Israel: August 15, 2001


The Israeli tactics of attacking Palestinian government (usually police) buildings, and killing terrorist leaders, in response to Palestinian terror bombings, is having an effect. The Palestinians have, as a result, been losing their only hope of ultimate victory; international intervention. With Palestinians killing Israeli civilians and Israelis destroying police buildings and killing a few terrorists, the Palestinians have a hard time claiming victimization. It's a risky tactic for Israel, as it means more Israeli dead and fewer Palestinian casualties. But as a matter of successful information war, it is forcing Yasser Arafat to try and restrain Palestinian attacks on Israelis. This causes the potential for factionalism and civil war among the Palestinians. Arafat is openly arresting members of terrorist organizations, but this is likely more for show than for effect. The Israelis have good intelligence about Palestinian terror groups, and have foiled at least 70 bombing attempts in the last year (most of them quite recently.) The Israelis will know if Arafat's crackdown is real. But Palestinian terrorists have turned on Arafat before and one of the major risks is that if Arafat gets killed, his successor may be worse. But many Israelis feel that things cannot get worse, so the pressure is on the Palestinian political leadership more than at any time in the past. 


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