The powerful car bomb that exploded next to a crowded rush-hour bus in northern Israel Wednesday killing at least 16 underscored for many Israelis the need for a security fence and for the removal of Palestinian President Yasir Arafat before there can be an end to 20 months of violence.
Amid growing calls for a renewed major military offensive to complete the destruction of the terrorist infrastructure in the territories, Israelis braced for more attacks from Palestinian suicide bombers and gunmen who have killed at least 31 Israelis since Operation Defensive Shield ended in early May.
Israeli officials insist their six-week assault in the West Bank that began March 29 was having success before it was aborted under pressure from the United States. But there appeared no consensus on whether to resume the assault.
It has been almost a year since a suicide bomber stood in line outside the Dolphinarium disco in Tel Aviv and blew himself up along with 21 Israelis, almost all teenage girls. Leanora Bachar, a social worker who rushed to care for the families of victims that night, still gets emotional when she thinks about it.
"I actually heard the blast," Bachar said. "I live fairly close and my house shook, so I knew it was a bomb."
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon returned to the targeted killing of terrorists this week, broadly hinted at an attack on the terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip and ruled out any talk of dismantling settlements.
Saying she wants to make Iranian-sponsorship of terrorism "so expensive that they will think twice about doing it," the mother of a 22-year-old New Jersey student killed in a Hamas bus bombing nearly three years ago is suing Iran over her daughter's death.
Arline Duker, whose daughter Sara was among 24 victims of the Jerusalem attack, said that she and the parents of Matthew Eisenfeld, Saraís longtime boyfriend who also was killed, filed the $600 million suit this summer.
Test For Anti-Terror Law
Ever since it passed two years ago, Jewish leaders who pressed hard for a tough federal anti-terrorism law have been nervously waiting for its first major court challenge. Now it appears that the test will come in Los Angeles, where the United States Court of Appeals will decide in a case directly challenging the most controversial provisions of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.
Even as Israeli forces continued their unrelenting efforts to kill Palestinian terrorists and to arrest their political leaders, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon planned to meet with a high-ranking Palestinian leader to renew peace talks.
In an interview published Wednesday by the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, Sharon said the meeting with an unnamed official would take place in the next few days: a sign, he said, that the Palestinian war machine is breaking down.
Israeli officials continued their crackdown on Palestinian militants this week, including charging a top Palestinian leader with murder, while early elections suddenly loomed as a possibility and Haifa's mayor announced his candidacy for the Labor Party leadership.
In an indictment unsealed Wednesday in Tel Aviv District Court, Marwan Barghouti, 43, who once was touted as a successor to Palestinian President Yasir Arafat, was branded an "arch-terrorist whose hands are bloodied by dozens of terror actions."
After another horrific week of Palestinian terrorism, punctuated by the killing Sunday of 13 Israelis that brought the Israeli death toll to more than 600 in 22 months, Israeli officials continued to seek new ways to deter future attacks.
A book memorializing the 21 primarily Russian teenage girls killed by a suicide bomber outside a Tel Aviv disco a year ago isn't finished yet, says the mother of one of the victims, "because there are a lot more [terrorist attacks] happening."
Each time there has been another terrorist attack, says Riina Rudin, "we relive [Simona's death] all over again."
Simona, 17, was killed in the June 1, 2001 attack, which also injured 120. Rudin says the book should be widely read to convince the world to stamp out terrorism.