Israel: September 26, 2002

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: 10.0pt"> Israel refuses to give up it's siege of Yassir Arafat's headquarters on the West Bank. Even the US has asked that the siege be lifted, but the Israelis are determined to arrest 50 suspected  terrorist leaders of the 200 Palestinians taking refuge with Arafat. Elsewhere in the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli troops go after terrorist organizations, destroying bomb making workshops and the homes of suicide bombers and terrorist leaders. Arafat says he will resist to the death, while the Israelis say they will stay their until Arafat and his cronies surrender. 

More Israelis are willing to move the 200,000 Jewish settlers living among two million Palestinians on the West Bank. The settlers believe that the West Bank should be part of Israel. The Palestinians believe that all of Israel belongs to them. The settlers believe that the Palestinian territories are part of Israel. The Israelis claim they have a three thousand year old claim on the land they occupy, even though Jews have been a minority in the area for nearly two thousand years, until about half a century ago. But most of the Palestinians claiming all of Israel are themselves descended from Arab migrants who arrived in the area (from neighboring Arab countries) only in the last century. And everyone is willing to fight to the death.  In the last two years of violence, some 600 Israelis and nearly 1900 Palestinians have died. The two sides cannot even agree on the number of dead. 

 

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