15,03,2004 HA’ARETZ 1. 10 DEAD IN DOUBLE SUICIDE ATTACK IN ASHDOD PORT; TERRORISTS’ INFILTRATION BEING INVESTIGATED. Terrorist infiltrated port, his friend exploded outside; 16 people injured. IDF: It appears they left Gaza Strip a few hours before the attack. Police and port checking security failures. Hamas and Fatah: Revenge for IDF operations last week. Prime Minister and Chief-of-Staff agree on military response. Sharon cancels tomorrow’s planned meeting with Abu Ala. High alert in city centers and along seam line.

2. Ashdod: Workers believed in security. INJURED WORKER WHO LOST HIS FRIEND: “I DIDN’T THINK IT WOULD HAPPEN INSIDE THE PORT.” Victims: Gil Abutbul, 38 from Ashdod; Avraham Avraham, 34 from Ashdod; Dan Asulin, 51 from Ashdod; Zion Dahan, 30 from Ashdod; Ophir Damari, 31 from Rehovot; Moshe Hendler, 29 from Rehovot; Morris Tubul, 30 from Ashdod; Mazal Marzianno, 30 from Ashdod. 3. BANK OF ISRAEL AGREES WITH TREASURY: ECONOMY OUT OF RECESSION. Bank indices show that the recession ended in August – or November. HATZOFEH 1. 10 murdered and 18 injured in double terror attack in Ashdod port. TERROR IN ASHDOD PORT. At 16:40, huge explosion shook Ashdod port. A few minutes later second explosion occurred. Two suicide bombers reached port area – one of them remained outside security fence, and the second entered inside. He attempted to locate containers full of dangerous material and when he couldn ’t find them he blew himself up, and immediately afterwards the terrorist outside exploded. Terrorists entered through security fence. Two of those injured later died on operating table. Police suspect: Terrorists planned to perpetrate attack on much larger scale. Police Commissioner: “This is the first time that a terror attack has been perpetrated against a strategic target – and the consequences are far-reaching.” 2. DUE TO TERROR ATTACK: SHARON-ABU ALA MEETING PLANNED FOR TUESDAY, CANCELLED 3. BANK OF ISRAEL JOINS NETANYAHU – RECESSION OVER. MA’ARIV 1. Mega-attack averted: Aim – to poison Ashdod with gas. FAILURE AT PORT. Two terrorists infiltrated from Gaza, evaded Ashdod port security and blew themselves up one after the other. 10 innocent Israelis murdered. But tragedy could have been much worse: Dangerous substances stored not far away. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. 10 murdered in Ashdod: Twp suicide bombers infiltrated from Gaza. Easily penetrated strategic target. Almost caused mega-attack. And no one stopped them. FAILURE AT PORT. (…). Pursuit of third terrorist who transported suicide bombers. IDF attacks in Gaza. ______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Yediot Ahronot believes that, “Yesterday’s terrorist attack in Ashdod port shattered several illusions that a major portion of the Israeli public subscribes to, such as the illusion of the fence,” and avers that yesterday’ s attack, “reminds us that no fence is high enough to block a man who is determined, desperate and motivated enough.” Hatzofeh asserts that, “Official and unofficial Israel must not be led astray by all the declarations of solidarity with our terrorist troubles,” because, “It’s all temporary.” The editors believe that, “Anti-Semitic Europe, the more acts of terrorism multiply within its borders, will, in the end, blame Israel, i.e. that our problems with the Palestinians and the repression are what is causing the upsurge in world terrorism.” The paper suggests that, “Sharon’s flight from the Gaza Strip is helping global terror, just as the flight from Lebanon encouraged global terror,” and adds that, “The US and Europe must express reservations over Sharon’s plan as long as terror in Israel doesn’t lay down its weapons.” BPI.