Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Inverted Pyramid

Today's sickening suicide bombing story, as it could have been written. The same elements from the Reuters story (with one graph from AP), stacked up a different way. After the "Five W" writing, what decision-making process determines the juxtaposition of facts? Who decides? Based on what?

Palestinian suicide bombers killed at least 16 people in simultaneous attacks on two Israeli buses.

The Islamist group Hamas, sworn to destroy Israel itself, claimed responsibility for the new attacks.

Tuesday's blasts gutted the buses and scattered bloodied remains. Many of the passengers were leaving a market.

"I saw horrible sights. Two bodies were hanging from a window," rescue worker Moshe Zikstein told Reuters.

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of Gaza City in joyful celebrations after the bombings. Muslim leaders praised the "heroic operation" — a phrase referring to suicide bombings — over mosque loudspeakers.

The bombers came from the nearby West Bank city of Hebron. Israeli officials said the unfinished section of the barrier near Hebron underlined the urgency of finishing its construction to keep out such attackers.

Israel says the 120 miles of its barrier erected so far have thwarted dozens of would-be bomber infiltrations into its densely populated north and coastal regions.

But sections between Jerusalem and Hebron have been held up by an Israeli court order that they be rerouted to avoid cutting off Palestinians from their farmlands.

The World Court has ruled the entire barrier illegal.

Earlier in the day, Sharon had set out a timetable for steps toward pulling 8,000 Jewish settlers out of Gaza. He said a draft bill establishing rules for compensating uprooted Jewish settlers would be put to his cabinet by Sept. 26.

Israeli soldiers at a Gaza border terminal captured a would-be suicide bomber on Tuesday who was wearing a new form of explosives belt hidden in his underwear, the army said.

Hamas said Tuesday's attack was vengeance for Israel's assassination of two top leaders in helicopter missile strikes soon after two suicide bombers hit the port of Ashdod nearly 6 months ago.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie, visiting Egypt, officially bemoaned the bombings.