Israel: February 5, 2002

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Palestinian attacks against Israelis are on the rise again, averaging over a dozen a day. Most do not cause injury, because the Israelis have very tight security and the attackers fire from a great distance or leave their bombs in out of the way places. The first Palestinian woman suicide bomber last month apparently wasn't. Further investigation indicates that she was a courier bringing the bomb to a male suicide bomber. She accidentally triggered the bomb while trying to avoid being noticed by Israeli police.

Yassir Arafat is unhappy about being kept under house arrest by Israeli troops. But in the meantime, Israeli and Palestinian businessmen are openly calling for a political settlement and an end to the violence. Palestinian Authority and Israeli officials are meeting to end the violence. The economic pain is worst among Palestinians, but is also being felt in Israel. Both sides realize they have to deal with their radicals before the shooting will stop. So far, the radicals are winning because the violence continues. Along these lines, the coalition that makes up the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) appears to be coming apart. The various factions are looking at what kinds of deals can be worked out with each other, the radicals and Israel. Apparently Israel is serious about trying to get rid of Arafat. 

The death toll so far in the 16 month war is 1,179 (906 Palestinian and 251 Israeli.)

 

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