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Anti israeli dress { September 19 2002 }

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A model walks a Beirut runway showcasing a Saudi designer's bloodstained dress with a tank symbolizing the Palestinian uprising against Israel.
- Reuters

September 19, 2002 -- Israel found itself under attack again yesterday - at a bus stop where a homicide bomber blew himself up, and on a fashion runway in Beirut, where a shocking, blood-splattered dress was featured.
The "revolutionary" new dress, designed "in solidarity with the Palestinian uprising against Israel," was on display for Lebanese fashionistas.

With its depictions of bloodstains, bullet holes and tanks moving through a desolate rock-strewn landscape, the floor-length gown was featured as part of a collection at an Arab fashion festival which coincided with New York's own Fashion Week.

The dress was designed by Saudi haute couture artist Yehya al-Bashri.

In Israel, the violence was real.

A policeman was killed by a bomber as cops closed in on him at a bus stop in northern Israel and Palestinians also kidnapped and murdered a settler in the West Bank.

Military sources said last night Israeli could be facing another wave of deadly blasts.

Speaking of the homicide bomber near Afula, a paramedic on the scene said, "The terrorist disintegrated on the spot."

"It was like an earthquake," said Hamad Akbariyeh, an Israeli Arab who runs a restaurant about 100 yards away.

"Our place filled with dust. We went out to look and we saw the bodies . . . the bomber himself was in pieces."

The blast wounded a second policeman and three young Arab-Israelis.

The Israeli government blamed the blast on Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority, which it has repeatedly criticized for not reining in militants.

There have been no homicide attacks since Aug. 4, when a Palestinian exploded a bomb next to a bus near Mount Meron in northern Israel, killing at least nine.

The renewed attacks came a day after Israel rejected a Palestinian proposal for a two-stage truce.

Shin Bet Director Avi Dichter, the chief of Israeli intelligence, told a meeting of the defense Cabinet in Jerusalem that the "Palestinian terror organizations still have a high motivation to carry out more attacks."

The White House called the latest bombing "one step backward," but spokesman Ari Fleischer reaffirmed the U.S. goal of Palestinian statehood.

He said President Bush hoped "we can get back to the path of slow, quiet progress in the Middle East."

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