for it struck hard again on any element of trust that could be bridged between both peoples. Blind and senseless, it attempted to tear holes through Israeli democracy and continue the suffering of all the people in the Middle-East. It scored a direct hit against the depressed economies of both populations.

Was it the lone, female Arab terror suicide bomber who detonated explosives on a busy street in downtown Jerusalem who is responsible or is it Yasser Arafat who again and again defies all that is rational and humane? Hezbollah claimed responsibility for today's terrorist attack, but it was Yasser Arafat's continued inaction of arresting and detaining Islamic terrorists which has placed the entire region in a hospital bed and that many believe will lead to a deep grave unless other Palestinian leaders come to the front and say "enough".

The blast ripped through Jaffa Street, a bustling Jerusalem thoroughfare that has been the scene of several deadly terror attacks in recent months. Victims were sprawled bleeding on the pavement, shop windows shattered and a stores burned.

One man and one woman were killed. The 81-year-old man was identified by police as Pinhas Tokatli, a seventh generation Jerusalemite who worked as a tour guide at the Western Wall tunnels.

Several hours after the attack police said they were still trying to determine which was the bomber and which was the victim. In Lebanon, the Al-Manar television station, run by Hezbollah, said the bomber was a young Palestinian woman.

More than 100 people were treated on the spot or taken to hospitals, though most of the terror victims were suffering from shock, officials said. Three people were seriously hurt and nine had moderate injuries, they said.

"People were screaming. I found the woman with a cut on her throat. I put a piece of cloth on it, and rushed her to an ambulance. Then I pulled out another young woman who was really buried under a heap of shoe boxes. Her hair was burnt," said a witness who gave his name as Avi and said he was a medic.

Ambulances, knowing the drill all too well, quickly evacuated the terror victims to Bikur Holim Hospital, Shaare Zedek Hospital, and Hadassah-University Hospital, Ein Kerem.

The Jerusalem municipality has set up an emergency telephone hotline at: 1255023106.
If you are calling from outside of Israel, please dial 972 before the above number

Just after Sunday's attack, Jerusalem police chief Mickey Levy suffered a severe heart attack, according to doctors at Bikur Holim hospital. Levy, who had rushed to the scene of the bombing, was in stable condition at the hospital a few blocks away. The police chief underwent an angioplasty and is reported in stable and good condition, Israel Radio reported.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but Israel said it held Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat ultimately responsible.

While Jerusalem bleeds, Arafat continues to encourage Palestinian youth
to kill themselves and murder others for a "Jihad"

Arafat is "encouraging terrorism, he's sending (attackers) to Jerusalem," said Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. "We will continue to systematically dismantle the terrorist infrastructure."

Israel continues to dismiss the empty cease-fire calls by Arafat as meaningless, and says that Arafat has simultaneously been encouraging terrorists.

In a speech Saturday, Arafat said the Palestinians were "facing a military crisis, but despite all this, no one has complained of the suffering. They have said, 'God is great, and jihad, jihad, jihad.'"

"Jihad" is an Arabic word that can be interpreted variously as "resistance," "struggle," or "holy war," and the context was very clear in Arafat's statement.

Jaffa Street is lined with shops and the narrow sidewalks are clogged with pedestrians, particularly in the middle of the day. The streets were full of people on Sunday, the first day of the work week in Israel.

The attack came two days after a Palestinian suicide bomber killed himself wounded 24 people in a pedestrian mall in Tel Aviv. That bombing followed Israel's killing of a senior Islamic terrorist in a targeted missile strike in the Gaza Strip.

Last Tuesday a Palestinian terrorist opened fire with an automatic rifle on Jaffa Street, a few yards away from the site of Sunday's attack. The gunman killed two women and injured more than a dozen people before he was shot dead by police.

Some shops had their windows shot out Tuesday and had just replaced the glass, only to have it shattered again in Sunday's explosion.

In August, a suicide bomber killed 15 people in a Jaffa Street pizzeria just across the street from Sunday's blast. Some workers at the Sbarro pizza restaurant were treated Sunday for shock, witnesses said.

US Vice President Dick Cheney kept up US pressure on Arafat, telling a Sunday TV show he found it "hard to believe" the Palestinian leader was not involved in a recent terror arms smuggling incident, when a freighter carrying 50 tons of weapons was intercepted by the Israel Defense Forces, which provided evidence that the weapons were destined for the Palestinian Authority.

"The people that were involved were so close to him [Arafat] it's hard to believe that he wasn't" involved," Cheney said.

Palestinian terrorists have carried out more than 30 suicide bombings during the current Mideast conflict, now 16 months old.