Friday, August 22, 2003

New blog: ISM Central

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Haaretz news flashes says: "IDF sources say military operation in West Bank cities will last three to four weeks".

If the IDF operations are serious enough, the PA might opt for another hudna afterward.
The late Ismail Abu Shanab answered called-in questions at IslamOnline in May.

I notice that MSNBC and Reuters are calling him a moderate. Israel says he was involved in the planning of Tuesday's bombing.
This article addresses the question of to what extent the PA is capable of cracking down on the "factions" (as they call them). Many think that Mohammed Dahlan is strong enough to do a lot in Gaza, elsewhere the PA/Abu Mazen is less strong but can still take action if Arafat were to approve.
The IAF killed Hamas leader Abu Shanab in Gaza(report). Ynet says that the 2 others killed were apparently his bodyguards Abu el-Omrein and Muamad Ravoud.

This article claims that Abu Mazen has threatened to resign if Arafat doesn't approve a plan to crack down on the various Islamikaze groups.
On Tuesday the IDF captured an Islamic Jihad cell on its way to Haifa, where they had apparently prearranged a hidden explosives belt. (report)

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

The responses I've seen around the web to yesterday's bus bombing are remarkably sensible for the most part.

But this report by the official Palestinian Authority news agency confirms Amos Harel's assessment that the PA really perceives itself as free of any responsibility to control the terrorists. And Helena Cobban - best known for her error-filled mega-fiskable columns in the Christian Science Monitor and her sycophantic history of the PLO - manages to calmly mention the bombing (and misuse the word "intentionality") in the middle of a ramble about "international humanitarian law".

I don't think that Charles Johnson has linked to Cobban's blog yet (but I'm sure he will soon).
Moods right now: anger and nausea

T. and I were in our car at a red light on King David Rd., just below Yafo Rd., when the sirens started. We knew there had been a terror attack after about the 3rd or 4th emergency vehicle passed by. The bombing had been several minutes drive ahead of us - the ambulances were evacuating the victims.

18 dead at the moment, scores injured, lots of children (Jpost, Haaretz). Israel Radio said that Abu Mazen met with members of Islamic Jihad after the attack and asked them to "continue the hudna". But this is it for the hudna because Israel isn't going to soak it up this time.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

At a news conference in Beirut, Palestinian Authority External Affairs Minister Nabil Shaath asserted that the US-sponsored roadmap plan guaranteed the millions of descendents of 1948 Palestinian refugees a right to settle in pre-1967 Israel (report).

It sounds like Shaath was making this claim so as to gain support for the PA's roadmap stance from hardline Palestinians in Lebanon. But when Palestinians blame Israel for not meeting its"roadmap" obligations, remember that they likely have in mind things like prisoner releases, the security fence, or accepting refugees - as distinct from the committments that are actually in the roadmap.

The consensus in the weekend Israeli newspapers was that the hudna is not likely to last much longer.

More: The updated version of the article above also quotes PA Information Minister from an interview on Israeli Army Radio this morning. Amr said that the PA does not seek to change the Jewish character of Israel and that a pragmatic solution to the refugee issue will be found. In my opinion there's no reason to think that this moderate view is much more than flattery. Plenty of Israeli leftists have presented to the Israeli public the claim that the Palestinian leadership is secretly moderate - only to have been thoroughly humiliated afterward. The most notable example is the unrepentant Yossi Beilin (see here).