Israel: April 8, 2004


The Israeli government is seriously proposing a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, that will only leave Israeli troops patrolling the Egyptian border, and Israeli warships patrolling the coast to keep down weapons smuggling. No negotiation is involved, because Israel has decided that there is no Palestinian group that they can negotiate with that can enforce the terms of any agreement. The three main terrorist organizations in Gaza, Hamas, Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the PLO's Fatah faction, have apparently agreed to put aside their differences and run Gaza together if the Israelis withdraw. Hamas has been telling Western journalists that Hamas was willing to tolerate Israel if the Israelis withdrew, but the media in the Palestinian territories still preaches the destruction of Israel. So whatever the terrorist leadership is telling Western journalists, the message being broadcast to Palestinians has not changed. The terrorist leaders are scrambling to form tighter ties with Western journalists and diplomats in an effort to obtain some degree of protection from Israeli efforts to kill the terrorist leadership. 

The Israeli counter-terrorism tactics, and attacks on terrorist leaders, have greatly reduced the number of terrorist attacks on Israelis. Thus while these tactics may earn scorn and hostility outside of the Israel, they are enormously popular inside Israel. More Israelis are giving up on negotiations with Palestinians, feeling that the Palestinians cannot form an effective government, or control the Islamic radicals who want to destroy Israel. 


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