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Reverting to Old Tactics
11:53am Thu Dec 4 '03
Whenever the status quo seems threatened by renewed peace efforts, whenever Palestinian militant groups refrain from attacking, Sharon panics, as the international community focuses on his unwillingness to commit to his obligations under the ‘road map.ג
Reverting to Old Tactics
December 02, 2003
Sharon feels cornered and needs a quick way out. The first thought that pops in his head is proposing a unilateral peace plan that he would enforce on the Palestinians. After all, if one is able to look past the fact that his peace plan offered no peace, proposing a peace plan would show his diplomatic initiative. Disappointed to realize that everyone saw his plan as a publicity stunt without any real chance of ever being implemented, Sharon decided to revert back to his tried and successful option of re-escalating the violence. Swiftly, 60 Israeli tanks, armored vehicles and jeeps converged on Ramallah, the hub of Palestinian life, and wreaked havoc.
Four Palestinians, including a young boy, were killed by the Israeli army during the Ramallah operation on Monday and several buildings were levelled. The four Palestinians killed were Mohammed Salameh, Saleh Mohammed Talahmeh, Sayyed al-Sheikh Qassem and nine-year-old Mazen Hamadan, who was shot in the head. One of the four-story buildings leveled left 60 people homeless. Moreover, dozens of men under 40 were taken out of their homes in several neighborhoods of Ramallah and the neighboring al-Amri refugee camp. About 30 Palestinians were detained in the largest sweep by Israeli forces on Ramallah in recent months.
The Israeli operation coincided with the signing of the Geneva Accord, but most importantly with the unilateral truce talks between the various Palestinian factions that were scheduled to take place in Cairo this week. While Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who are expected to attend the meetings, signaled their willingness to commit to a truce, they stipulated that this would only be possible if Israel halts its operations in the West Bank and Gaza and agrees to a truce with the Palestinians. The Israeli raid on Ramallah is likely to hinder the talks in Cairo, making it far more difficult to obtain the commitment of Hamas and Islamic Jihad to a truce.
Whenever the status quo seems threatened by renewed peace efforts, whenever Palestinian militant groups refrain from attacking, Sharon panics, as the international community focuses on his unwillingness to commit to his obligations under the ‘road map.ג The White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, the CIA and other security agencies unanimously agree that Israel is not complying with the road map's provisions and even President Bush realizes that the Sharon government has only truly committed to the continued construction of settlements and the Separation Wall. To divert pressure, Sharon has time and time again launched attacks on Palestinians aimed at provoking them to respond so that blame for stalled negotiations and renewed violence can be squarely placed back on the Palestinians. However, Sharonגs tactics have grown increasingly obvious over the last three years and the international community has grown increasingly weary of his actions, suggesting that Sharon has limited time before he is forced to make “painful concessions” or falls to his demise.
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1:06pm Thu Dec 4 '03
This is the time for the extremist to come out again. Whenever close to some kind of progress, something happens. Rabin was shot, Israeli arabs were shot and Sharon decided to go to the Temple Mount (I thought no Jew were allowed to go there according to Judaism, not until a new temple is granted by God or something). On the other side.....suicide season might be reopened, with all its predictable responses in Jenin, Rafah..and so on.
Good news is that more than 50 % of the Palestinians and Israelis support the most controversial parts of the Geneva Initiative. A peace will look something like this, everone knows it but still war is preferred. Strange things in a strange place.
If the US will pressure the Israeli government into this, Sharon will fall and peace might be possible. in any case..it is progress and this is good.
Have the eye on the ball, not the flashing camera of the "impartial" journalist.
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