Israel: April 27, 2002

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: 10.0pt"> Bowing to pressure from the US (which is, in turn, bowing to pressure from Saudi Arabia), Israel has been keeping its troops out of the major Palestinian cities, while still sending in raiding parties to grab known or suspected terrorists. Since the start of the anti-terrorism operation last month, terrorist attacks are way down (although today there was one on the West Bank that killed five people).

The Palestinians still feel they are winning their campaign against Israel. Despite the Israeli attacks against Palestinian targets, the Palestinians see the wide support they are receiving from Arab and Moslem nations, as well as many non-Moslem West Europeans, as a source of support. Palestinians have positioned themselves in the media as more victimized than the Israelis. The UN is trying to investigate Palestinian claims of an Israeli massacre. But with the Palestinian economy wrecked by Israeli military blockades (to keep terrorists away from Israeli civilians), the Palestinians are even more dependent on charity from wealthy Persian Gulf nations and the West. But the Israelis are just as determined, and the Israelis have the most powerful army in the region, as well as nuclear weapons. Many Arabs say they will drive the Israelis out if it takes 50-100 years. It's already been over half a century, and the stand off does not appear to be any closer to a solution. Meanwhile, Israel will continue to identify and kill the terrorist leaders and destroy terror organization infrastructure until the terror attacks become easier to stop. This is already working. Meanwhile, the Israelis are trying to get the Palestinian leadership to remove Yasser Arafat and cut a deal. At the moment, Arafat is too popular for that, plus Arafat still controls the Palestinian treasury (some billions of dollars) and many Palestinian gunmen are still loyal to him.

 

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