Sunday, September 22, 2002

Army Radio's "Last Word" had a fairly predictable discussion about the latest siege on Arafat's Muqata compound: Right-wing guy thinks that we should have ejected Arafat to Tunisia a long time ago (there is some thinking here that this is what's underway); left-wing guy thinks that we're ultimately not accomplishing anything, and the world thinks that we're being cruel and oppressive.

According to Zeev Schiff , the government sees this as a further step towards marginalizing Arafat and removing "hardcore" militants (like Tawfiq Tirawi I would guess) from the picture. The other operation that was considered in response to the last week's bus bombing - a wide offensive against targets in Gaza - was ruled out because of the Iraq situation. "Defense sources" are quoted as saying that Arafat has been attempting to squelch voices within the PA that seek to discontinue violent conflict with Israel.

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