An Arab news site published a story that blamed an explosion in a Palestinian school yesterday on a Jewish extremist group, suggesting that the attack could be a sign that Israel is implementing a plan to “transfer the Palestinians.”
In stark contrast, however, the left-leaning Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that Palestinian sources have rejected the teachers’ suspicions of Jewish involvement.
The Palestinian sources are examining the possibility that a Palestinian organization wanted to hide the bomb in the school for future use and that it went off prematurely, Ha’aretz said.
Agence France-Presse reported that a “Palestinian security official said it appeared one of the students had found a hand grenade and had been playing with it when it went off in a classroom.”
The website Arabicnews.com, nevertheless, headlined its story, “Jewish group blows up Palestinian school, wound 29 students.”
Ha’aretz said the blast wounded 15 students, two seriously, at a school in the village of Jeva, near the West Bank town of Jenin.
The Arabicnews.com account began:
The occupied Palestinian territories yesterday witnessed an incident which raised a question on whether Israel has started to implement its plan to transfer the Palestinians. This was when an extremist Jewish group detonated an explosive in a school in a town in Jenin that resulted in wounding 29 students. This operation, to some, recalled the terrorist attacks used to be carried out by the Zionist gangs and results in al-Nakba (setback) of 1948 when the Jews occupied Palestine.
Arabicnews.com’s story said a “Jewish group calling itself ‘revenge in the name of children’ claimed responsibility for the explosion.” But the website also quoted a spokesman for Israeli police, Jim Kleiman, who said “we do not have evidence proving this announcement.”
Ha’aretz said: “The defense establishment in Israel meanwhile discounted the possibility that a Jewish group calling itself ‘Toddlers’ revenge’ was responsible, noting that their call to reporters came hours after the blast, and that the Palestinians were calling the bombing a ‘work accident.'”
Israeli officials say there are at least two Jewish extremist groups involved in terrorist attacks in the disputed territories, Ha’aretz said. However, with one exception, “nobody has been arrested during nearly two years of off-and-on attacks.”