Sunday, August 04, 2002

On the Channel 2 news tonite, they visited the scene of today's Jerusalem shooting. The reporter spoke for a minute or so to an American fellow who saw the shooting, then said "and as usual, local shopkeepers say that they saw nothing" followed by a few Arab shopkeepers saying "I just heard a rat-a-tat-tat".... The gunman was a 19-yr. old from Hebron.

The bus bomber was a well-known Hamas member from Jenin and was apparently able to exit Jenin because IDF forces have been diverted from there to Nablus. To have arrived where he did he needed to have received help and transportation, probably from an Arab Israeli.

In civilian areas of Nablus the IDF uncovered several bomb factories (report).

There seems to be consensus here that nothing will come from any of the upcoming diplomatic meetings with PA officials. There's similar consensus that the relaxations of conditions on Palestinian towns are due to American pressure.

Tonight on Channel 2 commentator Ehud Yaari gave a different interpretation to the latest terror wave than the one that I offered earlier. He says that Hamas' communiques indicate that their current strategy is to continue attacks on civilians while the IDF operates in Palestinian cities in order to gain leverage. They would then offer to give up attacking civilians (ie. what the media calls a "ceasefire") in exchange for a promise from Israel not to operate in Area A. This would enable Hamas to regroup, focus its attacks on the IDF and settlements, and portray suicide bombings as a means to liberate Area A from reoccupation.

Channel 2 (I think) said that Defence Minister Ben-Eliezer claims that the new policy of destroying homes belonging to families of Islamikazes is having a deterrent effect. Israel actually used to do that in the 80s (and inherited it from the British I think). There has been surprisingly little discussion about it here recently. When it was first proposed a few weeks ago, there was some discussion and most sane people (as well as people like Yossi Beilin) seemed to oppose it. My initial thought was that it was cruel and wouldn't be much of a deterrent. But when I see something like this bulletin board for Muslim teenage girls (free registration required), I start to wonder ("SUBHANALLAH!!..the mother has soo much courage..May Allah make us the mother of shaheeds Ameen")

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