No more ambulances for terror

Michelle Malkin

8/30/2006 12:01:00 AM - Michelle Malkin

What kind of cold-blooded thugs use ambulances as killing aids or propaganda tools? Islamic terrorists, of course, have an unsurpassed history of using emergency vehicles as tools of their murderous trade. International charities and media dupes have gone along for the ride.

In March 2002, Israeli Defense Forces discovered a bomb in a Palestine Red Crescent Society ambulance near Jerusalem. The bomb, packed in a suicide belt, was hidden under a gurney carrying a Palestinian child. The driver confessed that it was not the first time ambulances had been used to ferry explosives.

Female suicide bomber Wafa Idris, who blew herself up in a January 2002 attack in Jerusalem, was a medical secretary for the PRCS. Her recruiter was an ambulance driver for the same organization, which receives support from governments worldwide and the American and International Red Cross.

As I reported in May 2004, an Israeli television station aired footage of armed Arab terrorists in southern Gaza using an ambulance owned and operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) -- which has received more than $2.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies. Palestinian gunmen used the UN emergency vehicle as getaway transportation after murdering six Israeli soldiers. Senior UNRWA employee Nahed Rashid Ahmed Attalah confessed to using his official UN vehicle to bypass security and smuggle arms, explosives and terrorists to and from attacks. Nidal 'Abd al-Fataah 'Abdallah Nizal, a Hamas activist, worked as an UNRWA ambulance driver and admitted he, too, had used an emergency vehicle to transport munitions to terrorists.

Peter Hansen, the head of the UNRWA, huffily denied that its vehicles were being exploited by terrorists. But a few months later, he told Canada's CBC TV: "I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don't see that as a crime."

When they're not being used to ferry weapons, ambulances serve as major stage props for Hizballah news productions. I remind you again of CNN anchor Anderson Cooper's description last month of Hizballah's ruse: "They had six ambulances lined up in a row and said, OK, you know, they brought reporters there, they said you can talk to the ambulance drivers. And then one by one, they told the ambulances to turn on their sirens and to zoom off, and people taking that picture would be reporting, I guess, the idea that these ambulances were zooming off to treat civilian casualties, when in fact, these ambulances were literally going back and forth down the street just for people to take pictures of them."

Keep all this context in mind -- and keep the summer's bombshell blog revelations of Photoshopped war fauxtography by Reuters and staged photos by other media outlets in mind--as we move on to the events of July 23. According to the Lebanon Red Cross, two of its ambulances were deliberately struck by weapons in Qana, Lebanon, while performing rescue missions. The international press, which has stubbornly ignored the prolonged exploitation of emergency vehicles by terrorists, immediately accused Israel of committing "war crimes."

Photos and accounts of the alleged ambulance targeting were disseminated widely by newswires, the BBC, ITV, The New York Times, the Boston Globe and countless others. It should be noted that Western journalists were not allowed onto the scene, but received video and pictures from locals. Bloggers have again raised pointed doubts about what those photos really show (see http://zombietime.com/fraud/ambulance/ and my Internet video report at http://hotair.com/archives/2006/08/29/ambulances-for-jihad/). The roof of one Red Cross ambulance said to have been hit by a missile had a neat hole punched dead center -- in the same location that ventilation holes of other ambulances are positioned.

Massive rust and corrosion around the hole suggest the damage may have occurred before the alleged strike. Moreover, a missile explosion inside an ambulance would not leave the rest of the vehicle as intact as the supposedly targeted ambulance remained. A paramedic quoted by several media organizations claimed a "big fire" engulfed the inside of the vehicle. But photos of the ambulance allegedly consumed by the fire showed gurneys and seats intact and minimal damage to the interior.

What is the response from all of the media hypers of the alleged Red Cross ambulance missile strike last month? The same response they've had to the jihadists' past ambulance hoaxes: Nothing.

Maybe your political representatives will have more to say. Many of the UN and Red Cross ambulances and ambulance drivers being exploited by the likes of Hamas and Hizballah are supported by American taxpayers and charitable groups. Isn't it time to cut off the ambulances-for-terror lifeline?