Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Talk in the Israeli media today suggests a real response to the Rishon bombing is imminent. Things being discussed include: deporting Arafat, launching an "operation defensive wall" in the still untouched Gaza (where last night's bomber reportedly originated), and arresting Gaza "security chief" Mohammed Dahlan. There's also a fair amount of defensiveness among the security services, who are insisting that no, they did not let their guard down, that they have foiled many attacks recently and are receiving alerts on an ongoing basis.

Haaretz reports that the PA is apparently upset about the timing of the attack ie. having it interrupt the Sharon/Bush meeting creates the (accurate) image of Palestinian violence driving the Israeli response.

At the height of the fighting in Jenin there seemed to be a small but increasing number of Israelis who were critical of military actions in the West Bank. But polls now show a very high level of support for the operations, and this is probably because there have been about 4 weeks that have been mostly terror-free. All the op-ed columns in the world won't change the basic perceptions of most people that the operations have been successful.

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