Israel: August 5, 2002

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: 10.0pt"> The 22 months of violence have left 1778 Palestinians and 598 Israelis dead. Hamas has taken responsibility for the latest wave of attacks, saying they are revenge for the Israeli killing of Hamas military leader. Israel has responded by canceling talks with Palestinian leaders and increasing restrictions on West Bank Palestinians. In any event, current opinion polls show a majority of Palestinians still back the suicide bombings and believe that the goal of the current violence is the complete destruction of Israel. Hamas and other terror groups have never been as popular. While Palestinian backing for terror attacks is declining, there will always be a significant minority (10-20 percent) of Palestinians who will back such violence. Worse yet, Israeli popular support for a deal with the Palestinians has evaporated. So Hamas has succeeded in destroying peace negotiations, but also lacks the means to destroy Israel. Another self-inflicted disaster for the Palestinians.

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