Late Saturday evening, a car containing 100kg (220 lbs) of explosive compound was deposited in the outer parking lot of Lev Hamifratz mall in Haifa, Israel. The car was parked in a crowded section of the parking lot next to structural pilings holding up a portion of the mall, and the explosives were mixed with ball bearings to ensure maximum human and structural damage from the blast.
Further, "Had the car bomb exploded, the majority of the cars in the parking lot would have gone up in flames," a police source told the Israeli press after the attack was prevented. "The gas in them could have exploded. This would have been a major terrorist attack."
Fortunately, the terrorists hoping to cause massive carnage with this attack failed to wire and detonate their explosives properly. When the first portion of the bomb fizzled, a shopper who heard a minor explosion notified security, which found the vehicle and called in Sappers to disarm the explosive.
According to the Jerusalem Post:
After being alerted by an employee of the Lev Hamifratz shopping center, who reported hearing an explosion at about 8:30 p.m., police sappers were dispatched to scan the area.
The sappers found a partially exploded bomb in the trunk of a white Subaru car which was parked outside the shopping center.
A further search of the vehicle uncovered several more unexploded bombs, which were neutralized by the sappers. No one was injured.
Police evacuated the mall and the population was put on high alert.
"As far as Israel is concerned, this was a terrorist attack in every sense," said outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert Sunday morning at his weekly cabinet meeting. "Only the vigilance of citizens and the quick response by police and security forces prevented it."
Israeli intelligence points to the attack having originated in the West Bank, where terrorist group Hamas has been actively working to reassert itself and even Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas, heralded by Olmert and former U.S. president George W. Bush (among others) as the "rightful" leader of the Palestinians and as the best hope for a Middle Eastern peace, has recently called on the international community to treat the Israeli government to be "isolated" in an identical fashion to Hamas.
"We shouldn't fool ourselves," Olmert told the assembled cabinet members. "Attempts to carry out terror attacks in Israel continue. The launch bases include the West Bank, where Hamas wishes to strengthen its infrastructure and status, while continuing its terror activity and [efforts to] cause severe damage to Israeli citizens."
Unfortunately, there is a large number of Iraelis (as well as members of the international community) who still refuse to recognize both the immediacy and implacability of the terrorist threat facing both the Zionist state and our civilization as a whole.
While Taliban fighters take over larger portions of Pakistan and use the border crossing there to promote chaos in Afghanistan; while Somalians in America are recruited to jihad against their adopted homeland; and while rockets are fired over the border fence into populated areas of Israel by Hamas militants, an increasing number of political leaders, advisors, pointy-headed academics, and other leftists are doing their best to force the rest of the population's head into the same sand their own is buried deep within, claiming that every threat ignored and enemy appeased is both equal to victory and proof that there really are no threats in existence -- particularly not those which warrant actually doing anything about.
Unfortunately, just as Israel pushes into a new era with ultra-realist Benjamin Netanyahu set to take over the reins of government, America is pushing backward, with a president who seems to have no grasp of any reality outside his own immediate circle and a newly-selected head of the National Security Council, Brent Scowcroft, who sees negotiating with Hamas as a perfectly sensible and reasonable course of action in the Middle East.